Monday, July 8, 2013

I survived "The Talk" with my pre-teen!

A few days ago as our family walked through Busch Gardens theme park, my 10-year-old son casually asked me, “Mom, what’s the difference between sex and pregnancy?”

I had always said I would have “The Talk” with my kids when they turned 10—double digits—because that’s about when the hormones begin and when they start hearing about it from their friends.

Sure enough, it turns out my son recently spent the night at a friend’s house, and that friend told him some half-information about sex based on “stuff he learned in a class at school” and probably some stuff he learned on the Internet as well.

I wasn’t prepared to have The Talk in a busy theme park, so I told my son we’d talk about it later that night. Then later that night I told him I was tired and we’d talk about it tomorrow. The next day slipped away from me too, and at bedtime when he asked to talk I said, “Tomorrow for sure.” His obvious interest in the topic was making him itchy because the next morning he asked if he could Face Time me at work to have The Talk to be sure I didn’t forget. I laughed, “I will not be having that talk in my work office, but I PROMISE we’ll have it tonight.”

At home after work, I prepped dinner, put it in the oven, set the timer for 50 minutes and told my son to meet me in the bedroom to talk privately (away from his 8-year-old sister). 
I’m not saying the way I had The Talk was the best or the worst. It was just my way. I probably told him more than I had to at his age, but knowing that he’d already learned some things from friends, I wanted to tell him everything before someone else did. In case you’re not there yet and want some guidelines, here’s what we covered. NOTE: I have purposefully misspelled several words in this blog entry so that protective Internet filters don’t block or label it as p0rn0graph1c, as has happened with some of my previous posts that used “inappropriate” words. 

I started by asking him if he had any questions before I began. He stared at me blankly so I said, “You have questions, but you’re too embarrassed to ask them?” He nodded yes. ~sigh~ He’s really going to make me say everything out loud. 

I started with body parts and functions I supposed he didn’t know already: ovaries and eggs, scr0tum vs. seamen vs. spurm, ejacu1ation and wet dreams.

3.     THE HOW OF S3X.
I explained (using proper terminology) how Tab A goes into Slot B and how ejacu1ation during this process can lead to egg and spurm meeting and creating a baby, thus answering his original question:  sex is the act, pregnancy can be the result. I also explained menstruation here.

Like any good mom, I jumped right from how to do it to why you shouldn’t. I mentioned myriad STDs (and their symptoms) by name, starting with the grossest I could think of—genital warts—and finishing with AIDS, which, I explained, when left untreated can lead to death. I offered to show him images on the Internet. He declined. I was grateful to be spared the trauma of looking at chlamydia online with my son. 

Before he was terrified forever, I explained that s3x can be safe with the use of a cond0m. He cocked his head to the side and looked confused, which told me that was one word his “knowledgeable” friend had not shared with him. I likened it to wearing a rubber glove on your hand to protect skin-to-skin contact with the aforementioned diseases. I explained that you can’t trust people who tell you they are STD-free, and to be truly safe you should both be tested at the doctor before you move forward together.

Here is where I also mentioned how un-fun it would be to be a teen dad, no matter what MTV says. 

ME: “Imagine all your buddies join the high school football team but you can’t be because you have to come right home after school to feed and change the baby. Imagine you cannot go to college because you can’t afford it because the baby takes up all your money from your job at Starbucks and besides, you have no one to watch the baby while you’re in class. Not fun, dude, not fun. You don’t even remember to feed your dog every day.” He got the message.

6.     EMOTIONS OF S3X. I stressed that even protected s3x should only be shared between two people who really love each other and are considering marriage because of the strong emotions tied to this act that may change the way he—or his partner—may feel after it has happened. 

7.     KEEP A TIGHT LIP. When he finally does have intercourse, I advised that he should not share that information with any of his friends as it is a private matter. Doing so would be very disrespectful to the girl he was with. I told him that very soon boys in his class will start talking about what they’ve done with specific girls and how rude (and probably false) that kind of talk is.

8.     NO MEANS NO. Though it was probably way too soon to broach this subject, I felt it necessary to be very clear about the definition of rape. I explained that when he was ready to be intimate with a girl, no matter how far down the road they were together, “the girl always has the right to stop it at any time for any reason and you must respect this and stop immediately.”

I tied this into the previous topic by saying that if he was 18 and ended up bragging about being with his 17-year-old girlfriend and her parents found out, they could press charges because she is a minor and he would go to jail as an adult AND be forced to be on a sexual offenders list for the rest of his life. 

9.     KEEP A TIGHT LIP 2. As I rounded out The Talk, I asked my son not to talk about this conversation with any of his friends. “If they have wrong information,” I told him, “you don’t correct them. Just keep quiet and know you know the truth. I don’t need the phone call from your friends’ parents that you were the s3x educator. That’s like telling your friends that Santa isn’t real. That’s not your job.”

10.  FAQs. Finally, he was ready to ask his questions—many of which I didn’t expect like:
     a.    How do you donate sperm?
     b.    What is a whore? Is that the same as a slut?
     c.     What is a hooker?
     d.    What does molest mean?
     e.    Can a man and man/woman and woman have sex? How? Can they have a baby? How?

I answered him, one question at a time, covering everything from surrogates to pimps to homosexual intercourse. I was spent. I finished by thanking him for being brave enough to ask me to talk to him in the first place. 

“You can always come to me with any questions, shady things you hear from friends, problems, fears, worries or whatever and I will listen, be honest with you and help you,” I reassured him. He gave me a hug and a smile and went on his way.

Considering I never got The Talk from my parents, I was pretty proud of myself though I'm still wondering if I left anything important out. Have you had The Talk with your kids? How did it go? Did you share anything different?


  1. Oh my! We had The Talk this past year. My husband handled it mostly. I think what you have outlined above is great! I can't think of anything to add other than you know your kids best and know how to best talk to them. This sounds like a good outline or guideline for parents who aren't sure where to start! Thanks for sharing. xoxo

    1. Thanks, Elle! One down, one to go. I'm much more afraid to talk to my daughter about it all. SO much more at stake, you know?