Last year Amari asked me a dreaded question. “What is sex, Mommy?” I literally panicked. I know my face was beet red. In the 30 seconds it took me to answer, I wondered where the question had come from. Was it that blasted television? Had her friends mentioned it at school? Had she happened across an inappropriate website? What should I say to her? How much does she really need to know? How much does she already know? Do I take the sex is BAAAAD approach? Do I take the good when done in God’s order approach? Do I give a light answer and hope she forgets about it? What should I do?!?!?
My response—“Why do you ask?” She said that she had watched an episode of “My Wife and Kids” that was about sex (and pregnancy). I decided to give her the simple answer…the easiest answer…and then I hoped she wouldn’t have any follow-up questions. She didn’t. Whew.
Flash forward. My family and I headed to L.A. last Friday and I had the radio tuned to KFWB where a story about 2nd graders having sex in an Oakland classroom made it across the sound waves before I could change the station. I panicked. SECOND graders? What? In a classroom? What? Did Amari hear the story as well or had the book she was reading distracted her? My face was beet red, once again. I was floored.
When Amari first asked me about sex she was in the 2nd Grade. Was my answer actually good enough last year? I had given the easy answer and didn’t really explain too much, reasoning she was too young to know—but obviously that might not have been the best decision since there are second graders who were documented having sex in a CLASSROOM…I thought back and remembered that kids talked about sex ALL the time when I was in the 2nd and 3rd grades. I don't remember what was said, but I know it was discussed on recess and lunch.
Hmmm…I decided I would have to tackle the subject in a little more detail. I would rather tell her what it’s all about before she hears the wrong things from her peers, television, etc.
A few nights ago I sat her down. I drew pictures and everything and tried to explain how it all works, the purpose of it, and why it is intended for marriage. I told her what could happen if one engages in the act before marriage—STDs, pregnancy, etc. I explained that it is a beautiful act when done with your husband but if done before marriage a piece of yourself is left with every partner you share yourself with. I pointed out the body parts, once again, that are off limits to anyone other than herself at this time in her life. I went on to tell her the mental and emotional rollercoaster that can come about when one engages before marriage. I used myself as an example, where applicable.
I told her all the things I had never been told by my parents—who I assume just hoped I wouldn’t do it. My sex talk with my mom growing up was her commenting on the guests on Maury Povich. We never discussed what leads a person to have sex outside of marriage. We never explored the scriptures to find out what was written about fornication. Everything I learned, I learned from friends and television. I learned warped ideology…and I made decisions based on warped ideology—decisions that affect so many people other than just me all these years later.
I ended my talk by encouraging my daughter to ask me any questions she may have about sex. I told her that she shouldn’t be embarrassed and although I may seem a little uncomfortable initially, I promised to always be honest with my responses.
As she gets a little older I’ll give her scriptures that coincide with the things we discuss. After all, what matters more than what I say is what God says. His word is true. It’s imperative that she knows His wishes and intentions for her life. For now, the basics about the birds and the bees have been covered.