Sunday, October 21, 2012 • 5:02 AM Comments (21)

Talking to Kids About S*x--Start Early, Talk Often

posted by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

[Admin note: words have been obscured only because of an overload of spam commentary attached to this post.]

“Girls have tiny, tiny, teeny-tiny p*****s.” –Saskia, four-and-a-half

She went on to say, “That’s what a v****a is, a teeny-tiny p***s.” She has three big brothers and she’s comfortable to squat to pee behind a tree when nature calls, so you know, for a four-and-a-half year-old, I think we’re okay.

Given that I’ve raised a few preschoolers now here’s where I am when it comes to talking about s*x. I start early. No, I don’t just bring up s*x out of the blue. I do use the correct names for body parts and I don’t shy away from the more complicated words like uterus or ovary. I don’t quiz my small—or bigger—children about them, but I’m happy to answer any question. Discussions are welcome. I have books—for small kids and for teens—and rather than foist them upon the kids, I make sure they are easily accessible. Hint: you want to know about Robie Harris’ books. You also want to know about S*x: A Book for Teens: An Uncensored Guide to Your Body, S*x, and Safety. Our copy of the teenagers’ guide sits amongst the picture books at the moment (you do not have to do that; I’m not advocating specific placement). Okay, I did insist my kids (when they got old enough) read both Then Again Maybe I Won’t and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

Here’s what I think: s*xuality is an important part of our identities. Embracing our children—at all stages, including the ones when their sense of themselves as s*xual beings emerges—is what we parents are supposed to do. I also believe that knowledge is power. And that openness means your child has the best chance to ask questions—and get that knowledge. I want my children to be powerful agents in their lives, including the s*x lives. I want them to plan families rather than have life just happen because they didn’t know or were afraid to ask or afraid to assert their wishes.

Does this mean that my kids heard the full one-minute version of what a period is if they happened upon evidence of my periods? Yes, it does—and I guarantee you my speedy, detailed description complete with words like uterine lining went whoosh right over their cute little heads. It also means that as they got old enough to actually discuss reproductive biology, I was game. I’m glad that Planned Parenthood named this month one to talk to teens about s*x.

The core message about this push is that teens say parents are influential in their decisions about whether—and when—to have s*x and that teens whose parents encourage openness and will support them in their choices are much more likely to obtain and use birth control.

One piece of advice the Planned Parenthood folks offer that I have most certainly said verbatim over the years to friends who ask: It’s not “the talk” you’re trying to engineer. It’s many talks you must continue to have—over time, across developmental stages. It’s… talking.


Note: As a reproductive justice advocate, who happens to love ceramics, I am also completely besotted by Gemma Farrell’s work. I saw it at Pinch Gallery--and even got to meet the artist!

Comments (21)
Post a Comment

Great job, Sarah. For folks who are interested, I would add Deb Roffman's new book, Talk To Me First: Everything You Need To Know To Become Your Kid's Go-To Person About S*x to the resource list. No nonsense approach, excellent developmental perspective and intentionally located in the media-saturated reality of children and teens in 2012. As parents we cannot pretend that our children aren't just one mouse- click away from p*rn, which is increasingly the new normal.

Posted by Jennifer Bryan on 10.21.12 at 8:49

Hopefully that you’ve written may be more advantageous to continue to write your messages.

Posted by sheone on 11.15.12 at 3:45

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. Tarot Card Reader Online

Posted by thetarotexpert on 1.11.13 at 21:43

HI! you A great post. I thought it was a boring old post, but it really made me change my thought. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will locate that extremely useful ..
Business Letter template

Posted by Mr.Tonny on 1.19.13 at 9:09

  • Im slightly sure I will be explained a number of brand new stuff most beneficial right here! Good fortune for the following! raw food
  • Posted by pariasid on 1.22.13 at 8:24

    squat to pee behind a tree when nature calls, so you know, for a four-and-a-half year-old, I think we’re okay.Kids

    Posted by uday on 1.22.13 at 9:05

    Available these days on the net on best deals, your new Oakley Australia as well as improved appear is only a disappear Free Gift Cards

    Posted by pariasid on 1.23.13 at 0:24
    hen night badges

    It is a good information on the revised act and i feel pleased to get this information. Thanks for the wonderful presentation of data. Regards

    Posted by sheone on 1.23.13 at 0:49

    A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. Free Samples By Mail

    Posted by pariasid on 1.23.13 at 3:30

    This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog. Free Macbook Pro Retina

    Posted by pariasid on 1.23.13 at 4:18

    Hi and first of all thanks to you for your sharing this great info – I have definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise several technical points using your blog, as I experienced to reload the web site very slow and some time it takes a lot of time. This is my friendly suggestion to you to change your service provider as I have also open to and ots really fast as compare to your service provider, Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content. Ensure that you update this again very soon.

    Posted by mobile on 1.24.13 at 10:27

    Completely a wonderful article. You did a marvelous job. Thank you for taking this demand connected with previously mentioned reviewed theme. We are happy that we found ones article as well as the information which you talk about from the article within is fantastic. These records they can be handy for anybody. Keep the good work going. <a href="">alex mercer costume</a>

    Posted by Clover Rayan on 3.3.13 at 12:00

    You made a great point in this post. I just spent some time reading all your posts and I must say you are a genius who always throws out smart opinions. Now you have me as your loyal reader. Keep writing great posts. I am looking forward to them. Thank you.

    <h1><a href="">how to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks</a></h1>

    Posted by boskete on 3.5.13 at 13:27

    This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this..

    Posted by Dallas Computer Repair on 3.8.13 at 8:15

    Yeah you are quite right i think you have provided some good information in your post. Thanks

    Posted by Monster Truck Games on 3.8.13 at 8:25

    I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

    by Logan Bates
    Posted by sheone on 3.23.13 at 11:40

    Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here.

    Posted by Video Salento on 3.24.13 at 15:50

    Agreed, you cannot just have one talk.. Of course there needs to be the inital talk but that then lead to an open channel of communication. Which to my mind is far more important. Letting your kids know they can ask you just about anything is the best!

    Posted by Eric Savourdi on 4.6.13 at 18:36

    What an awesome blog post. And yes its true. My parents began talking to me about sex at age 12, today Im 21 and have no kids, and use protection regularly. It's important YOU talk to them, before someone ELSE talks to them.

    Posted by Buy Youtube Views on 5.23.13 at 13:43

    Thank you for some other informative website. The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such a perfect method? I have a venture that I am simply now running on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such info.

    <a title="pc games free download" href="">pc games free download</a>
    Posted by uali20 on 12.5.13 at 11:30



    New User/Guest?

    Find it Here:
    search type:
    search in:

    « Previous   |   Next »
    « Most Recent Post
    « Permalink
    Print Email RSS feed

    OCTOBER 2012
    S M T W T F S
      1 2 3 4 5 6
    7 8 9 10 11 12 13
    14 15 16 17 18 19 20
    21 22 23 24 25 26 27
    28 29 30 31      
    Copyright © 2014 by The Valley Advocate.