After my most recent post on Facebook, many of you asked if I would write a blog post on how we talk to our kids about sex.
Like most parents, I was nervous about beginning that conversation. Where do you even begin??
Then I came across this book series:
After looking into it, I had heard and read so many good things. Then I just happened to find all 4 books at our library sale for .50 each!
Jake and I read through the first two books, and although it can be a bit cheesy at times, overall we really liked the message that it sends about God, sex and our bodies.
The books are done by age, so book one is ages 3-5, book two is 5-8, book three is 8-11 and book four is 11-14.
The books start out slow- you aren't giving your kid all the info right in book one. Book one talks more about body parts and what makes us male and female. By the end of book two, you know what it takes to make a baby. I don't know all that is in book three yet because I haven't gotten that far.
Since I didn't find out about these books until just over a year ago, we didn't get to start them at the recommended age, but it still worked out well.
We decided to read the book together as a family, instead of doing it one on one. The kids were 6, 7 and 9.
We read book one and then a little later, book two, with the kids. These books are not meant to be the only source of information. They are meant to start conversations, which is exactly what it did for us. The kids asked lots of great questions and were surprisingly very open about talking through all these new things they were learning and figuring out.
Jake and I have been very open and honest with them and encourage them to ask questions or talk anytime they want to. We don't want them to feel like it's an embarrassing subject, but one that they should be able to talk about with us because that is how God created us. We do stress with them that while it is not embarrassing, it is private, so it's not something they should be discussing with friends just yet.
The readings and conversations and questions went really well, even though there were many giggles (from the kids and from me!). Props to Jake who is amazing at staying calm and composed. Because of this, he does all the reading- I wouldn't be able to make it through a book- anytime the kids start to giggle, I can't help but join right in!
Well, since then, we had two more kids join our family this summer. Jake and I realized that we needed to have this conversation all over again! So the other week, we decided to pull out book one again and start the conversation with all 5 big kids, ages 10, 9, 8, 7 and 7, together.
We read, we talked, we asked questions, we watched youtube videos showing a woman's belly growing each week of pregnancy, we showed them pictures of a newborn baby with it's umbilical cord still attached and we talked and talked and talked. The talking and questions takes up way more time than the actual reading, which I think is a good thing.
Last night, we read book two with them and I have been surprised each time by how well it goes. Yes, the kids think it's weird and funny, and they ask SO many hilarious questions but they also ask really good questions that have led to a lot of other really great conversations such as politics, faith, abortion, miscarriage... and it was actually really cool to have such mature conversations with our 5 big kids.
We finished book two and will read book three, which is quite a bit longer than the first two books, with the older three in the next few weeks.
I know these books are not for everyone, but we have really enjoyed them and it has opened the door to many healthy conversations with our kids about a subject that can be very difficult to discuss. If anyone local ever wants to take a look at ours before buying, just let me know! I hope this was helpful to some of you :)
My one piece of advice is to start the conversation early. It feels a lot less like an embarrassing secret if you start things while they are young. and then as they grow, it's a lot easier to talk about.
Here are some funny quotes from our conversations:
- "womb hole" instead of vagina
- "Do you fall asleep during sex?"
- "What do you make for breakfast after?"
- " Can you have sex during the day?? You CAN???"
- " Do you only have sex on your anniversary?"
- "How do you know when it's over?"
and my favorite:
" So, do you ask your husband if he wants to have sex? Do you say ' Do you want to have sex today?' What if he says no??"
Jake: " That will never happen"