Sex Education Starts at Home- Here is Some Help

Wicked Wednesday
Celebrating Being a Sexual Mama Between Loads of Laundry
{ A Distinctly Differnt part of Domestic Anarchy}

Ah the ~birds and bees~.. " the TALK"..  just the idea strikes fear in the hearts of many parents leading into mumbled conversations referring to flowers and bees and "pollination", or worse yet leaving the whole subject up to the school system and it's politically-correct, not going to offend anyone presentation of the "facts" as they think your child should know them.

Well screw that.. pardon the pun. By the time your child's 5th grade class gets around to talking about periods and wet-dreams there is a pretty good chance your child has already seen porn via internet, copped a feel or been copped, or at the very least has been given some VERY sketchy information via their well meaning but equally mis-informed friends.

Sex-education is a life long process, from the day you give them the correct body part names up to the day and beyond when you talk to them about date rape, sex toys and staying safe both physically and emotionally in the context of a sexual relationship. It is not one talk, it is a conversation that spans the years.

I am going to go so far as to stay that you should not even teach about the "birds and the bees" as much as you should teach about the Dolphins and the Bonobos ( like a small chimp).  You see birds and bees procreate for one purpose, to make more babies, but Dolphins and Bonobos are unique, they are like us, they like to and want to get it on when and where they are able. Mind you they don't have a pending tax bill and  a lack of sleep getting in their way so this makes things easier for them.. but otherwise they are very much like us all the same.

Sex is fun and telling your kids so is not a sin.  Be clear, I do think there are very good reasons not to have sex with another person before you are ready, just like I don't think you should be playing with a gun without knowledge/lessons .. in both cases you never know "where that thing will go off!"

Now I am not saying that your third grader needs to knows the particulars of your personal sex life.. hell I don't think anybody does I am just saying that sex goes way beyond the talk about where babies come from and you owe your kids the whole story ( lube and all) at the right time(s).

Luckily there are some great factual books and sites to help you get past the lump in your throat and terror in your heart when it comes to this matter. (click on book for expanded links and reviews)

 For the younger set 4 and up-

It's Not the Stork, is part of a growing series of books that take a factual but easy to digest lighthearted approach to a serious subject making it fun to share with your child. The images are cartoon like but anatomically correct without over load. This book is great for sharing both about body parts, and how babies are made (sex) but from a broader look than most books of this nature delve into.

If you are just needing a book on how babies grow inside of a mommy and how they get out (and a bit on how they get in) I would suggest 

In the same style It's so Amazing tackles the topic of babies in a not-so scary way that like  it's sister books uses cartoon style drawings that are factual but not freaky to talk about the miracle of birth. I do suggest this book and It's not the Stork be bought together for the most comprehensive education for your young child ( yes even if they say ewwwwwww)

Moving right along, by the time your child is in third grade It's Perfectly Normal is the book you need to be cracking open, leaving in the bathroom or  actively sharing with your child. Covering topics from menstruation to masturbation this book leaves no stone unturned but does so in such a sweet natural way that it makes topics that seemed untouchable a more accessible part of your child's sex education.

Yes this book talks about homosexuality, and sex with disability, and a whole bunch of other things that are making you cringe right now ..but you know what.. your kid knows these things, or more to the point knows half truths about these things. Start by getting the facts straight and then talk to your child about your personal or religious beliefs. These topics will not go away just because you are not talking about them I can promise you that. 

Are you still with me?... if so..  lets jump up to the world of teens and sexuality. It is a hormone driven wild ride that only frank education will make safer and saner since here is the deal.. you mom ( or dad) are not invited for the trip so the best you can do is help them pack the right information for the journey.

I have posted this link so many times should be some sort of referral fee.. but the opposite is true, I support Scarleten with my dollars since I think they do a superb job of putting out factual information for the teen with a sex question. Send your kid this link. Read here for yourself.. sit shocked that teens are writing in to ask if it's safe to have anal sex, how to know if they have had an orgasm and more.. real teens, real questions.. best of all real answers.

