When my daughter was around seven I met a woman who had older daughters and there was some concern over them getting pregnant etc. So I asked this woman when she first talked to her girls about sex and her answer was a very vague “Oh, I don’t think I really did”, which shocked me. That night I went home and started talking to my daughter about sex and boys related stuff, mainly by asking her questions and seeing what she did and didn’t know. Although we were both feeling hugely uncomfortable with the conversation and my husband was pacing with a beer while listening to snippets of sentences, we got through it and the dialogue was open.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This didn’t mean that we could now chat openly, but the first step had been taken and I would casually add to the conversation from time to time. That being said, Daisy still recoiled at the mere word ‘sex’ or any technical terms for lady parts and to be honest I was never comfortable saying them either. But I muscled through. When she hit 11 she asked if she could watch the TV show Two and a Half Men. I didn’t really want her watching due to it’s overt sexual nature and the treatment of women in it, but came to a compromise. She could watch it only if I watched with her and we could discuss anything that came up on the show that I thought needed explaining. This was a tough one for Daisy but her need to watch the show won out over her need to not talk about sex. And, boy, did she learn some things about sex!
From there, it just got easier so by the time when it came to dating she was open to telling me EVERYTHING. I had created a monster. And while inside my head I was going “lalalalalala” I had to stay calm on the outside and nod and smile and pretend that my brain wasn’t screaming. I think it is so important to let them talk if they want to, even when there are things you don’t want to hear. I see it as a privilege that she lets me into her world.
The fun part about this is that when my son hit 10 and also hated any mention of sex or even watching kissing in movies, we all knew it was time to talk. So on a 7 hour road trip we had a captive audience and Daisy joined in enthusiastically, educating Charlie on all things female. By the time we arrived at our destination, he was a little more desensitized to talking about ‘yukky stuff’ and once again the dialogue was open to continue. I look forward/dread what he will have to tell me as he gets older!