Friday, July 26, 2013

Sometimes the sex talk goes horribly wrong...

Well, it finally happened.

Remember how, a few years ago, we had to have "the talk" with Anna about Bambi's mom, and the conversation turned into one of the most awkward and uncomfortable discussions had by any father/daughter pair?

Well, I think the sex talk I just had with Anna might have trumped Bambi Nuggets. And that's saying something.

Let me start out by saying that as a marriage and family therapist, I highly encourage parents to have an open dialogue about sex and sexuality. My general philosophy (so as to not let this happen) is to let a child ask questions, and let them hear about important topics from you as opposed to their peers. Then, respond naturally without shame or embarrassment because this is a natural process and a natural conversation.

Apparently God likes jokes, because he gave me a child who pushes against that philosophy. Hard.

"I am here to challenge your parenting skills."--Anna

Anna recently turned seven, so we've been waiting for her cues, expecting this conversation to arise naturally. Phase I of the conversation--the initial sex talk--went really, really well.
It was a couple of weeks ago, and a song came on the radio that talked about sex explicitly, so I turned it off. This led to a spontaneous discussion about sex, and we happened to be almost home at that point. So I told her to wait a minute and Lolly and I would sit her down and tell her all about this new word. The other girls played in the back yard, and we talked to Anna openly about what sex was. She had a very normal reaction--some disgust and some curiosity. And she asked various questions about how it works and why it has to happen and she had the epiphany that "every person on earth exists because someone had sex?!" It was textbook stuff, really.

But this is Anna we're talking about. Anna who likes to know details.

The other night, we had a conversation as I was reading her and Viva a bedtime story. Viva had stepped out of the room to get another book to read, and Anna took that moment of alone time to ask some questions.

Anna: (looks at me conspiratorially after Viva leaves and whispers) I have some more questions about sex.

Me: Sure, sweetie. I hope you always feel like you can talk to me about this stuff. Ask me anything.

Anna: Do people have sex sometimes even when they don't want to have a baby?

Me: That's a good question. Yes. Yes they do.

Anna: Why?

Me: Because it feels good, and because it helps bring a husband and wife closer together.

Anna: Do you like it?

Me: ... Yes. I do.

Anna: You like sexing mommy?

Me: Yep.

Anna: Where do you like to do it?

Me: *pause* Um, we... well, in our bedroom.

Anna: You mean right here? Where we are sitting? This room is where you and mommy put your penis and vagina together?

Me: ...Yes. Listen, I think we should maybe finish your story so I can put you to bed.

Anna: How long does it take?

Me: How long does what take?

Anna: Sex.

Me: Well, it just depends, sweetie. It can vary.

Anna: But how long does it take you to have sex with mommy?

Me: ...yeeeeaaaah, ummm, I'm not sure I'm comfortable answering this question.

Anna: How long dad? Just tell me.

Me: *sighs*...well, it can take minutes or it can take up to more than an hour...

Anna: So, when you had sex to make me, how long did it take you?

Me: I don't know. I don't remember.

Anna: Did it take an hour to make me?

Me: Anna, I honestly don't remember. I...

Anna: Where were when you had sex to make me? Was it in this bed?

Me: Uh...

Anna: Did you make me right here where we are sitting, Daddy? Right here in this bed? *pats the mattress*

Me: *shudders*

At this point I almost buckled under the pressure of my own embarrassment and said I couldn't answer any more questions about sex. Thankfully Viva returned right then with another bedtime story.

And that's the story about how when I had a sex talk with my daughter she rendered me speechless even though I'm a marriage and family therapist trained in talking to children about sex.



121 comments:

  1. lol. She's just curious! Can you blame her? :-)

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  2. And this is the reason why we haven't actually had the details part of the conversation. I know it's coming, but Sophie is still just this side shy of asking about strict anatomy.

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  3. Ha! Love that she rendered you speechless. Nice job Anna!

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  4. Oh wow. I sure hope that I can continue to be frank and honest with my daughter when she gets about that age. Pretty sure I will be referring to your words of wisdom in those times. Thankfully, I have a little bit to prepare myself... :)

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    1. Forget it, Penelope. I'm a marriage and family therapist and have 4 kids. You will never be prepared. :)

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  5. i am DYING laughing!!!! i have a daughter just like that. so hilarious!!!

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  6. Oh gosh, I had a very similar conversation with my daughter...finally I told her that while I would answer most of her questions...some of the specifics and preferences are between the individual couple and I wasn't going to kiss and tell :)

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    1. That was hilarious, Josh! Kids like to keep us on our toes. And, Sandy, I think that is a great idea. I'm going to keep that in mind.

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    2. At the same time, you dont want kids thinking that there can be secrets about sexual interaction while they are young, for their own safety. Of course privacy as an adult is different than privacy for a child.

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  7. I am cracking up! That is hilarious.

