Friday, August 2, 2013

Honest talk

We were at the museum today, and I took both kids into the ladies' restroom. We had it all to ourselves. As we were getting ready to leave, Zoodle pointed at the dispenser on the wall and said, "What does T-A-M-P-O-N-S spell?" I told him, and then explained what tampons and pads are used for.

I'd previously told him a little about women's menstrual cycles, and he accepted my simple explanation today with no embarrassment or awkwardness. It was just a conversation about something he didn't know about, and he didn't react any differently than he would have if we'd been discussing China, or spiders, or toenails.

I found myself so glad that we've been open about "taboo" subjects from early on. We haven't gone into detail on everything; we try to give age-appropriate explanations. (They've heard from me that a little bit of daddy and a little bit of mommy join to make a baby, but they don't yet know exactly how that's accomplished!) Because I try to answer their questions without embarrassment, they don't think there's any reason to be uncomfortable with sensitive topics.

I don't always navigate these difficult waters with ease! Recently the word "s-ex" came out of Zoodle's mouth in a way that was totally inappropriate for a five-year-old, because I hadn't adequately monitored his media. (I'd put an app on my tablet that I thought just had innocent sound effects on it, not realizing it had clips of very adult songs on it too.) I felt like a terrible mom, overreacted, and made way too big of a deal about it. Now I'm trying to fix that by being open (in an age-appropriate way) about the word s-ex, so that he doesn't think it's a bad word and isn't scared to use it around me. (Pardon the hyphen inside that word; I'm trying to avoid being found in certain Google searches!)

In general, my kids seem to feel very comfortable asking me questions that I want them to ask me (because I'd prefer they get the information from me rather than someone else!) I sure hope it stays that way as they get older.


Unknown said...

I like your method of giving honest answers to topics that are usually taboo. Having that knowledge will allow them to understand and make better choices when they get older.

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