Better yet ( and with!)  They have a book.. a great book -S.E.X.   I would buy this book for every person I know with a teen. This book is for boys and girls, Dolphins and Bonobos. It will shock you.. it will teach you and it will help your teen be safe and healthy and happy as a growing young person deciding when and if they will have sex. 

You see withholding information will not keep your teen from having sex, it will just make it all the more likely that it will be a damaging or dangerous experience.. not what we want for any of our children is it. 

Please note that the links and photos route you through my Amazon store. I appreciate when you order with my links they enable me to continue to bring you top notch content and not take up some sucky job flipping burgers for a living :)


Gene Black said...

Maddie, you may know that I don't have kids.. BUT, I was curious so I hopped over to Scarleteen. I think a lot of adults SHOULD go over there and read to learn for themselves!

It just might make us all a little more comfortable with relationships.

Brenda Cregger said...

Maddie, I don't have kids either but I think this post is sensational. Wish you were my Mom.
The world needs more knowledge on this subject in a correct way. Keep up the good work.

Les Kertay said...

Awesome post from my favorite parent. This is so very important, being about to talk openly seems to me the very most important piece of the relationship with your kids and for their ability to have a source of information and emotional support. I love this post, and I love your courage in dealing with the issue.

There's one book I might add to the list to consider, at least for the adults to read, and that's Gary Karp's "Disability and the Art of Kissing." Such a frank look at intimacy and sex for those with disabilities, and I'm convinced it has something to teach all of us.

Doc (Les, the DH)

Robyn of Coffee and Cotton said...

This was an excellent post and I found nothing shocking.
I would hope your readers really "listen" to you. Honest information and truth is the best form of protection and safety...and I don't just mean pregnancy but from a possible lifetime of pain.
My kids know their parents have sex... I think the 9 kids is a giveaway... so who better to explain things and give direction to answers? From someone who loves them. Sure, they may act squirmy or embarrassed but they are listening.
Thank you Maddie!

Dr. G said...

Great advice! Sex education is a lifelong education - truer words never spoken. Thank you for the guidance.

Mrsqueenvee/mrs-flopsybunny said...

Dear Maddie, Gr8 post!

Sex ed should definatley begin at home!

Deuteronomy 11 v 19
"Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up." This referred to the laws and commandments in Moses' time but it includes all things. Especially today in our society.

I personally have never understood why parents are shy or reluctant to talk about sex with their children. I have 3 kids 9, 11 & 13 yrs And they all know what is appropriate for their age.

I really think that if a parent can't talk to their child, then the relationship between parent and child is pretty poor indeed. Time for drastic bonding... if indeed it isn't too late! And how sad would that be? A relationship between parent and child should ALWAYS be open, honest and frank but tempered with kindness and love.

I love the fact that my 13yr old boy will come to me and ask questions, he even walked in on hubby and I 'doing it'(his words) the other day, it raised a couple of questions which we were happy to answer.(After having thrown him out! LOL)

I would far rather be able to give my children an open, honest answer than for them to 'learn' some of the screwy ideas from their peers.

Luckily I had a mother who was very open with me and I am sure that has helped me with my kids.One thing I would say to anyone who reads my comment...

IF your parents didn't have that relationship with you, DON'T perpetuate the silence and secrets. STOP it there. Talk to YOUR children today!!! About everything and anything.

Only by talking when they are young will you be able to talk to them when they are older!

The parent that says 'my child won't talk to me', do you talk to them, really talk? Do they know your favourite colour? Artist or Group? Boyfriend? Girlfriend? Do they know what you did when you were young...This includes your mistakes and cockups.

Enjoy the conversations with your child, it will bring wonderful insights and much love!

And hopefully will show them how loving and fun sex can and should be!

Hugs to all