So we have had multiple discussions about puberty lately. Have you? Is this the part of parenting you dread? I didn’t exactly dread it. In fact, I over prepared for it and I am proud of how I handled it. I saw an opportunity and ran with it. I understand that many are scared to death of having this conversation, but it is one of the most important conversations we can have with our kids. At least that is what I believe.
If you can talk about this with them imagine how open they will be to talk about other things. Have the talk, even if you are not ready because if you don’t the school, friends, and Google will. Don’t let others parent for you.
Puberty talk #1:
We were taking a bubble bath together. Some of you might be totally freaked out as to why my 9-year-old and I were taking a bath together, but its something we like to do. We put on mud masks, swap stories, and see who can make the biggest bubble beard. In my house it is not weird, so don’t make it weird.
I noticed she was examining my body versus hers, so I asked a simple question. What do you notice is different? She responded as I expected.
“Well Mom,” she said, “you have boobies and hair where I don’t. Will, that happens to me?”
It was my opportunity to have “The Talk Part #1” with her. I let her lead the discussion answering questions as we talked. What could have been a completely awkward moment for both of us turned into a beautiful bonding moment. Now we talk about puberty as it is supposed to be talked about, just another part of growing up. IIt’snot a big secret and we enjoy laughing about what changes are to come.
How The Talk Part #1 went:
I did not want to give her too much information. So allowing her to lead the conversation gave her control of what she needed answered. To the best of my ability, I answered her questions about puberty. Topics like pimples, boobies, hair, body odor, face washing, deodorant, shaving, and different grooming habits (you know armpits & down south). I told her about periods. Pads and tampons. I did not demonstrate, but explained the basic differences. She was horrified about the tampon. It made me giggle. Then we talked about the blood. What happens and why. How often and if it hurts. She then asked me about when I went through puberty. I was lucky and didn’t have that issue till I was 17. But, I told her that is not normal. Most girls start in their early teens and some as early as 8.
After the talk she has been completely open about any changes she notices and emotional differences. Just yesterday she told me, “I think I might need to wear a training bra and deodorant.”
I asked why and she said, “well you can see my nipples through my shirt when I am cold, and I kinda stink after soccer.”
I explained everyones nipples get hard when they are cold and that she does kinda stink. Mostly her goalie gloves and cleats. We had a good laugh about that one, because her gloves and cleats really are the most foul smelling things in our entire house. But, we are now looking at different kinds of deodorant and sports bras.
Puberty Talk part #2:
She wasn’t ready for this part of the talk. The farthest we got was the purpose of ovaries and boobies are for feeding babies. She knows babies come out of the vagina, but not how they get there. I asked her if she wanted to talk about how babies are made, but she declined saying, “I’m not ready for that yet” and that I told her enough. So for now we are safe from having THE TALK, but it is coming and will happen this summer. It is so important to me to be the one to talk about these subjects with our children.
What we will include in THE TALK:
Here is where some of you are really going to agree or disagree with me. I am adding more topics to THE TALK. Such topics like contraception, consent, rape, oral sex, masturbation, date rape drugs, and as a family what we believe about sex and when it is appropriate. Both of my kids will be informed on all these topics. I am even going to briefly discussing same sex relationships. I will not change any topic with my son or daughter. I plan on stressing topics like consent. I believe it is my job as a parent to fully prepare my children for everything the world is going to throw at them.
Yes, in a way it is taking away some of their innocence, but its me or the world, and I believe it should be me who tells them. Someone who loves them and puts their best interests first.
So hopefully today’s dose will either help you when you have to have THE TALK with your kids, or give you insight into what other parents do. I would love to hear about what you plan on or what you have told your kids. Especially if you disagree with Part #2. I love hearing peoples’ thoughts . And, if you don’t plan on having the talk why?