So…this post might offend some people who might not be comfortable with talk of sex or sexuality so please click away now.
OK, you’re still here? Great!
In our household, we have always believed that children need to learn about sexuality or be educated about it from an early age. Hence taking our eldest daughter since about 4 to Natural History Museum to see the biology bit of human procreation. Nothing mushy or kinky. Just scientific dry facts.
In our household too, we teach our kids the correct word for their private parts. Are you ready? Yes, we use the words vagina and penis and rectum. Of course for the most part, in daily conversations, since 3 out 4 are pretty young, we refer to ‘winkie’ as their sexual organs, boy or girl.
This is a recollection of conversations I had with Asger. I thought it was a little cute, a little funny and yet, at the same time, a glimpse into the mind works of a 5 year old boy.
A couple of weeks ago, Asger was in the bathroom at the same time as I was. This is not an unusual thing as both my hubby and I are ok with our children seeing us naked and having a shower with them until a certain age. We were both getting ready to have our shower when I had to sit on the toilet.
Asger happened to peek in front of me and saw my ‘glory’ as I was cleaning up.
“Eeuuwww….I can see your mummy winkie!! It’s disgusting!!”
“Why is it disgusting Asger? It’s the same winkie all girls have you know.
One day you are going to see your girlfriend’s winkie and then you might not think it’s so disgusting after all”
I then proceeded to ‘lecture’ him on what this whole bit is all about. I told him he actually came from that tiny space he glanced at, 5 years ago, and how painful it was to have a baby’s head came through so maybe it wasn’t so disgusting after all if his head did come through that way.
“So I came from your tummy out through your winkie?” Cue the incredulous eyes, getting rounder than it already is.
“Yes, you did. In fact, all babies came through their mummies tummies into this world through this tiny bit. Well, almost all. Some special baby came through straight out the tummy with the help of a surgeon.”
“Mummy, I have a hole too in my winkie. Daddy too! But our holes are smaller than yours. Only pee comes out of it.”
“Yes, that’s right. Boys have holes in their winkies too. And only pee comes out of it.” (I’m not about to tell my 5 yr old son the other messy bit that comes out if it! 😉 )
He kept quiet for a short while and cocked his head. That’s Asger’s cue for when he’s thinking furiously.
“Mummy, boys winkie holes are too small for a baby to come out of it. Maybe that’s why daddies can’t have babies!”
“Oh why do you say that?”
“Well, if daddies were to have babies, how are the babies going to come out of this tiny hole? (pointing to his own penis) It’s too small. The babies are going to get stuck. Then the babies will die eventually. Then the daddy will die from the pain of this hole breaking open. If the daddy die, there’ll be no more baby. Then there’ll be no more family because the mummy’s need a daddy for the baby!”
“Oh…that’s an interesting way to look at it! Mummy never thought of it that way. So clever of you Asger!”
(Hugging naked mummy’s tummy)”Yeah mummy, only mummies are strong enough to have babies. And you’re right, your winkie is not disgusting. It’s a clever thing because pee, blood and baby can come out it!”
Cue smily mummy having a happy shower withe her newly enlightened son.
Fast forward another 2 weeks and a few days ago, we had ANOTHER conversation with him in the bathroom. This time it was in the morning with both mummy AND daddy naked having our rushed morning shower. While daddy was towelling off and mummy was about to get in, Asger asked his daddy,
“Daddy, does your winkie go up when it sees naked people?”
Daddy looked at mummy smiling and wondering how to answer this question.
“My winkie goes up sometime when I see girls naked. And it’s a funny feeling”
“Well, my winkie does go up yes. Only when I see pretty naked girls. *pause and looking over at my raised eyebrows and slight smirk*
“Ok, my winkie goes up only when I see mummy naked. Not other girls! But only sometimes. Not now and she’s naked” (I had to secretly laugh at this statement)
“Can you make your winkie go up now? Can I see what your winkie looks like when it’s hard?”
“Well, no. You can’t see my winkie go hard! *laughing a little hard now* And I don’t want you to see it now or ever. It’s not really right. You only do it in private or with a girl you love. You don’t show it to people.”
At this point, this mummy thought she had to just add a little more sexual education by reenforcing our past comments.
“Remember Asger, you can’t touch other people’s private parts nor can anyone else touch yours. Even when mummy or daddy do it, if you feel uncomfortable, you have to tell us to stop. Not even a doctor can look at your winkie if you or mummy and daddy don’t allow it. And if a girl says no, it means no, OK?”
He gave me one of his big eyed grin and smiling eyes and we all got on with our day.
As you can see, it seems lots of our eye-opening conversations happens in the bathroom! LOL…
On the serious side, we are very serious that our children are sexually educated. It does not mean we want them to be sexually free from a young age, it just means we want them to be empowered. Education is a form of weapon. The more they know, the more they want to learn. The more they learn, the less sex is something they want to ‘explore’ behind the shed but something that’s scientific as well as emotional.
Even though we support LBGT rights and accept that one day one of our children might be one, we tend to use the traditional outlook when discussing relationships. Some people may not agree with what we have done, this is just our family’s way.
I know this kind of conversations will still happen in our household for a few more years. Ayla is now 3. It seems that our kids are all curious around the age of 4-5 so I shall be prepared for the next stage of that event.
What about you? How do you tackle “the birds and the bees” with your own children? Do you find it easy or difficult? Have you got other tips you can share so that others can learn?
For a recap of our last bathroom conversation with another 5 yr old, click here.