I have been looking for an opportunity to discuss sex with Rhys (our ten year old) and this weekend the moment arrived.
In April Landy and I attended a seminar on "How to talk to your kids about sex."
I knew that we needed to be proactive parents but the words that were needed eluded me constantly. The seminar was really informative and scary, they suggested age 8 was a good time to start the talks, we were already behind! As we left the information session I looked at Landy and said "Well this one is up to you, good luck!" and I left it at that.
Throughout the summer I have asked Landy if he had a chance to talk with Rhys and sadly Landy seemed at a loss on how to begin the conversation. Possibly being the third boy in a family of four meant that the talk had just been passed down from brother to brother. By age 13 Landy's father had died and maybe he never got the talk (I should have asked him that). I know in my house the talk happened at 18 and I had already learned more from MuchMusic than anything my parents shared with me.
This weekend Rhys and I were driving and were in the car together for half an hour, this seemed the perfect opportunity to touch on the subject.
I started with the topic of body changes: perfectly normal, nothing to be afraid of, sometimes confusing and he could always talk to us. I outlined how boys and girls bodies change and briefly on why they change.
Then I moved onto the touchy subject of Touching. The butterflies in my stomach could have lifted me off the ground. I talked to him about the importance of loving and respecting someone and how at times peer pressure and hormonal urges would make it hard to make good decisions but that I knew he could. I thought I did a good job talking about sex without going over his head. Rhys even shared with me that he had a crush on a girl in his class but that he did not want to kiss her. Turns out he is not interested in that yet, PHEW!
When I was done talking about sex I asked Rhys if he had any questions, he instantly came back and said "Mom, what do you do if your body likes one girl and your head likes another?" GULP! (in my head I am screaming go with the one you like with the head on your shoulders son!) I should have left this too Landy, what was I thinking?
"Well Rhys, if you like a girl with your body, you probably do not know her well, therefore you cannot love and respect her and that is important in relationships, if you just like her with your body, you only like one thing about her. If you like a girl with your head, you like everything about her, that is the basis of a loving and long relationship." Secretly I am thinking 'TOO SOON!'
"That is what I thought too mom." Thank goodness! A point for mom and a point for son who had a great question even if I could have waited 8 more years for that question.
This weekend it became clear that my baby is growing up before my eyes, but this weekend I realized that if he can handle that responsibility, maybe so can I.