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  8. BWAHAHAHA!! Someday you can relive the moment with her and put her on the squirming, speechless end of things :) I mean relive the conversation....

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  9. First time commenter right here.. I loved this post. Holy cow! We had to have the same conversation with our son this past Valentine's day.. Yeah, very awkward. And it broke my heart that we had to fill his mind with this information, but alas, it was already there, from another neighbor kid.. (thanks neighbor kid..) But a few months later, we were talking about if the boys wanted another sibling or not, and my son whispered to me, but that means you and daddy have to have sex to have a baby. Yep. Yep. That is correct.

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  10. Oh my goodness...this made me cry. Not sure if the tears were a result of laughter or pure terror. I have to have this talk in five-ish years with my kid. Thank goodness I've had only boys so far. That means most of it is Daddy's job, right?

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    1. Alicia, I raised my stepson from the time he was 6. He always was more comfortable talking to me about anything, especially sex, than to his dad. Just saying.

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    2. Yep! I have all boys, and I've been the one to give them 'the talk'...not their father. But, to be fair, I'm much more verbal than my husband. It just fell naturally to me! Haha!

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    3. HAH. You *think* you have five-ish years. ;)

      Guess who had the sex talk with my son? It wasn't Daddy... lol.

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    4. Well in Josh's family, girls have the talk with their daddy. :)

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  11. Being open and honest about sexuality does not mean we have to share the gritty details of our own personal sex life with our children. Just wait, though, there will come a time, probably about when puberty hits that Anna will want to erase any image of that from her mind. My kids are all grown up, but even now, my 24-year-old son does not like to think about Mom & Dad "doing it." One day he accidentally ran across some letters that we wrote back and forth when his dad was stationed in Korea. Yeah, they were fairly graphic because we were young fairly newlyweds (this was before he was born even)and we were missing each other. His comment, "what has been read cannot be unread."

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    1. You forgot to destroy those letters.

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  12. Would you expect anything less given (1)It IS Anna, and (2) she has the Shea blood? :-) you guys are wonderful and we love feeling a little more connected because of the blog.

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  13. Funny! My son was asking very intricate and detail-oriented questions at the age of 5. By the time he was a tween, he had forgotten most of the embarrasing details. Good to have this talk voluntarily instead of because there is stuff going on at school!

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  14. This is pretty much how it has gone with my kids. They couldn't stop asking questions about the details. The nitty-gritty details. No generalizations here.

    But, I did refuse to answer personal questions about our personal sexual activity :)

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  15. Our daughter is six, and I can see her being the same way! Thank you for the words of wisdom, and I can only hope that it doesn't get that detailed!

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  16. I think it's interesting that she wants to know about her conception, and considering that all her questions have to do with the sex that made her (and therefore the sex is just the function by which she arrived), it's not nearly as weird and creepy as it could be. At least, that's how I see it. Having read this and the Bambi nuggets story, I expect someday my kids will ask me horrifyingly awkward questions, too; I only hope I can keep my cool as well as you have!

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  17. This made me laugh. But hey, strangers on the internet don't mind probing you so why should Anna be any different?

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    1. So true Bjorge Queen! Aren't we all curious little buggers?

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  18. I am laughing so hard at this post! My daughter is 4 and I just know that this is how the sex talk will go with her... she wants to know every detail of everything! At least I'm not alone.... :-)

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  19. That is hilarious. She is one spunky lady.

    Our initial "sex talk" (with our first) happened 3 years ago when our 7 year old walked in on us in the act (and watched for who knows how long). Now THAT is embarrassing. We had a brief discussion with him on what was going on...he didn't have questions (never does), so we left it at that. Several months later (when he was 8) we had a very in depth discussion with him but most of it went over his head. Now, two years after that (he's 10), I am pregnant with my fifth and have LOVED how curious he is about how it all came about. Things we've talked about before have come full circle and "clicked" with him and he feels VERY empowered. We're not ready to let him into the conception or delivery room (and never will be) but we are so grateful things have turned out this way. Now...our second child (who is almost 8)....he's a different story. He is a much MUCH more curious child and doesn't know how to let it go ("where does the baby come out?" "It's a special place girls have called a vagina." "Can I see?" "Um.....no....!").

    I'm still laughing....what a fantastic little girl Anna is!

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    1. I read, "Can I see?" and pretty much died laughing. That's great! Hahaha! I did that to my dad, or so I've been told.

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    2. I was allowed in the delivery room when I was young, like...6? Of course, my mom had her first four at home. You learn these things, and...well, it really changes how one views the whole process.

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  20. I'm having a hard time deciding between this and Bambi nuggets. Both are awesome!

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  21. That is so funny! I think I peed a little! Oh my goodness! When we hit those bumps I stick to the "sacred not secret" answer. Here's to many more speechless moments!

