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Here’s a fun idea for a way to pass the time these days: force your kid to listen to you talk about sex. A witch wrote in:
When did you talk to your kids about sex? How did you approach it? Our 7 year old girls have been bringing questions up over the last few months, like "but specifically HOW does the man help make the baby" and I'm full-on dodging. And feel very silly / retrograde for dodging.
How do other witches get into it with younger kids on some of the more basic stuff in a way that feels kind of successful?
“I am EXACTLY the same way. Always thought I'd be so matter of fact, and then she asks and I turn into a Victorian prude. After a random question the other night I did get so far as to say the penis is where the part from the man comes from, but couldn't bring myself to say ‘and he sticks it in the vagina’ because at that point my 4 y.o. just started screaming HOT DOG BUTT!! over and over.”
“My friend told her oldest daughter— and then her daughter looked at her totally disgusted and said, ‘You did that in the house?!’”
“My daughter is 9 and I did the full on sex talk. I wasn’t planning on it but she asked and I had to wing it. I said that a man and a woman’s body get very very close, so close in fact the man's penis goes into the vagina and sperm is ejected from the penis into the woman’s uterus etc. I told her there are a lot more parts to this that we will keep talking about as she gets older and she can ask me anything. When she was younger I started the conversations mostly about how a girls body grows into a woman’s body and we talked about puberty — breasts body hair acne and periods — that was kind of my gateway discussion to get into the whole sex topic.”
“My plan was always to answer the question asked, but then my oldest didn't ask questions. I bought her a bunch of books.”
“We started early only because the older one (who is nine) was full on exposed to stuff while we lived in San Francisco. We started with ‘man puts seed in woman’ and then at some point told her about the body parts because a homeless lady came up to her camp group when she was six or seven and yelled ‘THE BOYS ARE GOING TO PUT THEIR PENISES IN YOU.’ She left more questions than answered so I had dispelled the notion that boys pee in girls private parts to make a baby. I don’t know that she fully gets it but since then we have been reading puberty books together. As for the five year old she knows nothing but sure is comfortable with her body!”
“I was totally nervous about talking to my older son about it, but honestly, it wasn't bad. I explained the penis in vagina part and asked if he had any questions. He had a few, most of which were technical ones (how does it fit?) I kept it simple and straightforward, and he lost interest after a few minutes. I asked him not to talk about it at school because some families may not have shared that information with their kids yet.”
“We talked about this when my son was 4 or 5 initially, because that's when sex ed starts at church. A few subsequent conversations which I expected to be much more embarrassing than they were. We are now watching The Crown, largely because Dr Who, and have got to the episode where the Duke of Windsor turns to Mrs Simpson and says ‘Wanna fuck?’ which he was a bit shocked by. I said ‘No marriage will survive 17 years of exile without some good loving.’”
Thanks for reading Evil Witches, a newsletter for people who happen to be mothers of all kinds of people. (I wrote about the sex talk in more detail years ago for U.S. Catholic of all publications, which featured an interview with Amy Laing of Birds + Bees + Kids which is great.) I realize this largely references old fashioned heteronormative p-in-v sex so if you have experience/advice tackling more sophisticated/complex sex subjects with your older kids let me know. If you're interested in possibly submitting or have any general questions just shoot us an email. If you know someone who'd like this sort of thing in their inbox about once or twice a week, please spread the word in some way. You can follow us via Instagram or Twitter, where we trade tips on keeping our home clean and organized:
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