Saturday, March 12, 2011

Where is Judy Blume when you need her?

So, my oldest daughter is 7, about to be 8 in May. And I'm pretty sure, as hard as I try, I can't keep her from growing up. Which means, having to talk to her about grown up things.

Getting your period. Sex. Where babies come from.

Chances to talk about things have come up before, but not always at the most opportune times. A few weeks ago, we were in the restroom, and before I could flush, she spotted some blood in the toilet. She panicked. Probably convinced that I was going to die, she couldn't understand why there was blood in the toilet. So me, being pretty sure that the bathroom at Schlotzskys isn't the place to explain what a period was, told her that I had a nose bleed and I wasn't going to die.

I had a c-section when I had Ava. So she knows what my scar is from, and tells me "That's where they cut the baby out of you." She asked me if they cut her out of me too, and I said no. And when she asked me how she came out, I told her it was a "different way", all the while panicking inside, just knowing what the next question was going to be.

Then she asked me what we were having for dinner, and the conversation ended.

But I know the day is coming when I'll have to sit her down and explain the facts of life. I dread that talk. Giving too much information, or not giving enough. Possibly scarring her for life and ruining my child.

I remember I started my period when I was 13. I was at home, with nothing to use in the bathroom. And my mother wasn't home. Which meant having to call for my dad and have him bring me a pad from my mom's bathroom. Embarrassed.  Mortified. And I don't want my daughters to have to go thru that.

I don't remember having "the talk" with my mom. I do remember sitting in class, I think in 4th grade or so, and having to watch "that video" about your body. Wanting to watch the video, but not seem too interested, for fear of being a weirdo.

But I don't want to leave the responsibility of teaching my child up to school videos and locker room talk.

For the moms who have had the "talk". What has worked for you? What didn't? How old were your daughters when you did talk to them? Is 7 going on 8 too young, or have I waited too long?


8 people love me:

Athena said... [Reply to comment]

My oldest is nearly 10 and in 5th grade they have a "program" put together one for the boys and one for the girls. I try explaining as best I can about periods and the best explanation about periods that my girls understand is the whole egg concept. They know that we are not the same as chickens, whereas babies grow inside moms and chickens grow in the egg, so they know that when I have my period that there is no baby just like when we eat eggs. It works and it is a fairly accurate description of what really goes on.

I was in 6th grade when I started and being a tom boy I was humiliated and did not go to my mom, She didn't even find out until after a several months, I was using toilet paper, so for me it has been EXTREMELY important to make sure they feel comfortable talking to me. They know that when that day does come that we will have a "Special Day" a party to celebrate women hood. They are stoked about it, because they know it means one on one time with mom and that they get to skip school and do girly things like pedicures, so I know that when the day comes they will talk to me and not be afraid.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

My only daughter just turned 6 so I haven't had to go through this yet {yes, I'm dreading it} BUT I do have friends with older girls and two of them used this book ~ The Ultimate Girls' Guide to Understanding and Caring for Your Body by Isable Lluch ~ they read the books with their daughters and answered questions as they went along. I've looked through it and I plan on using it as well.

Kara said... [Reply to comment]

It's a tricky thing to do - giving them all the information they ask for, but not giving them more than they want. For instance, when my daughter was 4 and asked where babies come from, she got a whole lot less information than when she asked again at 10. Books help. Just don't leave it up to the sex-ed class at school. I remember being given all the information about sperm & eggs - but the teacher left out the crucial part about how they meet! I'm sure you can just imagine the hilarious explanations we came up with on our own!

Lisa Fliehman said... [Reply to comment]

Sorry I can't help you. I have sons and they are almost 18 and 20. Seems like I have been talking to them about everything since they came out of the chute.(taken from tv show Reba)
Good luck and she & you will be fine. We have all lived through it.

It's not a story, it"s my life! said... [Reply to comment]

I have 3 girls and "the talk" never really happened, the eldest asked a lot of questions, that were answered honestly, clearly {age appropriate}
thats, when it's a good time to go into a bit more detail and talk about a few more things linked to the question, as far as periods go, let her see you shopping for pads,and have a talk when putting them away, ask her does she know what they are,some kids know more then you think!! just talk about things when they arrise, also remember ask her where she heard that word/ question from, sometimes what they are asking is not what you think they are, I have a few of those stories.

Lesley said... [Reply to comment]

Well, my mother never had the talk with me. When I got my period I thought I was dying. I literally had never heard of a period.
When my daughter was about 1, I went out and bought her a lovely necklace that I will give to her when she gets her first period. It's so that when she wears it, without words, she will be telling us that she is having " that time of the month " and in turn we will all be more aware and gentle to her.
As you know, I've already had the talk with her. She is oh so edjimicated.

Janice said... [Reply to comment]

Yeah, I have no advice at all. :) My daughter is 22 months old and I'm already thinking, "Oh crap, someday we have to have all those talks." Since I'm pregnant she's now firmly convinced that she also has a baby in her tummy, which she proudly shows to me. I can't decide whether it's cute or I should lecture her about the difficulties of teen pregnancy - you know, just to solidify the idea early... :)

Jess ( said... [Reply to comment]

As someone who started her period at 9, (with boobs at 8!) I'd have to say it's never too early to have "the talk!" I never got one, all I got was a Dr. James Dobson book about sex, so when I started my period at 9, on vacation, in a hardware store with my father, I was totally confused and shocked. I hid it from my mother for three days! I was mortified, but survived. Worse than not knowing what the hell was going on? Being the only 9-year-old who had to know.