Talking about the birds and the bees
I stared at the letter on my counter with dread. I knew what it contained. A notification letter informing parents that our children will be watching the maturation video in physical education class. Something must be amiss because my daughter is too little to watch a sex ed. video.
My delusions about my daughter still being a little girl notwithstanding, the letter was there in black and white. Next week my daughter would be herded into a classroom with the other girls in her class and watch a dated video on sex ed. At the same time the boys will be shown the video in a different classroom. At least they show them the videos separately.
Too make matters worse parents were invited to watch the video first. So off I went to the school at the scheduled date and time. It was a little strange as we waited for the video to start. I was taken aback that there were so few parents there but at the same time pleased because I was beginning to feel a little embarrassed. Thank goodness only one dad came. The video was okay but pretty dated circa 1985 I would guess. At first it went over girl body parts and getting your period. Then it talked about boy body parts and erections and wet dreams. There was a full on diagram of an erect penis. I noticed I was not the only parent embarrassed in the room. Many parents were giggling and texting friends, basically acting like children. If this is how adults act I can only imagine how our kids were going to react while watching the movie.
My baby was going to see a picture of a penis! I just can’t comprehend how she got so old. Time marches on so fast I can barely keep up. I had plans for motherhood. I was going to talk to my daughter about getting her period and sex before she heard it about it at school from a video or even worse from her friends. My daughter and I were going to have an open and honest relationship about sex and I would now the perfect time to discuss it with her. I was going to be Elyse Keaton from Family Ties. The super cool mom who handled every situation with class and who talked openly and honest with Jennifer and Mallory.
Well once again I need to remind myself that life is not a sitcom and I will never be Elyse Keaton. Instead of talking to my daughter about these difficult topics I have stuck my head in the sand and avoided it all together. I had made good plans but had no idea how to execute them. I do not find it as easy to broach these topics with my daughter as I thought it would be. It still isnt’ easy but it is something I needed to tackle and sooner than later. I am foolish to think that she and her friends aren’t talking about it.
Truthfully I am only doing a disservice to my daughter by not telling her about periods, sex, and pregnancy. It is so important that she knows about her body and sex. As much as I never ever want to think about her having sex the bottom line is one day she will have sex. I have to make sure the information she is getting about sex is from me. My job as her mom is to make sure she knows the facts before I let her out there into the world of dating. And if time keeps marching on so fast it will be that time before I know it.
More so now than ever this is so important because in todays society we take teen moms and turn them into celebrities. As well as so much sex on tv, music, videos and the internet. It is imperative that I teach her the values I have about sex. How important it is to wait until your old enough and responsible enough to make the decision to have sex.
As parents we struggle with what is right and how much and when to tell our children about life. When it comes to sex education the truth is we need to talk to our children sooner than later. I know we don’t want them to grow up but unfortunately I haven’t figured out a way to keep them little forever! Time to embrace this new tween era with our children.
Jennifer can also be found at Mommy Day by Day!