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The Talk

My best friend told me about how babies were conceived when I was in the 5th grade.  In the same paragraph, she also spilled the beans about Santa Claus.

It was a bad, bad day.

I was more devastated about Santa Claus, but I ran inside to quiz my mother about the whole babies thing.  That FREAKED me out.  A southern belle, she did her best to maintain her composure while she explained things.  Using generic terms and keeping information to a minimum.  While wringing her hands.

I think she was holding out until my school showed “The Movie”.  Which sadly, I kept missing because we moved around over the next few years.

Fast forward a hundred years, and I must have figured things out because I have these 3 children. Two are of the girl variety.  One is 10, and is in need of vital prepubescent information.

I’ve shared with her about pending menstruation.  She turned pale and slid down the wall.  That one will have to be sedated when she starts her period.  So will I.

Now we’ve reached the time when I need to have “the talk” with her.  Since we homeschool, we’ve been able to really control what information she receives when we feel she’s ready.

I’m looking for a good resource in the form of a tape or DVD series, to help me guide her through this important time.  I’ve heard that Focus on the Family has a good series, but I’d love to know what other moms in the trenches of tweendom have used.

Do you let the schools handle that information?  Or do you fly by the seat of your pantyhose?  Or have you found that structured information in the form of an outside source is best?


29 Responses to The Talk

  • Ok I have mixed comments here. First is…I had to have the talk with our 9 year old son! I know Dad should have done it but I did it. I bought a book several years ago just for this and it went well.
    Second is…HA HA HA HA…Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

  • We also homeschool and knew when she kept asking what “it” was, it was time to chat. I read a few books from the christian bookstore and tried to remain calm when she asked very pointed questions. I didn’t want to appear scared – (insert nervous laughter), they sense fear.

    I am planning to go through Passport to Purity with them as well. Good luck!

  • I have nothing to offer here. While I have 3 children and 2 are girls, none of them, thank God, are old enough for this yet. The oldest just turned 5 so I have a few more years. However, I would love to know what you end up using, how it goes, and any suggestions you have for those of us who aren’t there yet but will be all too soon. Good luck! You have my prayers.

  • passport2purity by family life today. 🙂

  • I was six when a girl at school told a joke I didn’t understand. I asked my parents to explain it and they sat me and my 4yo sister down with a book (child appropriate, but not really best for a 6 & 4yo). That was the last conversation we had about “it” until I started my period…at which point I was handed a box of tampons and instructions and left to myself. Needless to say, I was a very confused individual when I got married and my dh had his work cut out for him. But we have 4 kids now and I must have learned a thing or two. My two oldest are boys and are 8 & 6, so I have been deflecting questions until dh is ready to take the reigns. I’ve looked into the Passport to Purity and some of Focus on the Family’s stuff. I will probably look to that when the girls are old enough, but for now I am just dreading the day when I can no longer deflect. Good luck! I’d love to know what you decide and how it goes!

  • The God’s Design for Sex series is really good, and not very expensive. There are 4 books, I think, at different age levels. Not too many pictures, even in the younger books.

    And the American Girls “The Care and Keeping of You” book is awesome for girls for the puberty talk – there’s no sex talk in it, so if you just need to cover girl issues without going that far, it’s an excellent resource.

  • I like an ongoing conversation. I don’t think any kid (or parent) really covers all of the questions they have in ONE “talk”. You have to keep on talking about it. And it gets a litttttle bit easier, but it’s still… interesting each time. Also, I keep all 3 kids in the room or answer questions in front of everyone so that the embarrassment level is less for each kid. I hope that by the time my 3rd is 10 or so, she’ll actually KNOW all of the “Sex stuff” from the talks I keep having with her brothers.

  • My now 12 year old daughter cried when I had the talk with her. She bitterly exclaimed, “I want to have kids, but I am NOT doing THAT!” She was so disappointed. So good luck! 🙂
    I liked several books by Vicki Courtney. She offers a wonderful cool, hip, AND Godly perspective on things. Trust me I have learned the foundation you lie when they are 10, is SO helpful when they are 12.
    Here is one of the links

  • Evan (then 7) started wondering about how Baby Jesus got here because I had all c-sections and he was pretty sure the stable wasn’t equipped with an operating table!

    It was a short jump (which spanned a year of beating around the bush) from how babies get out to how they get in. My husband sat him down and just told him the basics.

    I would LOVE for my husband to take him on a little “guy trip” and listen to Focus’s “Preparing for Adolescence”.

    Check your library or Christian book store for the book “The Chicken’s Guide To Talking Turkey With Your Kids About Sex”. Our church’s family pastor gave this to us when Evan turned nine. It’s a Kevin Lehman book, so you know it’s practical and funny!