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  22. And this is why you keep songs about sex off the damn radio around your 7 year old. She is way too young to be discussing these details because she doesn't even understand the private nature of sex yet. You are getting your ass handed to you because you're talking about adult interactions with a child. I would think a "family therapist" would know better than anyone to keep it simple or avoid such revelations altogether with a -first grader-. Jesus Christ... Yeah, it's important to talk to your kids about sex, at the -appropriate- time.

    My advice... next time burn a CD and play that so you know what the lyrical content will be. SMH... this is common sense. Now you have a seven year old who is already curious about sex. Good luck in the teen years, by then she'll be fully educated on Kama Sutra.

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    1. I am willing to bet that Josh has read up on this topic a great deal and has good reason for talking about sex with Anna at this time. You have differing views and that is perfectly fine, but verbally attacking someone is doing a disservice to the points you are trying to make.

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    2. Oh for crap's sake.
      1) You can't always predict what is going to be said on the radio. You don't always know what lyrics will come up.
      2) I believe it's much better to just be open and honest with kids and not act embarrassed. Just take the stigma away. It's really sad that so many parents can't get past their own embarrassment to talk about sex so they leave it to schools to do it and then they get in a hissy because they can't agree on what to have the schools say. I learned about sex at a young age. Probably younger than Anna. My cousin told me to ask my mom- probably because she thought it would be funny to make her squirm. Well she didn't. Just told me what was what. She drew diagrams and everything. And I turned out to be a completely GREAT and well adjusted adult! (Okay. Maybe that's up for debate.)
      Weeder, I think you did a great job. It's refreshing to hear of parents taking a chillaxed approach.
      And now I have some questions of my own about how you and Lolly do sexy time, questions that I don't think you've answered in the last year, if you wouldn't mind addressing them for me...

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    3. Anon -- while I agree that it is the parent's responsibility to help protect a child's innocent mind 'to a degree' I think that there would not be anyone better to have these conversations with THAN their parent. They will hear things, see things, experience things like this throughout their growing up years and parents need to give them the tools of how to handle a situation. "If an inappropriate song comes on the radio you turn it off." That is what Josh taught her.

      Guess what! in today's world 7 year olds have sexual images all around them. They are all over the TV, movies (even cartoons aimed at children), internet, etc. Even if the parents have every filter in the world they will still have friends from school, church or family. They will hear about sex! If they don't get straight talk from their parents they will learn it somewhere else. When they learn it somewhere else they don't get the information through the filter of their parents' moral values.

      I get that you don't 'Kama Sutra' educated teenagers but your reaction to this article almost makes it sound like Josh is taking his children to strip clubs or something. He is having a healthy communication with his daughter. He is providing her the information so that she is empowered and does not have to go find it elsewhere.

      Kids ask questions when they are curious about something. If parents want to do their best to stay the primary confidante of the child they answer the questions ... when those questions are asked. The kid will find the answers they are looking for, even if they have to find them on Google. Yes even 7 year olds can Google, in this high tech age.

      The worst case scenario, IMHO, is when a child is kept so sheltered that they are terrified of sex, which is a normal, natural, beautiful thing (within the bounds of a committed relationship). When my daughter was a freshman in college she became friends with a girl who had been extremely sheltered. This poor girl was TERRIFIED of sex. She had a screaming, crying panic attack the night before her marriage because of the terror that her new husband would be seeing her naked the next night.

      Throughout her dating and engagement she wouldn't let him kiss her, wouldn't hold his hand, wouldn't do anything that might cause him to have an erection. Apparently him having a NORMAL physical reaction to being close to her terrified her. Why he kept dating and then married her is a mystery to me but I would never wish this kind of 'sheltered-ness' on anyone.

      Yeah the conversations can sometimes be a bit blunt and embarrassing, but really wouldn't you rather be the one your child can get their information from? Do you want them to learn it 'on the street' or else to be absolutely terrified of a healthy married sex life? ... REALLY?

      Keep it up Josh!

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    4. Remember Josh's post about when he learned about sex? His parents didn't want to tell him, so (at age 8) he learned from a classmate instead.

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    5. Pretending that we are perfect parents or that we do it all perfectly just results in a bunch of shame. Can't we all just assume that we are doing our best and sometimes it just ends up being a little uncomfortable and hilarious to be a parent? Without hunting down individuals with an honest story and trying to make them feel shame that they didn't feel?

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    6. Hey, not cool! Kids should and need to learn about sex. It takes away the stigma and taboo surrounding it. That doesn't mean that they need to watch porn to understand it, but children are curious about sex. And they're going to ask questions. And any responsible parent will reasonable answer those questions.

      This was a hilarious entry and I'm glad you and your wife are being open and honest about sex with your kids. I sincerely don't remember asking my parents when I was little, but apparently I did (and I walked in on them a few times).

