Leslie, “We had the sex talk. I was very open about condoms, and bought them for him.” Tip #8
Similar to most strong Moms, Leslie admits to feeling like the weight of the world was on her shoulders, when it came to parenting. She was quick to blame herself whenever things were ‘tangled.’
Leslie and I shared a lot of parenting practices. In our home, we too talked openly about sex. I think the discussion should start at around age 5, and it did with us.
One governing guideline is to talk in an age appropriate way. I’m not so sure I nailed that. It’s especially important to remember, the “Sex Talk” is not about what YOU are comfortable with. It is about educating your child in a core area of their life and future.
I remember when I was explaining things to Michael, vividly. He came home from school and said, “This kid said you have to be naked to make a baby.” I knew it was time.
I gently began to explain the details, cautiously yet uncomfortably. I told Michael about the mechanics of things. I can still see his wide eyes as he said, “You guys don’t do that though! Right?!”
This is the exact moment I went off course. On the one hand, I do believe in parenting truthfully. It is my foundation. I wanted him to trust my information and to count on me; however, when his eyes went dark I knew I went too far.
I said sheepishly, “Well, yes we do.” Oh my! It was as if a little piece of him died.
I could almost see his brain shut down. I knew in the moment it was too much information, ‘TMI’ as the kids say nowadays.
In hindsight, I’m not sure what I’d advise. I guess, he knew and I vowed, I would tell him the truth even if it hurt. Maybe if I said, “No,” he would have eventually learned different. I’m not sure. In the end, the trick would be, stop talking before their eyes go black, and their brain appears to shut down.
Following that piece of truth, the conversation came to an abrupt end. I then went to Big Mike, reported the incident and told him to handle it. ☺
In Michael’s early teens, I provided condoms and literature. They were under the bathroom sink, promising no-questions-asked. With this announcement, his eyes started to fade once again. I took the cue and quickly added, “For your friends if they need them.”
I like to think this was a nice, non-threatening approach. I was happy to provide condoms to the entire neighborhood, even though we couldn’t afford them.
I never did have to replenish the box.