Conversation in the car on the way home from soccer practice a few weeks ago:
Me: Hey, #3, what were you laughing about with (his friend)?
#3: It's a secret, mom!
Me: #3, you know we don't have secrets in our family-- only surprises.
#3: Okay. You promise you won't get mad?
Me: (Inward groan) I promise.
#3: I have a girlfriend.
Me: A girlfriend, huh? (keeping my cool)
#3: Yeah. Her name is B and she kissed me in P.E.!
Me: She KISSED you? (still keeping my cool)
#3: On the cheek, mom! On the cheek!
Me: Did you kiss her?
#3: No!! She kissed me on the cheek. Twice.
Me: Do you want to kiss her?
#3: No! Mo-om!
Me: Well, you're too young to have a girlfriend, boy! You know that, right?
#3: Oh, mom! I won't kiss her. She just kissed me.
Me: Well, no more kissing, kay, bud?
Me: Did you feel funny when she kissed you?
#3: What do you mean?
Me: Umm...did you feel funny inside or anything or...ahem...like, did you giggle or need to...umm...did you feel different inside when she kissed you or anything?
Me: Okay, then!
The girls and I have had several conversations about periods, sex, etc. I answer their questions as they have them --and sometimes when I feel inspired and moved by the Spirit, we'll have conversations about bodies, babies, and modesty. I'm candid, but simple. I keep it on their level of understanding. But with #3? I think he only knows about the difference in gender (biologically speaking). He doesn't really have questions. But I know he will, and I would hope he will! I just want them all to feel comfortable asking me about these things. They need to hear about it from their parents --not the schools, not the teachers, not the neighbors, not the TV, and not their friends. So, I'm prepared!
I wish I could say "he's only 6" and not worry about it --but I can't. In our over-sexed society, chances are he will see and hear more about sex before he's 10 than I did in 20 years. It scares me, but it also gives me determination to teach him about respecting his body, as well as respecting women. I'm a lot more nervous about teaching a boy than a girl, though --girls, I get! I'm a girl! The workings of a boy? Not so much. Enough, but...you know.
I think this is at the forefront of my mind because my 9 year old now doesn't just wear deodorant --she's wearing bras. And NEEDING them. Holy cow! She's 9! I think I was 10 or 11 before I got my first training bra; I know I was 12 when Aunt Flo came to visit for the first time. But 9?? I'm so nervous about her starting her period younger than 12. She's still a kid, you know? She should be able to be a kid for at least another year.
And I don't know if I'm ready to have tweens and teens and all that as children. They are children. They aren't supposed to grow up so fast!
So, have you prepared your children for all of this? Do you have an open communication going with them about their bodies, personal space, respect, general sexual questions, puberty, etc.?