You just never know when a teaching opportunity might pop up when you least expect it. My sister lived overseas in Indonesia for many years and occasionally would have a lizard pop up in her toaster along with her toast. What a surprise! The little lizards would crawl on her counters and on her appliances and then fall in the toaster. She never knew they were there until they popped up with her toast. Recently I had a conversation with my son that just sort of “popped up”. He has to wear a sports cup for baseball now and so we had to buy a new one cuz he grew out of his old one! He was trying on the new one (at home, of course!) and then began to strut around the room commenting on how big his penis looked with the cup on (and the cup underwear that came with it). I did take that opportunity to remind him that we keep our privates covered up and that nobody touches them. When I said “privates”, he said, “I think it’s funny how on Dude Perfect, Ty calls them “goodies” and how other people call it “junk”. My daughter, who overheard the conversation in another room, came in and told Ben a few more slang words for penis and I was wholeheartedly shocked that she knew them. But it led to an opportunity to talk to my kids about several things. #1: I reminded them that we keep our goodies covered up because God made them special so they need to be treated with respect. #2: I reminded them that no one touches our junk except occasionally a doctor and mom should be in the room. #3: These moments are great opportunities to remind boys that they don’t need to touch their privates…(conditioning our bodies and brains by our own stimulation can lead to other issues later). #4: I reminded them that in our house, we use the proper terminology and not slang words. (I did tell them that goodies and junk were ok to use.) I told my kids, “Imagine how odd it would sound if our pediatrician said, ‘Ok , I need to take a look at your winkie now'”. My son decided that would be really weird. There will be people who call our privates slang names, some even sound vulgar, but those are not names that our family uses. You might have an inappropriate picture pop up on your media device or even a magazine with a woman scantily dressed. Take these opportunities to talk modesty and have a conversation about pornography. Start with telling your kids what porn is so they know it when they see it. Once your kids are in middle school, talk about the exploitation of women..that’s really what porn is. You will have so many opportunities to talk to your kids about sexuality and down the road your conversations will be much tougher and perhaps more uncomfortable. You must build a foundation whenever possible. You may say that your kids are shy or quiet or simply just not interested in talking to you about sexuality, but I assure you that they are talking to someone. SO use those “pop up” moments every chance you get.
TIP: You may need to create some “pop up” moments with some of your introverted kids. For example,leave your box of tampons out on your counter and start a conversation.Use your friends’ kids…”Have any of your friends started their periods?” “How do you feel about that?” Are you nervous, scared, excited?” The American Girl (as in the dolls) have several books you can read together. There are even good books at the local library too. Walk through a sporting goods store and stop at the cup section with your son. Ask your son what words he has heard other kids use for their privates. Boys don’t always like to talk eye to eye about this subject so bringing it up in the car can be more comfortable because you don’t have to look at each other face to face.
posted by AMY in Sex Education