The Dreaded Sex Talk

Catherine Crawford

Up until last week, I was pretty into having a precocious child. There’s nothing cuter than a 4-year-old asking if she’s an omnivore, for instance. However, now that my baby is 6, she’s taken her savvy to a whole new level, and I’m not prepared.

“Mom! Why won’t you tell me?! I know that a baby can be made, but no one -- not you and not Daddy -- will tell me how! Why??

This is what she was screaming, amid sobs, at a memorable bedtime last week. And it gets worse:

“You always say, 'Oh we’ll talk about it later, we’ll get you a book or a movie,' but you never do. Just tell me!”

She almost had me, but as it was 8:20 on a school night, I was worried that if I came clean, she’d be up for another two hours with questions and, most certainly, concerns.

Admittedly my worries weren’t only that my child wouldn’t be well rested for school. I was terrified of The Talk. I am such a cliché.

So, my daughter went to bed disappointed that night, and I vowed to really have a book on hand for the next she asked.  Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Mommy Laid an Egg: Or, Where Do Babies Come From by Babette Cole -- this book is my favorite, but, be warned, some might find it a bit racy. A mom reviewer on Amazon writes: “To each their own but to me, the various stick figure positions are closer to porn and are not educational!” Stick figures? you say. Well, book’s premise involves the botched attempt of two parents explaining the facts to their kids, after which the kids take matters into their own hands and school their parents, using stick figure illustrations. Fun fact: It’s also been published in Welsh (Wy Mam! -- Mummy Laid an Egg!) and Spanish (Mama Puso Un Huevo! -- O Como Se Hacen Los Ninos).
  2. It's So Amazing!: A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families by Robbie H. Harris -- I really like this one, too, but I don’t think I’ll just hand it over to my little girl and let her figure things out. (Okay, it’s true. That was my previous plan. I am a wimp.) There’s A LOT of information in here, so it’ll have to be an intergenerational activity, and I’ll decide which sections we read. Since I know my kid is going to have A LOT of questions, I’m happy for the backup.
  3. What's the Big Secret?: Talking About Sex with Girls and Boys by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown -- I ordered a third book because I want to be really prepared. There’s a lot to like about this book, but I may put off sharing it with my daughter for another year or so. The pics and explanations are pretty detailed.  Also, I kind of wish it didn’t have the word “sex” in its title. I don’t want it to be my child who brings that one up in her 1st grade classroom. I'm just starting to win over some of those new moms.

As there's no rush on my end (at all!), I’ve decided to wait until my daughter brings the subject up again before I break open my book stash. Wish me luck!

How and when do you talk to your kids about sex?

Image via Facebook

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