My twin daughters are four. But, already those awkward conversations have begun.
Most of the conversations start from observations, most of them as I’m using the bathroom, showering, or nursing Michael. And some of those observations lead to questions….
“Mom, you have boobs.”
“Mom, what’s this in your armpit?”
“Mom, why do you shave your legs?”
“Mom, why are you putting on deodorant?”
“Mom, you have a hairy crotch.”
“Mom, why/how do you make milk in your boobs?”
These questions are not something you usually have to answer or talk about 99% of your life. But, kids are curious and they really want to know. I try to be an honest and open individual, and I want these conversations to be open and honest so that my kids will ask me and not their friends, especially later down the road.
Thankfully, these first questions all deal with puberty (and not how babies are made). I have told them that when they grow up and become women, that they too, will have a hairy crotch, hairy armpits, and boobs. And they’ll need to wear deodorant because you sweat more and smell more when you become an adult too.
These answers are generally received well from them. They are so excited about growing up, constantly talking about how old they are, how old they’ll be on their next birthday, how old mom and dad are, and how old they’ll be when they’ll get to do things, like be baptized. They want to grow up. I’m pretty sure it’s a natural kid sensation. Always in a rush to grow up. They want to know how they turn into a big person. And when that will happen. And they notice things like boobs and hair. So, I’ve told my kids a little about puberty.
Just not everything about it. Like menstruation. I keep the kids out of the bathroom during my time of the month as I still don’t know exactly how to explain to them that their vaginas will someday bleed for a week at a time, each and every month, without completely disgusting them, or confusing them.
But, I have told them that their vaginas and their crotches are their private parts and that no one is allowed to touch them. That they are private. And that if anyone touches them there they are to get away from them and tell mom or dad immediately.
This fun conversation about “bad touch” was spurred on one night, when after pulling down the back of my pants a little bit, showing off my crack, my daughter thought it would also be funny to pull down the front of my pants. Nope. Not funny. And I didn’t laugh about it. And I very seriously told them that it is not okay to touch other people’s crotches (or have them be touched). And I made sure they knew I wasn’t joking.
Because, the truth is there are perverts out there and I won’t always be with my kids 100% of the time. Nor should I have to be. But, I do need to teach them at a young age, what is and is not appropriate when it comes to touches and strangers. And I know it’s helpful for them to know what to do if it happens, and the proper names of things too.
When did you start having awkward conversations with your kids? What did you tell them? Any advice for me?