  • Interesting, I never understood why it’s such a big deal with some parents. I grew up in a open family. No question was a big deal, and always answered in an honest age appropriate way. In someways I think maybe I was too prepared. I knew everything and anything before I got married and there was nothing to discover on my own. I suppose if your going to fall in the ditch, too much info is better than not enough. I agree with the ongoing conversation post, nothing can be absorbed in one sitting. We only fly by the seat of our pants for now. We’ll see when our kids get older…

  • I don’t remember sitting down to have “the talk” the way my mother did–who decided to tell me everything when my older sister started asking questions–i really did not care– anyway…i gave her bits and pieces of information as she asked about them or I thought the time appropriate, like if something came up on TV or a movie. I do remember every one of those conversations also talking about respect for yourself, privacy, control over your own body, and what she saw on TV and movies was not real life.

  • We, like Alyson, have set up our house to be an ongoing open conversation, answering the questions asked as they come up. And believe me, with 2 boys and a girl, those questions about body, appropriate touch, manners and touching, etc have come up…and at an early age. We knew we had to have the “Good Touch, Bad Touch” talk after a very eventful bath time between our oldest son and our daughter. After she got a handful of her brother in the tub, we ceased with shared bath time and had a brief chat about touch and respect and the like.

    We also have 2 books on our bookshelf that are about “How babies are made”. We don’t make a big deal of them, and they are accessible to our children. For a long time one of the books was preferred “reading” for our daughter. Hopefully we will continue to be able to be as open, honest and unflappable when we have to go through the talk with our children.

    Good luck. My prayers are with you.

  • We homeschool also, so our now 13 is pretty sheltered. She was 9 or 10 when it was time for our “talk.”

    I waited until her dad was at work (no siblings at that time to interrupt, either) and sat down at the table with her.

    I’ll be honest, I was dreading it. But what really helped was the fact that she was so mortified. She was completely freaked out about what I had told her it honestly made it easier for me. I gave her as much info as she needed then. She got the basics and maybe a little more. I think I cut it short because she was having such a hard time.

    *What made it really great was my getting unexpectedly pregnant not long after that. All I could think of was, “Crap! She knows how this happened!” Thankfully, she never mentioned it.

  • My boys surprised me when I was pregnant last year with in depth discussions about how babies are born, and I mean in depth. They talked about pushing and babies coming out of mommy and c sections and….So we sat down and talked about it. They haven’t yet asked how the baby got in there and at 5 and 6 I don’t think they really need to know.
    We are pretty open though and have open discussions all the time. I don’t believe in hiding things from them or sheltering them, I was so shelterred that when I started to experiment I really went overboard because I wanted to know more.

  • Good article here on the subject: http://momsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/11/so-a-few-weeks-ago.html
    I want this lady to come speak to my Mother of Multiples Group!

  • Our two older girls (now 18 and 13) got their first Talk when they turned 10. We celebrated the “double digit” birthday as a family, then I took the birthday girl to a nice nearby hotel. We ordered room service dessert, swam in the pool, watched a kid-friendly pay-per-view movie and then slept in the next day. We ordered room service breakfast and while we ate, I initiated The Talk. I mostly asked leading questions and encouraged her to ask me anything she wanted to. The breakfast was leisurely and intimate. We ended with a sweet time of prayer for the girl, her future, our family and her future husband. Then we checked out, got pedicures and went home.

    Since then, we’ve had many Talks as friends and relatives get married and as some become parents without benefit of matrimony. I’ve read Passion and Purity with the oldest girl. The 13yo will read it with me when she’s 15 or so.

    When each girl menstruated for the first time, I took her out for tea to celebrate. I want them to cherish their femininity and be grateful for how their bodies are made. Participating with God in the bringing forth of an eternal soul is such a privilege! The inconvenience and discomfort of monthly cycles serve as reminders to always treat others as gently as you need to be treated during that time.

    Best to you, DeeDee, and to your little lady-in-waiting!

  • I have used this:

    It has a Christian slant, can be read to a child at two levels (large print, simple words for younger kids, then additional smaller words for older kids who are ready for more details). I also appreciate that it covers adoption as one of the ways to come into a family, including mentioning that Jesus was in a way adopted by his earthly father.

    Mary, mom to 10

  • When my son was 9, and an avid sports fan, Magic Johnson came out with his sex life and all that ESPN (thought that was sports?) could talk about was His Problem. Well, my son said “mamma, what IS HIV and how did he get it?” His dad was out of town for a week on a business trip, and in a nano-second my brain weighed my two options: Be honest and tell him or say “ask your dad” and never expect your son to ever confide in you again. I went with option A and probably did a lot of hand-wringing. By the end the predictable reaction was “EEEWWWWWW, GROSSSSSS” but over the years, he’s been really open to confide in me with just about every “crisis” he’s faced (he’s 28). I just prayed and asked the Lord to give me the right words and let them fly. He learned all the rest from his friends in the locker room, which IS going to happen, but he got the biblical foundation from me. I’m thankful for the opportunity now.

