How do we teach our children about sex? It’s one of the toughest issues we face as parents. And it’s one of the toughest things we have to come to grips with as children. I mean, do you remember how grossed out you were when you realized that your mom and dad did that to get you? Yuck! They had to be kidding! Right?
Once when I was a homeschooling mom, I went to a program at a church about teaching girls about modesty (at least I think that was what it was about) …and I remember them telling us to talk with our girls about how flowers are pollinated by bees as a way of first opening the door to talking with your daughters about sex. The point was that you can offer metaphors first before you throw at them books with anatomically correct terms and insert tab A in slot B.
I’m a psychologist and I know lots of ways to teach kids about sex. Then I’ve been exposed to the “shelter them from it all” theory. But now they go to public school, or the “expose them to it all” theory. And, heck, with the internet now, I’m not sure how we are going to shelter kids today…I know my children well, we communicate openly and I follow each child’s lead based on their personality and needs for information.
When my kids do ask questions about sex, and I’m lucky they do ask me, a lot of times, it starts in the barnyard.
Yesterday one of my little ones asked me why Magnum needs to be at the big barn, why we needed him to make babies. We were in the uh, restroom, at the time so I told her we’d talk about it in a minute.
Later he was doing a breeding (top pic). And she was so worried about that female alpaca. I had to console her and tell her that alpaca girls really want to do that. I showed her how the girl gave Magnum the “look of love”, talked with her about his orgling. I said, “You know what alpaca girls REALLY like?”
“What?” she said sullenly, not sure of this whole breeding thing.
“Look down at the other side of this barn. What do you see directly at the other side of this barn?” I asked.
“NieNie?” she asked.
“Yes, I said. Nie Nie. Her momma loves her baby doesn’t she? Alpaca girls love their babies more than anything else. And this is how they get them.” I told her.
“You mean that NieNie’s mom did THIS to get NieNie?!!!?” she asked incredulously.
“Yes, she did. Last year. with Magnum.” I said.
My son, a couple years older had been quiet for most of this conversation. He piped up and said, “Piggyback ride.” (This is how he describes the alpaca breeding process)
So, my daughter was grossed out thinking of how her beloved NieNie was conceived. Understandable.
So the flower is pollinated by the bee.
Or at our house the dam was fertilized by Magnum…
We went on to have a conversation about eggs and fertilizing. And where human moms and dads keep their eggs and “fertilizers”. They were grossed out but glad to have some questions answered.
It’s nice to have the alpacas to help open the door for these questions.
How have you dealt with these issues with your kids? Have you used your animals to help you deal with tricky topics at your house?