So this is it. I’m blogging some of the crazy, hilarious, poignant and precocious conversations that I’ve been having with my eight- and six-year-old daughters and other parents, mostly mothers. Some of these conversations have been awkward, but all of them have been learning opportunities. Teaching moments if you will.
To give you a little bit of background, I am a mom… but before becoming a mom, I lived another life. Many years ago when I was in undergrad, I studied psychology and women’s studies, and decided I wanted to be a sex therapist. Well, I didn’t want to go back right away to grad school and, as it usually happens, life had a different plan for me. I started a career that I liked, married my college sweetheart, bought a house, moved to New York City, and then relocated to Germany where we started a family.
When both girls were babies I noticed that the Europeans approached sexuality much differently than Americans. The Germans, for example, call the conversation with children about sex “Aufklaerung” which means The Enlightenment. I love that! Seeing and experiencing this first hand as a parent while while living overseas brought me back to my original career goal. I think things happen for a reason and, despite the slight detour in my initial life plan, I’ve come full circle; I enrolled in The Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and I’m back to my plan of being a Clinical Sexologist… only this time a focus of mine will be to help parents talk with their kids about sex.
This parenting thing has given me the opportunity to practice what I preach on the topic of sex education. It’s more than practice though. I strongly believe my behavior and my approach toward sexuality with my girls is going to be one that will benefit them and hopefully help them grow up to be sexually healthy adults. The way I hope to approach this is through giving them open, honest, accurate information. I don’t know about you but I would much rather have my children come to me instead of going to YouTube or Google or some porn website to get information.
Most parents refer to the conversation about puberty or sex to be “The Talk”. When I hear that I think of a single conversation. Personally, it’s something that I take the opportunity to discuss with them whenever it pops up, for example, a TV show, an advertisement on the street, even a joke they hear. I’ve been continually surprised at how much my oldest daughter understands exactly what is going on. I hope this blog will also show that kids are incredibly curious and ask really good questions when this first starts to become a topic of interest for them.
I don’t profess to be perfect in any way. I’m probably going to freak some of you out by the conversations that we have. I’ll probably frustrate others that I’m saying anything about the topic. I do believe, however, that if I give my girls all of the information they need about sex and the associated feelings (most importantly feelings!!) that they will then in time make good, healthy decisions about what they choose to do, with whom, and when.
Enjoy! And if you have any comments please feel free to leave them here. Thank you!