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  23. We're about to have the same conversation with our oldest. She is the type that will never bring it up on her own, so it's up to us. She's not nearly as into the personal details. Hopefully, it will stay that way. LOL

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  24. Oh, that made me laugh so hard! We're currently expecting our 3rd, so my inquisitive, detail-oriented, and anatomy-obsessed 6-year-old has been asking all about pregnancy and birth. So far, we've covered the uterus, placenta, umbilical chords, shifting pelvic bones, and stretchable vaginas, but I've yet to volunteer precisely how the baby got in there in the first place. When she does ask, the conversation will probably go exactly like yours & Anna's. Hopefully her Dad will get to cover that one too! Glad to hear they tend to forget the details ;)

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  25. This is my future! When I was pregnant with my son, my daughter was insistent that she needed to know where the baby would come out. So I told her and showed her the general area on herself. When my sister was pregnant, my daughter pulled her aside and said, "Do you know where that baby is going to come out?" My sister said that yes she knew. My daughter shrugged her shoulders and said, "Well, if you're okay with it." She's 4 and hasn't asked how the baby gets there...yet. But I'm sure she will ask many, many detail oriented questions when that day comes! Crap!

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  26. Oh, this is just hilarious. I laughed the whole time. I have 5 kids and not one has asked things like that, yet... I need to knock on some wood!

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  27. That is awesome. When my mom told me, I wanted to know why the man couldn't just hand the sperm over to the woman to put in herself - it only seemed practical in my 8-year-old mind.

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    1. I thought I was the only one who asked my mom that!!!

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    2. My question to my mother at eight years was -- does Daddy go around squirting that stuff all the time? I can relate to Anna.

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  28. Lol my parent just let me find out from school, other kids, etc.

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  29. Oh Anna, she makes for the greatest posts.

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  30. Thanks for this. I need to have "the talk" with my 7 year old daughter and I'm scared to do it because I feel that will close one part of her childhood and open up doors I'm not ready to be opened. This post helped me find humor in it and know I'm not alone. Thank you.

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  31. This is so funny! All I could think of while reading it is: "Wow! They will have their hands full when Anna reaches 17-20 yrs old! haha! Luckily, our kids never got that close to the details when asking questions. We taught them all (sadly) about the birds and the bees when they got baptized, because at that point it's only a matter of hours before they start hearing about sex, in an incorrect manner, from peers. So we wanted to make sure and talk with them before the peers did. At the same time we included the Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny 'talks'. Sad that it all has to happen so early now-a-days. But with our last child (born in 2001) she beat us to the punch, and ended up asking us if all these things were true about 4 months before her 8th birthday. Breaks my heart. I wish they could stay "little" longer. When I was growing up, these topics didn't come up until we were at least 9 or 10. Life changes and moves on I guess. LOVE your blog!

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  32. Hilarious story!

    I chickened out and found a cartoon in You Tube which explained everything in a cutesy way (but the embarrassment was still there! Especially when my daughter asked "You and daddy did THAT?")

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  33. My mom always tried to talk to me about boys and sex, and I refused to ever let her. I now have three girls, my oldest is five and a half. When we get together with my sister's kids they often take baths together, she has two girls and one boy. My girls have now seen him naked countless times and have never ONCE asked why he looks different. I'm not sure they've even noticed. I guess they are just like me, and don't really care all that much...

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    1. Mom actually mentioned that to me yesterday. She said, "I tried to talk to your sister about it, but she wouldn't and then when I tried to talk to you about it, you told me you already knew everything." I hope my kids come to me with questions when they start wondering. (Also, Ames, I was going to e-mail you this post, but now I see you read it and months ago. Now I'm wondering why you didn't share it with me . . . ) ;)

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  34. The only thing I ever heard from either of my parents about sex was when I was in my 30's and dating a fat man: "Sex is more fun if you lose weight." I laughed so hard I couldn't stand up straight for 20 minutes.

    My husband and I are VERY open and honest with our little kids. They know at very tender ages what a penis and a vagina are (even what they look like) and are starting to learn a little bit what they are for. I would much rather there were no mystery to be solved by peers when it comes to something so important... even if it is what many consider to be too young.

    Awkward does not equal failure. I think you did it just right.

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  35. Oh my gosh I needed this story so bad right now! I'm laughing so hard I'm crying! This has been one of the most miserable and stressful days of my life, and yet now I somehow don't feel so bad about it. Thank you, thank you. XD "Do you like sexing mommy?" OMG I'm still dying over this conversation.

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  36. Every parent who has been through this can feel your "pain" ... we got the age-appropriate books from the library to have the "talk" with my oldest. After we were done and had gone through the books with us, he said, "Hmmm. Ok. Can I go play Nintendo now?" Gotta love it!

