I feel like I should write a disclaimer for this post stating something to the effect of “I am not an expert. Proceed at your own risk.”
I had “The Talk” with my kids, ya’ll.
Which talk, you ask?
Oh, you know the one.
The door has been opened.
Well, the door had been cracked for a while. My twins are 10 years old and they have two younger brothers (ages 5 and 3). We’ve had the whole “there was a tiny part from Daddy and a tiny part from Mommy and they met and made the miracle that is YOU!” talk. They’ve also known the names of their “parts” for a while, mostly because, as boys, the male anatomy is a common topic of conversation at our house (why? WHY? Why do they talk about their bits so often??).
(sidenote: they also know the name for my “parts” as they are insatiably curious as to why I don’t have a penis. They wonder endlessly how I pee, and, even though I have explained the phenomenon that is the female anatomy many, many times, I still have been asked if I pee “out of my butt” over and over again).
But, it was time
for the whole she-bang. (Aaaaaand…everything I write in this post is going to come out like a “that’s-what-she-said joke. #FacePalm).
Since we are only planning on homeschooling for a semester, I was like, “I’m going to do this. We are going to make this time COUNT. BOOM! I’m going to tackle this huge thing that is THE TALK!”
So, I planned for it. I did some research online for kid-friendly ways to explain how sex “works” and came across Crash Course videos on YouTube. Crash Course is not geared toward 10-year-olds but I liked the detailed, scientific way it explained both the male and female anatomy in a way that is straightforward and as-not-weird as possible.
I mean, it was.
It was weird.
That’s a given.
But back to my process.
After I found the videos I wanted to use, I decided to hike the whole thing backward about 10 miles and do a “Crash Course” of the human body for Science. I also found this awesome Human Body Systems Flip Book on Teachers Pay Teachers that included both the male and female reproductive systems. So we watched the videos, and we colored the systems on the flip books.
I knew that by the time we ended our overview of the human body with the reproductive systems that the boys would be comfortable with the Crash Course format and therefore, more comfortable with learning about the nitty gritty details of how their bodies work and how the female body works.
And YES, on the day we covered these topics, they were so embarrassed and kept hiding their heads under blankets and pillows and flopping all over the couch. But we did it. We covered the Male and Female Reproductive systems (which are FACINATING BTW) and pregnancy (side note: We had a very cool conversation about how identical twins occur).
But there were still a few more hurdles to cover that the videos did NOT teach that I was determined to scale, because DANG IT! IF this is not my JOB as a mom and #lifegoals. So–
Ya’ll, I taught my sons about menstruation.
And at the end of our talk (“Yes, it seems gross, but it is a normal, beautiful, and healthy thing) I gave them this life advice: “If a girl ever tells you that she has her period, she is telling you something personal and intimate–and this is the ONLY thing you should EVER say to her in response: ‘Is there anything I can do to help?’ You should NEVER say anything else. You should never mock a girl for having her period or make jokes at her expense because you DO NOT KNOW what it is like to be a woman. Therefore, you should respect her experience. Okay, now, tell me, what is the ONLY thing you should say to a girl if she tells you that she has her period?”
And then, I discussed the bow-chicka-wow-wow of sex. The mechanics. How it works. (the videos were blessedly void of this information).
Yes, they were embarrassed.
I asked, “do you have any questions?”
Then I said, “When you do have questions, who do you think you should ask? That’s right: me and daddy. Other kids sometimes think they know about these things, but they don’t. But me and dad? We’re pretty much experts. Also, you can find out a lot about sex on the internet but if you have questions, I don’t want you to go on the internet without permission. Come to me and dad. Remember, we’re experts.”
And then I ended the blanket-hovering, couch flopping, red-cheek inducing conversation with this tidbit: “We’ve talked about a lot today, but is it your job to tell other kids about this stuff? That’s right. It isn’t. Other kids need to learn this stuff from their parents. Okay, we’re done. Let’s get out your math sheets.”
And that, my dear readers, is how I opened the door. Conversation 1 of 1,000 more, I hope and pray.
But for now, I’m checking that off my #HomeSchoolGoal to-do list, baby!
My next Big Goal is to teach them to write their names in cursive, which, compared to the first goal, is going to be a piece of cake.
Okay, I shared mine. You have to share yours.
How did you have the talk with your kids?