I honestly feel that my being a teenage mother is one of the biggest reasons why the relationship with my daughter is so positive. In a very strange way I have the advantage of still very much being someone’s child and being the parent to my own child.
Because of my age and the fact that I still very much see and can closely identify with the emotions and day to day of being young, trying to navigate the world of emotions, relationships, school, and expectations of oneself I speak very candidly with Leilani about such topics.
Leilani and I already talk about relationships, sexuality, and sexual education-Notice they all have a comma between them because they are all different topics to be addressed individually- since she was 3. It’s all about discussing the topics in an age appropriate way.
She knows about good touch bad touch, that her vagina and body are hers and because she only has one she needs to take extra good care of it. In fact she knows that vaginas are so special that they have their very own doctor and she’s come with me to my gyno appointments before. Perhaps the first things she learned is that babies come out of vaginas not the sky, her reaction was priceless.
To me it’s about being the person and parent to her that I didn’t have growing up. No one helped me contextualize what I was hearing and seeing all around me and that’s what adults and parents are supposed to do for children.
Discussing these topics are not a huge deal which demands a “time to talk” and then I just pour it all out and hope she understands. Instead it’s part of our everyday lives because sex, sexuality, relationships, and body image are very much a part of everyone’s day whether they choose to admit it or not.
I am a firm believer that it is never “too early” to talk about these topics. When Leilani came home and told me that one of her classmates in the first grade told her she had sex dreams I was glad I was already talking to Leilani about these things.
Leilani knows more than I did at her age and possibly more than ten year olds. There is no need to sugar coat information that people need and will take with them for the rest of their lives. Doing so leads to gross misinformation and false education.
People need to start getting real and talking to their kids and talk often because everyone else is and if your not talking to your children you’re making them perfect prey for sex offenders and people willing to take advantage of them.