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  37. Ha, so cute! Good job sticking with your principles even though it got awkward :)

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  38. Ha ha that's why I'm going to go with the Alien talk when my kiddo gets older :) When she asks where she came from I'm just gonna say "Aliens baby, you're an alien. You came from your father's side" ;) Ok so I'm kidding...a little ;) But props to you on doing a good job! My child is only 2 so I'm glad to get some tips of what to expect for the "unexpected":D

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  39. I don't see why you couldn't answer those questions, those are pretty straightforward and legitimate questions. It would feel more awkward for me to post these things on blog than to talk about it to someone close to me like my daughter.

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  40. Could be worse. My parents never had the talk with me. I'm the smartest of my siblings, which leads me to believe they didn't want to deal with my inquisitiveness. You owe it to your children to deal with however uncomfortable the talk may be.

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  41. This has to be the most embarassing/funny conversation I have read. But she is 7! She's too smart already. I don't think I had questions about this stuff until I was 13-14 years old. I hope when I have kids, they don't ask this early. Basically I don't want my children to be interested in having sex until after they finish high school; at least hope they would wait until they met the right person.

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  42. LOL,outta the mouths of babes. You are a patient parent, and light humored. Good Luck with her.... :)

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  43. My two older children, like Anna, didn't read any of the books about parent/child relationships and conversations. Hang in there - it is a privilege and a challenge to be raising someone so interesting. Just... well, make sure you get a lot of rest, eat properly, exercise and take good care of yourselves. You're gonna continue to need a bit more strength than you may have thought...

    V. big grin!

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  44. First of all I am cringing for you over this conversation. Secondly Anna is awesome!!!

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  45. That is the funniest thing I have read in ages. Dying of laughter. I've got two girls and have never gotten those specific questions. Ha!

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  46. And I thought my youngest son was inquisitive on this topic. His blunt queries haven't been anything like your Anna's.

    One of the more interesting experiences with my youngest son occurred when I was in the car with him and two of his older brothers. We have been pretty open with these boys, so I saw no problem calmly and openly responding to the youngest son's inquiries in that setting. But the older boys acted horridly embarrassed and kept wanting their younger brother to just shut up. I guess they figure that one-on-one discussion of these matters is all very well and good, but that broader discussion ought to be taboo.

    So far my wife has handled discussions with our only daughter. I have been open to questions, but she has felt more comfortable discussing them with her mom.

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  47. i'm just kind of sitting here shaking my head with my mouth hanging open, and feeling thankful that none of my 3 kids ever got that specific with me. hilarious (but my face turned red just thinking about it!)

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  48. I think it would have been perfectly acceptable to stop her at the "Where?" question. It's not being dishonest or secretive to explain to her that some things are private. I know a lot of people on here found the rest of the conversation funny, but I really found it horrifying. It was so creepy that I found it difficult to finish the article.

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    1. You know you really could have stopped reading after the Where question...
      Just saying... ;-)

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    2. I agree with Anonymous. While I agree children need to know about sex they also need to be taught about privacy. I also did not find this funny. And yes we could have stopped reading at the where question, but like you we are entitled to express our thoughts and feelings too.

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    3. We do also need to teach about privacy . More importantly I believe is w need to prove to our kids we mean it when we say they can talk to us about anything . Every parent tells their kid that usually without ever considering questions like those .
      When kids are young is the best time to be as honest about things like that because it sets the precedent that they can ask you anything and just as importantly it helps us parents become comfortable answering . Imagine how much more awkward this conversation would have been if she was 14 and actually understood what she was asking .

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  49. Hahaha I literally laughed out loud! Love your blog, Josh!!!

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  50. Wow. That is hilarious and disturbing and I am simultaneously laughing and cringing over this right now. I've never hoped so much that my daughters won't be very curious about sex.

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  51. I'm a big fan of Anna. Short, sweet, and right to the point. Subterfuge is useless against her. She will go far, I think. <3
    Brave girl. You seem to be doing something right. All Hail the Weed! ;)

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  52. I"m 35 and dont even want to know half of that about my parents. bless her heart shes inquisitive. bless your heart for handling it.

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  53. My mom decided it was time to have the talk, Just before I got married. Only thing was I was already pregnant. I have tried to honestly answer any questions my kids have had but haven't had to answer sex questions. Unfortunately I caught my son watching videos on the computer that completely shocked me and I know I need to talk to him about how wrongly portrayed it is but I haven't taken the time yet.

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  54. That is hilarious. Reminds me a bit of my oldest daughter. She learned some of the basics pretty early, around 4. She didn't like it and didn't bring it up again for a while. Then when I was pregnant with her baby sister, she got curious and wanted a refresher, so I answered her questions, which were pretty normal, and we moved on.

    The next day we were talking and suddenly it really struck her what her father and I had done. She looked at me and said "When did you do it? Was it here in our house" I told her it was in our bedroom. "Huh? Where was I?" "In your own bed, asleep". Her eyes narrowed accusingly and she said "You SNEAKED on me!"

