We got The Note that schools send when they’re about to delve into “sex ed” a few months ago. Do you know The Note? The Note can make an otherwise good day awkward; I was afraid of The Note.
In any event, we decided we should have a series of talks with our 10-year-old about stuff like puberty, sex, etc. before she heard about it in an audience of her peers. We wanted her to feel like she can ask us questions about sensitive topics at home instead of on the school bus or in the cafetorium. We also felt really strongly about communicating, from the beginning, the emotional + spiritual impact of sex and remain convinced that no institution can really offer that to a child–it should come from a parent.
So as we toured the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum on a rainy Sunday and looked at images of the parasite infestations being treated around the world, we moved to the display on HIV infection. Our 10-year-old asked what HIV is, and we discussed the nature of the virus. Obviously, she wanted to know about methods of transmission. I talked about drug users and needles leading to infection, and because it was also mentioned in the display, added that it could be transmitted through sex.
At some point I shared that sex involved “private parts touching her private parts.” Before this day and this moment, our talks had not quite progressed to the point of the specific mechanics of sex or where the proverbial “rubber meets the road.”
Her face was absolutely appalled.
A few seconds passed. Then, “That…makes me feel uncomfortable.”
We quickly walked to an exhibit on eradication of guinea worms.
Here’s the thing: you may not always have a guinea worm exhibit to take your parent-child interactions about sex from discomforted to distracted. You may not have the benefit of an AIDS exhibit in a 90-something former President’s library to start conversations. And that can be a problem.
So, what’s another non-threatening way to broach “the talk”? Simple and entertaining videos that are age-appropriate!
And that’s why I agreed to partner* with Amaze in its campaign to raise awareness about the videos it puts out for this purpose, like the one below:
You can find out more about Amaze at its Facebook page or YouTube channel. Feel free to interweave these resources with your conversations at your home (or local Presidential library). Since I have 2 more children with whom I have to have “the talk,” I’m certain we’ll need all the resources we can get.
* “partner” in this context means receiving compensation in exchange for viewing videos and providing an honest review of them, and I’m nothing if not honest here.