By Heather Bowman
My parents never talked to me about sex or puberty. One afternoon, I jokingly asked my mom about the birds and the bees. She responded by teasing back–threatening to tell me everything. She thought that by not having “the talk” with me, she was doing the nice thing and saving me embarrassment. Actually, she closed the door on that important conversation and sent me out into the world to learn about sex on my own.
I read about sex in 90’s magazines like Glamour and Cosmopolitan. I learned about birth control and tampons in 7th grade Health Class. It’s the main focus of every movie and TV show (especially ones targeted to teens). It was bad information and I suffered.
I knew when I had kids I wanted to talk to them about sex before they learned about it somewhere else.
My son started asking questions about puberty when he was 8. I decided my husband would have the talk with him right away. We got a book from the library to help guide the conversation on mechanics.
Then we added our own points on the emotional side:
The conversation was A LOT and he was a little shocked by it all. But we feel good about being the ones who gave him the information we know is accurate and whole.
He has come back with questions sporadically and we’ve been able to have deeper talks on relationships, puberty, and health. We hope there will be many more, because "the talk" shouldn't just be one conversation. It should be an ongoing series.
Heather Bowman is working on a book about raising step-kids while doing an incredible job raising step-kids of her own.