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  55. Hahaha, oh that us just too funny!! I blushed and felt embarrassed for you!! I remember having that talk with my then Miss 9 year old and explaining how the penis goes in the vagina.. After a few minutes Miss 9 asks me if I give *It* back.. "Give what back honey?" Was my reply.. "The penis Mummy, after he has given it to you, do you give it back?"

    Lets say I did not win a parenting award after laughing to the point that I was in stitches!! And yes I did then explain that *It* doesn't actually come off haha...

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  56. I personally feel that there are age-appropriate details, and just because a child asks a question, it does not mean you need to answer it bluntly without holding anything back. YOU are the FILTER, and you can pick and choose what details are appropriate for what age.

    It seems that the children who got "the whole truth" in the above story and posts became a little more concerned with details, almost obsessing over who does it, when, why etc. These aren't things children should be worrying about. Some kids feel almost betrayed (as in you SNEAKED on me).

    Let me frame it this way. I'm a vegetarian. My kids eat meat, though. They now realize that their meat used to be animals. They ask, "how do we get bacon?" I reply, "from a pig". They then ask, "how does that happen?" Eventually, I said, "Well, the pig has to die." They had more questions, but I LEFT IT AT THAT. If we have to answer each and every question a kid asks completely honestly, I think my "theoretical conversation" would've gone a little something like this: (My children are 5 and 7 years old)

    KIDS: How does the pig die?
    ME: Well, the farmer has to kill it.
    KIDS: How does the farmer kill it?
    ME (reluctantly): The farmer hangs him upside down and cuts his throat, because all the blood has to drip out.
    KIDS (alarmed): Oh no, does this hurt the piggie?
    ME: Well, sometimes the farmer stuns the pig or hits him on the head to kill him first. But if the pig is still alive, I'm sure it hurts him.
    KIDS: Then what happens?
    ME: Well, then the farmer has to cut the pig open and take out all its organs and intestines, cuts off the feet, ears, snout and tail.
    KIDS: Is that the bacon?
    ME: No
    KIDS: Then where does the bacon come from?
    ME: The bacon comes from the muscle and fat that's under the pig's skin.
    KIDS: Then what does the farmer do with the organs, intestines, feet, hooves, ears and tails?
    ME: You see that hot dog you're holding in your hand?
    KIDS: You mean this hot dog, with mustard and ketchup on it?
    ME: Yes, that very hot dog...
    KIDS: Ok, so what does it have to do with my hot dog?
    ME: Well, the farmer grinds up all the extra bits of the pig and turns it into a hot dog.
    KIDS (eyes narrow accusingly): How could you give me this if you know what's in it???

    Do you think they're going to look at bacon or hot dogs the same way again? Or should I just let them be kids and enjoy their food without introducing them to the "realities" of what it takes to get food from the field to the kitchen table? There is no reason I can't have this very same conversation with them when they are older and MATURE enough to understand and grasp the answers, WITHOUT destroying their innocence.

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    1. I find it interesting to consider your point of view regarding innocence.

      I have never considered farm children from the 1800's "not innocent" because they helped to slaughter the pigs on their farm.

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    2. Wow. I know this is a little while later, but your precious little monkeys are going to feel pretty betrayed when they find out what you think of these practices and the fact that you withheld information later, when they've heard about it from the news or a book or school instead of you - and that counts for meat OR sex. I grew up around ranching folks and we knew where hot dogs came from mighty early, and met the animals we later ate in some cases ("yes, this is Fred the cow. Isn't he tasty?"). If you are so insistent on keeping your kids ignorant of their world, you're going to run into problems. Answer questions honestly and stop being so concerned with what the kids think about you and start being more concerned with being the primary source of information for your kids - before they decide that you shouldn't be that source of information.

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    3. When I was a kid, we ate our own lambs that we had raised ourselves, and then someone had killed. I knew exactly what had happened and was pretty happy to eat it.

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    4. Isn't the appropriate age for a child to ask something up to the child ? The age appropriate filter we use answering the questions is up to us parents. If you show your kids that you will not answer their questions about food what in the world makes you believe they will ever think they can ask you about something as embarrassing and awkward as sex ?

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  57. an important part of the "sex" talk is concluding with letting your child know that sex is a private matter and that he/she should not now become the source of information for his/her friends. This can be framed by explaining that as a private matter it is best for parents to share this information with their children when and how they feel appropriate and not have the child hear it from other kids.

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  58. Might I venture a suggestion? Tell Anna that while you are happy to answer all her questions about sex, sex is something that is private and intimate and therefore the details about the sexual relationship between any two given people (including you and Mom) are not up for discussion.

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    1. Doesn't that by default tell her that anything she would want to discuss about her sexuality is also not up for discussion ? Although there is a limit to how detailed any parent feels comfortable with discussing . The more a parent is willing to be open and honest when asked the more willing a child/ teen will be to be open and honest in return .

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  59. You guys are hilarious! (You, Josh, & also evrtuone commenting on this post who still clearly have guilt/complexes about sexuality).