  • Great timing, I JUST had this chat last night! I second the recommend for the American Girl book “The Care and Keeping of You”. It does not cover sex, but just about everything else. Would you believe homeschoolshare.com has a lapbook for it? The boy version is “The Boys Body Book”. Both good for getting the basics of puberty covered in a factual, not freaky way.

  • We used these books: http://www.amazon.com/gp/series/302?ie=UTF8&edition=paperback

    They are the God’s Design for s** books. They were really helpful and we edited a little when reading them until we felt like our boys were ready for all the information. It was great to a guidline to go by. I also read Kevin Leman’s book: A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey with Your Kids About S**.

    Hope this helps

  • Oh, Goodness!

    I have only boys. . .

    The S*X question was asked when my eldest was 4. He is now permanently scarred for life. (We were so niave, we actually, you know, answered his question — as in FULL disclosure.)

    My second child was only 2 at that time, and he had to be re-informed sometime later. I’m not saying he’s scarred for life, but whenever the topic comes up he talks about how “the Mommy and Daddy love each other very much, and they go have a long chat. . .”

    (er, he was obviously mis-informed on the length part. . .)


    Good luck to ya! All I can say, in all sincerity, is it’s best done like a fancy French meal — many small courses, over a good deal of time.

    Oh, and my two youngest boys are still good with Santa, so we aren’t going to have any other conversations before that one!

  • I have the perfect book at home (am on vacation) but cannot remember the title. Used to leave it laying around the house for the kids to “accidentally” find and read….

    Like Kelly above, my oldest son asked me the same question when Magic Johnson came out with HIV….and was ready.

    My philosophy has always been “if they ask the questions, they are ready for the answer…”

  • Hi DeeDee:

    Always remember:


    Don’t stress yourself out over this!
    You can certainly answer her questions without getting graphic – you know G-rated answers!

    My personal belief would be for her to hear it from you. Don’t rush into it – believe me I have two grown daughters, one married with 2 children. It will work out fine.

    One thing: We did not promote dating with out kids. Mike Farris from HSLDA wrote a good article – I read A LONG time ago about courtship and his experience with his daughters – it was very good.

    A lot of information is just not necessary until AFTER marriage.

    That is my two cents for what it is worth – GOOD LUCK!!! Rhonda

  • I am taking notes, ladies! Our sheltered/home schooled 10 yo son is ready for a bit more information, since all his friends know more than he does about these matters.

  • My daughters, now 15, 13, and 10, were all given the talk at the same time. That was probably about 2 years ago. I always thought I would try to go the special mom-daughter date night route with them. Ha! Who was I kidding? That’s not really how I am. I ended up starting a discussion with them while we were driving to the grocery store. They took it in a very matter of fact way (and we didn’t have to LOOK at each other.) It worked for us.
    I would say you need to do what you feel most comfortable with. If that means using a resource, do it. I’m blessed in that a close family friend (they call her Aunt Donna) works for a teenage abstinence program, and so there have been many talks with her as well. And she’s an “expert” on talking to kids about that stuff! Phew. Saved my butt from having to discuss some stuff I’m not even comfortable with.

  • We start with The Wonderful Way Babies are Made when they’re 8 or 9 years old. When they’re 11 or 12, we do Passport to Purity (3 times so far with our boys), which has been GREAT. I am so thankful for P2P are that we’ve been able to do those weekends.

    My older daughter is 10 now and probably about ready to go through The Care and Keeping of You. I’m also going to look into more of Vicki Courtney’s materias; I loved 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter and Your Girl.

  • I have to 3rd the American Girl’s “Care and Keeping of You”. Not only does it talk about puberty, but it also talks about the importance of hygiene. It really does motivate girls to start being more aware of their body and respecting it.

    On a second note, try to only give your daughter the basic nescessities about sex. I’m 13 and I know WAY more than I EVER wanted to know until after I’m married. Most tv shows talk about it, magazines talk about it, and most importantly, my public school friends talk about it. Answer questions, but no more. I’m sure she’ll appreciate it =) Good luck!

  • We started before “the class” at school. She was 10 and we started with the Care and Keeping of You. It’s a great book. The actual sex talk started when we were swimming at the beach and she looked at me and asked what sex is. She has since decided she’s disgusted with it and will adopt all children. Today, my baby at 11 yrs old, started her cycle. We’ve had a lot of tears. She cried too. LOL.

    We try to remain open. But I’m taking notes on book ideas from these comments. I can use all the help I can get.

  • ***jamming fingers in my ears and singing “lalalalalalalaa”***