3 Tips for Having “The Talk”

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baby-shoesI would like to say that I saw it coming. I would love for you to think that I had rehearsed it all in my head and I knew exactly what I was going to say. The truth, however, is that I was living in a fantasy world where my children would always believe that storks delivered babies right to people’s doorsteps. Much to my surprise, however, my children are getting to the age where they are beginning to reason and question and they look to me for answers.

And that is how it happened. That Sunday morning found me in the middle of making bottles and brushing hair when my child hit me with the question. I could tell by the look on her face that she wasn’t going to buy the stork scenario and “God just makes them” wasn’t detailed enough. Much to my relief, the kitchen floor did not open up and swallow me whole when I said the s-e-x word. {It was a real fear, y’all.} So, having just walked through this for the first time, I have three tips for mamas who have not yet entered this territory for the talk.

1. Keep it casual. There doesn’t need to be a formal sit-down discussion with text books and visual aids. Sometimes, the best conversations happen spontaneously in the car or over a meal.

2. Play it cool. It doesn’t matter if, on the inside, you feel like you may die of awkwardness. As far as your child is concerned, this should be the most natural conversation in the world. Respond just as if he or she asked where watermelons come from.

3. Don’t blow them off. I’ll be honest. Everything in me wanted to change the subject and distract everyone with cookies. I am the modest daughter of a modest mom and I have zero experience with these discussions. But if I shy away now, she will never come to me later when the topics are even more serious.

The fact is that there is not a how-to manual. Openness and honesty, however, trump know-how every time.

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