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  60. That is too funny!! I've had the preliminary conversation with my 4 year old when I was pregnant with her baby sister, but when she got overly curious I told her we'd talk more about it when she was older. Luckily she just accepted that!

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  61. We were on our way to the temple. Mom and Dad were in the front seat of their rental car, and bride and I were in the back. Without turning her head, or moving a muscle, Mom said, "Now, you kids know about sex, right?"

    This was in 1979. I think back now on all the things I SHOULD have said: "No, mom, what's that?" or "Oh yeah, we're experts at that." or "Mom! You said the Ess Word!"

    Instead, I answered her straight: "Yes, the doctor recommended a book to us, so we got it and read it together."

    Still without moving a muscle, she said, "Good."

    And that was all the 'sex talk' I ever got from my mother or my father.

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    1. That's about as good as mine. I think I was about 15 or so and my mom said to me, "You're smart enough to know how it works. You go doing it and get pregnant you're on your own. I've raised my child, I'm not raising yours." That was it. Oh, I did get a time-of-the-month talk when that started that consisted of handing me a box of pads and saying, "You'll need these every month now." She wasn't big on discussion. LOL

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  62. I suggest starting way earlier if you want to avoid the "yuck" response. My 3-year-old, who is now 8, knew all about the basics of sex, and has never had a "yuck" response. It's just like digestion. It's just how things work. I can never figure out how a child gets to age 7 or 8 without asking these questions...mine asked so many door-openers along the way!

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    1. generally teachers who hear detailed sex talk from children this young have to look in to sexual abuse, and may even have to report it.

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    2. I am a teacher. If I hear accurate sexual talk from a child, I would assume the parent had explained these things.
      If there was blatant sexual actions from a child, on the other hand, I would have to report it.
      Parents explain about sex to their children and teach them the correct words.
      As far as I know, pedophiles don't.

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  63. Best story ever.

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  64. I wish more people viewed it this way. There are kids who grow up on farms and understand reproduction WAY before I ever did! I now work with kids in a residential community and they are very sheltered. We can't talk about these things with them because of how "modest" they try to be. The girls and boys can hardly be together outside of school. Currently all of the girls from last year's senior class are pregnant.

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    1. I knew how animals reproduced for about as long as I knew anything. (still a virgin at 28 and happy to be so.)

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    2. My experience being that appropriate sexual restraint and knowledge can co-exist quite well.

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  65. My daughter went through that stage (Anna's) and is now in the "I don't want to know, I never wanted to know, and I am going to run away or hum really loud if you try to talk to me about anything". Joy of joys! This is compounded by the wonderful arrival of her first cycle, developing body, and need for deodorant. Books are put on shelves, other close female friends are treated the same way, and her dad's answer to everything is "you don't need to know until you are 30" Sigh.... I think i miss the ultra curious days.

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  66. I will never forget about the night our (then) 12-year old foster daughter, who I thought was fast asleep, called from her bedroom "Mom? What's the missionary position?"

    ......

    Now, I'm not going to lie. The first thing that popped into my head was to tell her that it was something you do when God calls you into the mission field. But then I decided that I was glad she felt comfortable enough to ask me questions, which were never spoken of in our house growing up. So I plainly called back that it was a sexual position and asked her if she had any other questions. "No," she said, "I just heard it at school and wondered. Goodnight!" End of conversation.

    It. was. hilarious. (But I'm so glad she asked instead of getting information from the hallways of junior high!)

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  67. It's been a while since I've read regularly. Man I'm glad I read this. I was laughing so freaking hard! That is one of the funniest things I've ever read!

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  68. The reply feature isn't working for some reason...
    Anon about the radio @12:28 on July 26...He said he turned it off. Did you miss that bit? Yikes.

    Ashley @3:00 on July 26...So ashamed to say it, but my mom just handed me a vile powder blue book from the 70s with some crappy illustrations when I "became a woman". We never actually had "the talk", so I thought all the way up until 9th grade biology that the man had to pee in the woman's mouth, because I didn't know there was another fluid that came out of there, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out what hole down there was big enough for his weapon to fit in. Boy was I relieved to learn that I wasn't going to have to drink somebody's pee just to have a baby.

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  69. I know this is really late in the game on this post, but I had my first try of "the talk" with my 7 year old daughter, 4 year old son, and 2 year old daughter because they were bombarding me with questions about me being pregnant. I answered questions honestly but without very many embarrassing details and somehow veered into scientific things like genetics. I thought I had dodged a bullet until a few hours later when my 7 year old daughter told me she was really worried she couldn't be a mom later because she didn't know her entire genetic code and wasn't sure if she could learn it. Crap. I must be the only person on earth who tries to explain sex and ends up giving her daughter a complex about genetic code.

