The Birds and the Bees.
I recently talked to my 8 yo about it. I had to. She had heard about it and was asking OTHERS! Ouch. My husband and I knew that if she was talking to others about it, we should probably interfere and make sure that she had her facts straight and wasn't broadcasting to everyone around her (that wasn't an issue).
After I found out that she knew about sex, I had a lot of emotions:
1. Denial. What? My child? No way.
2. Fear. What else is she learning that I am not aware of?
3. Anger. Who told her and took that 'calling' away from me.
4. Rash judgement. Should I pull her out of school and homeschool her?
5. Sadness. My baby is growing up too fast.
6. Scared. My baby is growing up too fast in a scary world!
Yesterday morning, BEFORE I found out, I was driving her to school and I had a feeling that I needed to tell her how much I love and appreciate her. I went on to say that some people may not be good examples at school, but she had the Holy Ghost and that she would be able to know what was right or wrong.
She started to open up a little, saying that a lot of her friends were swearing and when I asked if she did...she said, "NO!"
Oh, that was the least of my worries...little did I know that an hour later, I would find out she knew.
After I found out, I immediately called my husband. He was good enough to remain
calm. He was concerned about where she had heard it from and that she had learned at such a young age. We knew that we needed to talk to her that night.
In order to prepare for our upcoming discussion, I knew that I needed to have a few resources. I searched " LDS Forum + how to teach your child about sex" and I was pleasantly surprised by a few of the websites.
The first one: Being LDS gave some great insight. She had a guest blogger who said that she started talking about it to her 3 year old. Nothing too revealing, but just gave a roundabout way of where babies came from. As a side note, I get that. We have done the same thing, especially when I was pregnant with #3.
The second one: The Golden Seven gave an FHE on it! It was so well put together and well-said. Some of her sources said to start teaching them at age 8 (well, I guess we are there whether we like it or not). She brought up Adam and Eve, Noah's ark and explained that there was a reason that Heavenly Father placed a man and a woman on the earth. Brilliant really. An approach that I never would have thought about, but now that I have it...I want to run with it! (and I did!)
When I was done reading these articles, I still wasn't sure whether I should run over to the school, pull her out and homeschool her until she was old enough to get married.
As a mother, I feel nothing short of a failure. I haven't protected her. I have noticed she hasn't been the 'same' sweet girl and that she has been treating us and her friends differently. I know they grow up, but have I missed something? I know things change, that I can't keep them cocooned for ever, they hear things...but it doesn't make this feeling any easier.
I also know that there are people around the world that are going through the same thing. They are scared to death about "the talk". But as someone who has JUST gone through it and lived to tell, it is going to be ok. There is a real threat to our homes and our children, but as parents we know how to protect them. Be open and honest. They need this more than being sheltered. They will find out about it anyway, be sure that you aren't holding off because of YOUR uneasiness.
Sex is a sacred thing and it is being thrown around the four walls of a classroom or at the wind during recess. We can't sit back and let our children learn it from someone else. We need to be proactive and be willing to open our mouths and hearts to our children.
Last night went REALLY well. I used a bit of the FHE lesson and was able to open up a dialogue with her. We have an "open door policy", so nothing was off limits. She was a bit reluctant at first, and she was embarrassed a few times, but we discussed a lot of things and I made sure that she knew NOT to talk to her friends about something as sacred as procreation.
I am hoping that my kids realize that they can come to us when they hear things. Here's to hoping...