Monday, September 10, 2012

Sexual Questions and Body Parts

As Connor and Merasia have gotten older, they have started getting more curious and asking more questions. They have bathed together since they were a few months old, so it was inevitable that one day they would notice they have different body parts and would begin asking questions. 

A couple years ago we lived in an apartment that only had a shower, and the twins were too big to bathe them in the sink anymore, so I would shower with them both, or hubs would shower with one and I would shower with the other. Of course this brought up a lot of curiosity for them as they saw mommy and daddy's naked body parts frequently. 

When they did start touching each other's body parts in the bath and giggling uncontrollably about it, or when they started asking us questions, we were honest with them. They were curious why they each looked differently "down there" and we told them. Boys have penises and girls have vaginas. It's just how we are all made to be. We didn't call Connor's penis a "wee-wee" or any other slang word, and the same for vagina. We chose to explain these things to our children in the responsible, adult way and with responsible and proper language. There is no reason to hide these things from them, and no reason to describe them in any other way, and definitely no need to avoid the subjects altogether.

Merasia knows where her vagina is, and she knows where Connor's penis is and will gladly point it out at every chance she gets. The same goes for Connor. When they see me or Frank naked, they point out where our vagina, butt, or penises are, just as they should. 

We didn't stop them from bathing together when they started noticing their sexual differences and asking those questions. There was no need to. Why hide it from them? If we put an end to them seeing each other naked or bathing together just because they noticed each other's private areas, then they would grow up thinking there was something wrong with this stuff, or being afraid of it, or not educated in the right way about it, and we would never want that.

What it boils down to though is that it just doesn't matter! It's not a big deal!  You can't shelter your children from everything all of the time. Even if you try to when they are young, they are going to grow up, and they are going to rebel and that will be even worse. There is nothing wrong with being up front and honest with your children in a natural, responsible, adult, mature way.

Not only do Connor and Merasia know what each private part is and the difference between them but they know where babies come from. They will tell anybody that babies grow in a belly and come from a vagina. Of course they don't the science of what goes on inside, but they know the children's version of where babies come from, and that, to me, is a great thing! They can also tell us when their private area hurts for some reason. The other day, Merasia fell on something and hurt her vagina. She was able to tell me in her own words, "I hurt my vagina" so I knew what was wrong with her since I didn't see the accident happen. 

We will continue educating our children in this way for as long as we need to. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them knowing the truth and knowing yet another of their fabulous body parts. So many parents these days get scared when their kids start noticing penises and vaginas on other children or even on them, or when they start asking questions about babies and how they get where they are or how they get out into our world.  Parents freak out and get scared and avoid the subject or make up these horrendous, wild, stupid stories instead of just telling them the truth. They try to shield their kids from it because they don't want to deal with it, or they think it's gross, when in reality, it's only natural! These are innocent children who have no idea what anything is in the world, and it's OUR job as parents to TEACH them these things, no matter what, no matter how uncomfortable it might make us or how weird it might seem to us. Our children rely on us and only us to provide them with everything they need, even early sex ed.

So to that, I say jump in! Jump in with both feet, eyes wide open, and a smile on your face, because that is truly the best and only way to deal with these situations.

2 comments:

Nicole Hughes said...

I am the only female in my house. When my oldest started questioning why I didn't have a pee pee I don't think he believed me that all girls had something different.
My husband has a human body book and as he was looking through it one day he noticed the man and woman standing next to each other with all of their skin on (next page showed muscle structure) and he said to me,
"You were right, mommy! Girls really don't have a pee pee!" I cracked up. Apparently, even at such a young age, he questions my answers.

Blake said...

Nicole,

How funny!! Teaching these things happens even when we least expect it! :)

Thanks for sharing!

~Blake