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  70. As my sons were growing up, I would answer all of their questions frankly and honestly. As they were 'taught' sex ed in school they were able to process what I had told them and compare it with the 'instruction' they got in school. They would come tell me all the bizarre stuff they were being told by paid teachers and we were able to go change the way the subject was being presented in the schools. It is now a more clinical approach with biology as the main subject rather than a presentation of Alternative Lifestyles and the Karma Sutra that it had evolved into. When my oldest daughter asked me about sex one afternoon, one of her older brothers said, "Are you really sure you want to know? Dad will tell you EVERYTHING. You better be sure you want to know. If you want just part, go ask Mom."

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  71. I am crying!!! Literally crying from laughing soooo soo hard!!

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  72. Oh my gosh, I am so glad I baked my husband an apple pie today! He won't ask many questions about how I spent the day! Laughing so hard I can't see! I gotta stop reading this blog. Right now..... After I read about Bambi nuggets.....

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  73. I laughed out loud so hard I got so many weird looks from my family. This was just hilarious.

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  74. Just educated all of my children at once on the subject. Was tired of them learning from teachers/leaders at church without them telling me they were going to cover the topic. So before the younger ones could be fed info on the subject I took it upon me to cover it my way. Since I homeschool I covered the technical parts in our physiology lessons. But more importantly I first covered it spiritually (which I am not sure this blog covered with their daughter.) I covered the why's before the how's. I think this would eliminate a lot of un-comfort by being proactive. All families differ but for my kids I used symbolism of roses and thorns. Fly's and wasps. Rose buds vs. an open rose. Brown pedals vs. untouched. Open doors at the right time sunshine comes in, at the wrong time- let in fly's and wasps. But how many you let in is not up to you. same with the consequences for our actions we do not get to choose. We open the door, but we don't choose the consequences or how many flies come in. Christ erases sin or catches the flies with a sticky tape like repentance. But that is the way to get rid of the flies after we have let them in. We can't say how many wasps are going to sting us if we play near a nest. A rose bud isn't prepared for opening. It is like a child who isn't ready for adult things. If we force it to soon it ruins the rose. etc. etc. Then when I go into the physiology it is just science. When I am done they know everything so they don't look like dummies to the others who don't know what they are talking about spiritually or physically. And I answer all their questions anytime. Like my 5yr olds questions: "Where is my baby making machine? when will it work? How does the sperm get from the dad to the egg." We are also covering genetics this year so it all works together. Why they have dads or moms eyes etc.

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    1. I am an adult who is very educated in sex and how it all works . What I got from your post is one a girl items her legs and let's someone in she does not get to decide how many she lets in . Once she has had sex she is no longer a healthy fresh white flower she is an unhealthy brown flower .
      I sure do hope that in your metaphor filed talks your children did not get the same things .

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  75. I don't know if I've ever laughed so hard. Out loud. Alone. At 7:30 am. She is going to hate this in ten years.

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  76. This is hilarious. As a young, unmarried adult, I totally agree with having open and honest conversation with your children. I grew up knowing only very basic anatomy, and not even much at that. I didn't really care until we went through the 5th grade puberty unit in class. I was horrified! They didn't teach us how the sperm and the egg "meet up" per se, but I found out as the years went on through little snippets from classmates and the media. These kids are going to find out, and when it comes down to it, would you rather them find out from other (and usually vulgar) sources, or you? It's best to start earlier than later so that your children feel comfortable talking to you about it - my parents never brought up anything other than periods and left the rest up to me to find out. I'm sure they were open to any questions that I had, but since there was no precedence established there was no way I felt comfortable enough to ask them about anything sex-related. Thanks for the post!

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  77. this is nuts, I was dying just reading it. Here is what you should say " I am totally comfortable talking to you about sex, but it makes me uncomfortable talking to you about my own personal sex life" maybe she will understand that a little? She will ask why...but you can just tell her it's special and private..i know she will ask a million questions again...that will be part 2 of the post haha

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  78. Hi, I'm Mel's friend from home. I just laughed out loud. And I never laugh out loud at anything. Except Mindy. So thank you for sharing!

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  79. That story is hilarious. I love it!

    This is a topic I've been thinking about lately, because they've recently revamped the sex ed curriculum in my area. Now, topics such as anal and oral sex will be taught in grade 7.

    My kids are 3 and 6, and they haven't asked yet, but when they do, I plan to have an open conversation about sex with them (though hopefully they won't ask as many personal questions as Anna did!).

    However, my 3 year old daughter suffers from severe social anxiety (she's recovering from selective mutism). Her psychologist was commenting about how she thinks the new sex ed curriculum is shoving sex into kids faces when they're not ready for it, and could cause anxiety in kids.

    I have no hang-ups about sex, but, since I've got an anxious kid, this comment concerns me a bit. I've love to know your thoughts on this. Is it too much, too early for some kids?

    Hopefully, she won't be shocked either way. We've always been open about our bodies, and plan to be open about sex, so I'm hoping whatever they tell her in school won't come as a massive surprise.

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