RTD: Puberty and The Sex Talk

I remember sitting in the doctor’s office for the ultrasound where we found out the sex of our first child. At that point I had 6 nephews and only 1 niece, and we assumed we would be adding another boy to the ranks.  When the doctor turned to us and said, “You have a healthy baby girl,” we were shocked. Once we asked several questions for them to confirm that finding, I turned to my wife and said, “Puberty is on you!”

Since my daughter is now older we have had to answer the “Where do babies come from?” questions. I was fortunate to be in the car when one such instance occurred. My wife explained just where the baby comes out and my daughter began to do an uncomfortable laugh that was similar to when you see someone get hit in their balls.

I find myself eternally grateful that my wife is around.  It is true that she does an uncountable number of things for our family, but I am most grateful that there is a well-adjusted woman in the life of my daughter to help her walk through the teenage/puberty years.  My biggest nightmare is that I will emotionally scar my daughter or give her some tragically wrong information regarding her body’s development.  I am so glad my wife is around for my daughter’s sake. 

However, I don’t know if I am well-adjusted enough myself to guide my son through his teenage/puberty years.  I know that I can’t teach from what I was taught, because I never got the discussion from my parents.  Whenever I asked questions I was met with brutal honesty I didn’t know how to process, or cryptic innuendos I didn’t understand. 

At some point in a kid’s life their parents decide when they will stop using nicknames for the sexual organs and begin using the medical terminology.  What is the magic age where your kids begin to process this information instead of just regurgitate the words when you’re in the grocery line and let everyone there know you taught your 3-year-old that men have penises and women have a vagina?  When a kid first asks for where babies come from are they asking for medical diagrams and video presentations or just the simple answer, from mommies?

Puberty and Sex Education were two parts of my life I seemingly blocked out of my memories.  So we will be having an open, and hopefully honest discussion on Wednesday night about just how to address these issues with our kids.  How do dads answer questions to their daughters, and how to moms keep their sons from becoming ashamed of their penises?  How do you begin to teach modesty and privacy without shaming or embarrassment?  

Bring your best advice that we can all learn from to the #DadsRT Chat this Wednesday night at 9EST/6PST.

~JB

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The Beginning
About ManvDadhood

I am a man, and by my wife’s standards that makes me flawed. My challenge to parents, and to myself, is not to teach my kids about the kind of person I hope them to become one day, but to become that person today.

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