Sex Ed | Giftie Etcetera: Sex Ed

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sex Ed

I've vigorously started teaching Ander about his body parts, and mommy's body parts, and the difference between boys and girls. We use the real names, but use of nicknames is acceptable in my home, too. For now, if he says "penis" randomly and in public, I'll just laugh. Eventually, I'll teach him that conversations about private parts are saved for appropriate times and places. (Okay in sex ed class or asking mommy a question, but not okay with your classmate at school.)

Alan seems to be dealing with the names of body parts okay.

But, whoa, he freaks out when mommy tells Ander what the parts do. :) I explained that Ander gets his milk from the frig, but babies get milk from a bottle or mommy's boobies. (I taught breasts, too, but Ander uses the word boobies for whatever reason.) Ander asked if daddy had a baby. No, only girls can have a baby, and only after they are grown-ups. (I know there are exceptions, but he's just not ready to appreciate them, yet.) But daddies don't have babies?

So I answered, honestly. Only mommies can have a baby. But boys have a penis. A penis can be used to pee pee, or, when you are grown up, to help a mommy make a baby.

I don't think he understands that yet, of course. But it's true, and a fair thing to say.

Alan thinks I tell him too much. (He doesn't think it so hard that he argues or stops me. Instead, he just rolls his eyes.)

I always wonder why more parents don't just tell their kids the truth about body parts and what they do. I hope, of course, that it's many, many years before Ander uses his parts for anything other than pee pee. (But if the pee pee gods could please intervene and make him want to pee pee in the toilet, the intervention would be much appreciated. Thanks so much, pee pee gods.) But I don't see how keeping the fact that penises are involved in baby-making helps him. After all, should he hear it for the first time from his fifth-grade classmate? Or not hear it at all, and accidentally make a baby? Or, the worse scenario I can imagine, think that daddies have no role in making their babies? No, that would be wrong.



Stac Cole said...

Well, I would think that for the same reasons I don't want the 8th graders at school explaining to my 5th grader about all this stuff, how would you feel if Ander came home in kindergarten after a child was telling him about sex. While he's definitely old enough to somewhat understand, I don't think it's fair to think that he will be socially ready to NOT talk about that kind of stuff with other kids. THEN you'll have a whole lot of explaining to do....

Other than that, I particularly don't feel like my 5 year old should be walking around knowing what all of his parts can do. I don't think that just because we don't explain all the details to kids that they go around thinking that only mommies can make babies. There are ways of explaining things to kids without telling them all these grown up things or even outright lying to them. I just don't think they need to learn or understand the entire process before they are mature enough to understand what it all means not only physically but emotionally too.


Giftie Etcetera said...

Stac - I suspect your point of view is more reflective of society as a whole than mine. This is the one area where I firmly acknowledge I'm one of those out-there, kooky parents. LOL.

Although, should Ander get caught telling any kindergartener about sex, he'll be in BIG TROUBLE MISTER! Hopefully, by the time he starts school, that will be clear.

Mamaebeth said...

hey, you should come with us next time we go to the zoo. :)

Beorn said...

Topics like sex a body parts are fraught with emotion, morality, social beliefs, and the like. And the thing is, they wouldn't be such ridiculously weighty matters at all if adults would just get over their silly neuroses.

We're matter-of-fact with young children about the "magic" of poop disappearing down the toilet, and most of the time we completely take for granted the fact that young children can tell that Elmo doesn't actually live inside the television. And yet the mundane nature of a penis is somehow taboo, supposedly because it's somehow both mind-blowingly complex and wholly inappropriate knowledge? How sadly, pitifully, puke-inducingly Victorian.

And yes, this is just my opinion. But it wouldn't be a problem if the other adults in the world weren't horrified by and ashamed of their dumb, boring reproductive organs. I mean, really.

Giftie Etcetera said...

I agree with most of what you said, Beorn - not that I could even say it so eloquently! But if you think those parts are boring, you might be doing it wrong. ;) LOL.

fairyhedgehog said...

My boys are grown up now. I'm glad I talked to them about sex when they were little because they clammed up as they got older.

I was told: answer their questions. So I did. But I made sure that I provoked a lot of questions too. E.g. son says: "A willy is for weeing" and I say, "Yes, that's one of the things it's for". Now I think I'd do like you and go straight ahead and explain things. If kids don't want to know, they change the subject or wander off.

At eight, my son asked me what a condom was and I told him. He said, "I thought so, I wanted to check." He'd been told about it in the playground. I think if I'd been less open with him he might have been too embarrassed to check with me and I'd never have known what was being talked about in the playground.

Both boys went through a stage of mostly grunting rather than talking, starting around age 13 or 14 and lasting for at least a couple of years. All my friends boys did the same: I think it's normal development. So there's no point thinking you will be able talk to them at that age.

Oh, and one of my sons talks very frankly to me now and the other less so. They do come through the silent phase but you need to have talked to them before then, I think.