03 February 2014

{being wife & momma} when things don't go as planned

As a parent, I have a timeline in my mind as to when, where and how I want to share pertinent life information with my children.

So...what do I do when the timeline shatters? When someone else takes the responsibility upon himself to reveal a certain "truth" to my child before I'm ready for my child to be introduced to the subject at hand.

photo: www.thebettermom.com
My husband and I made the decision, before I even birthed our first son, that we will be open and honest about the anatomy of our bodies and the beauty of sex. In my mind, if a private body part is given a nickname or isn't talked about at all, the impression is given that the part of the body that needs addressing is dirty or "something we shouldn't talk about". If you desire a child who will open up to you during late childhood and adolescence, it is imperative that training begin from the get-go of life.

When I first began using the words "penis" and "vagina", I felt terribly uncomfortable. However, my audience was my two month old son and, later, my two month old daughter. It was helpful to practice with them! They didn't (and still don't) feel embarrassed by these words. Since my husband and I have never made a big deal of these words, my children use them in context and don't feel any shame. I think some people must think that if they use these words in their home that their children will start blurting them out in public. Not so...at least not in our family. :) They have no context past the body part. My children, thankfully, do not use them inappropriately.

The question that beckons this blog post is this:

"What do I do when my child hears the word/learns about sex before I'm ready for him to?"

Thanks to books by Jim Burns, I have compiled a few words of advice/guidance based on his thoughts and my own. 

One- God can take any unfortunate situation and form it into something beautiful. So...I challenge you to do this. Ask God how you can transform this tragedy into a blessing for your child. Look at it this way; you now have the perfect opportunity to dispel any myths he might be forming in his mind or any myths that may have been shared with him. When we stop to think about the beautiful simplicities and amazing complexities of our sexuality, we can marvel at how perfectly wonderful the LORD made us.

Two- If your child has come to you first, commend her for coming to you with this information. Let her know you're proud of her for sharing with you...that you always want her to come to you with anything on her heart and mind. Whether you're ready for this conversation or not, it's here, and you already know you want to be the one to share the birds and the bees with her!

Three- Communicate with simple and direct answers. Don't overwhelm her with the minutia of it all. However, don't hem-haw around the subject either. Our children are smart enough to know when we're hiding or embarrassed about things. Again, call body parts what they are. When you give them nicknames, it gives the impression that they're dirty or "something we shouldn't talk about". 

Four- When you begin a conversation with your child regarding sexual matters, watch for signs that your child has "checked out" of the conversation. This usually means you've answered his question or you've gone past his scope of interest or knowledge. The main thing, in my opinion, is start simple and work your way up. Ask questions. "What do you think?" "What else would you like to know?"

Five- This is the perfect time to remind her that her body belongs to her. Sometimes doctors and nurses need to see/touch our private parts in order to keep us healthy, and sometimes people who care for us need to help keep us clean, etc., but no one is ever to abuse her body and she should tell you if someone does.

Six- Most importantly, remember that The LORD gave you your child to train! Talk with him about your family's values. Find teachable moments. Show him affection in meaningful, appropriate ways. PRAY for guidance, wisdom and the right words.

You can do this!

I'd love to know...
What are some other things you would suggest?
Have you struggled with this or been overwhelmed with your child knowing too much too soon?

Blessings to you and yours.


  1. i knew i wanted to be open with my children and i wanted them to be comfortable with coming to me with questions.. however i realized i never had put much thought past that when my kids starting asking me when i was pregnant how the baby would come out of my belly and i felt so caught of guard and want sure how i wanted to explain this to them. i didnt want to make up thing and lie but i wasnt sure i wanted to explain how the baby was actually going to come out!

    but that was definetly a point in life that made me think and realize. they are growing up. and the questions are coming! i need to think how and when i will discuss these issues...

    my question.. do you send the boys to daddy for questions/answers and mommy takes care of the girls? or are both [arents comfortable takling to both their sons and daughters about things/\?

    1. Laura, I can't speak for every family, but I can speak for ours. We want our kids to be comfortable talking to/with both of us. There will absolutely be times when the boys will go to Daddy with certain questions, and I know there will be times when the girls will come to me. However, I also want my boys to feel comfortable coming to me with questions. I think it will help them down the road when and if they choose to marry one day. They will be better communicators with their future wives, if they've practiced at home! I know each family is different and some moms may not be comfortable talking with their sons. If this is the case, it is imperative that mom and dad are on the same page with how conversations are going to go. It's all about healthy communication! Does that help?