For most people, there are certain subjects that you don’t openly talk about. If we sat down on a coffee date and I said ‘Hey, let’s talk money!’ or ‘Religion, right?’ most people would be taken aback and we’d either change the subject or end the date pretty quickly.
However, having ‘The Talk’ and discussing body safety are immensely important topics that just can’t wait anymore. I believe talking openly about these topics with other parents and peers is a priority in the times we live in. In our home, we have started the conversation with our oldest at age 4.
The thing that made me realize it was of immediate importance was an incident at our local child watch center. There was an instance of one child touching another inappropriately. I knew how easily that could happen to our daughter. She is such a curious girl, especially about both hers and other people’s bodies, we wanted to make sure we educated her first, before it became an issue.
I’ve always thought we live in a safe world but we still must keep our eyes open.
Educating our children is the next part of that, so that they can tell us when they think something is wrong. I recently saw a post on NextDoor about men trying to talk children into allowing themselves to be videotaped at our local mall. That is scary to me, and it’s another reason we have started these conversations so young with our daughter. We don’t teach Stranger Danger in our house, instead we’ve been telling our daughter to talk to adults if she can’t find us and is worried. We want her to be able to approach people if she is in need of help without the fear of a dangerous ‘stranger’.
To help us in teaching our daughter about her body, we borrowed It’s Not the Stork
from our library and read it together as a family over the course of a week. However, my husband and I both read it before hand, so we could discuss what we wanted her to see and not see at her age. The only page we ended up skipping was the one that focused on intercourse. In a year or two we will cover that one as well.
The book discusses in detail the differences between boy bodies and girl bodies, how to talk to people when they make you uncomfortable, and where babies come from. After reading the book we’re able to reference it when sticky situations come up. For instance – ‘Oh, remember the book we read? It talked about not showing our panties outside of our home’. It has helped her realize it’s not just a rule that Mom and Dad have for her, but the way that other people behave. When other, even stickier situations arise, we hope she will see that when we tell her no, it’s not us enforcing a rule, but a good idea, too.
Only you know the best time to have these conversations with your sons and daughters.
In our case, we felt it was time, because our daughter walks up to any stranger she sees and tells them her life story. We love her outgoing personality, so rather than stifle that, we’re educating her on how to know if someone is acting inappropriately towards her. Here is a great list of books discussing sex and puberty for ages ranging from 4 to 10+.
I would love to continue the conversation on Facebook with anyone who has thoughts or questions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
is a freelance writer who began writing in 2013 after the birth of her first daughter. After being away from Indiana for 6 years, she has brought her family back to the place her heart belongs. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Indy, working on projects for her new home, or planning yet another Disney vacation. Above all, her deepest passion is her family. She loves adventuring with her travel sidekick Sophie (5), snuggling her new baby Lilly, playing board games with her husband Jeffrey, and enjoying the park with her dog Lexi. When she’s not crafting or writing for her blog DIY Mama she is working as a personal home organizer. Follow along in her adventures at @shellybergman
on Instagram or on Twitter.
(Main photo credit to Unsplash)