How stressful could it be to be asked by your eight year old daughter about sex? My husband and I were awfully tensed the first time she did that. We tried to brush the subject off but she kept asking, to the point that hubby had to take antacids already. And he doesn’t suffer heartburns, ever! Except for this time. It wasn’t something we were prepared to talk about, and I don’t think we’ll ever be.
I’m the type who doesn’t sit around feeling like a victim. If something’s bothering me, my instinct automatically switches to the problem solving mode. This subject may not be too serious for us grown-ups, but I can see how my eight year old daughter is struggling with something she can’t understand. She’s reaching out to us by asking these questions, and the fact that she sees us so uncomfortable only makes her want to know more about it. Except for my five year old daughter who could care less, I was sensing a lot of tension building up between the three of us.
When I sense stress, I deal with it rightaway. It speeds up aging so it’s one of those things I don’t tolerate in myself, my family, and at home. And how did I deal with this particular stress? I ran to Borders. Literally. I have no idea how to answer my daughter’s questions and didn’t even know how much information to give her. Good thing I found this book called “Amazing You” and bought it rightaway.
It is specifically for young kids that explains changes in your body as you grow, differences in a boy and girl’s body, as well as answers the question “where did you come from” without giving the hows and too much information that would have invited more uncomfortable questions. She read it in one sitting and was happy with the way it satisfied her curiosity. It was practically my lifesaver. My only contribution was to read it the second time to her and asked her if she had any questions, to which she happily said no.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the last part that was a message for the parents. It was saying something like it’s ok for the kids to masturbate, just tell them to do it privately. Uh… I grew up in a catholic school and masturbating is a mortal sin! So, no, it’s NOT ok, and I won’t encourage them to do it. What the hell??? If you’re planning to buy one, just rip the last page.
I also bought this American Girl book called “The Care And Keeping Of You” that explains to her not only what changes to expect but also how to better take care of herself as she grow up and experience these changes. Another lifesaver. Phew. It’s more of a reference book, and we both read it from time to time.
My parents didn’t talk about this subject with me at all when I was growing up. I guess, it totally made them uncomfortable that they just relied on the school to educate us about it. I wasn’t very vocal about it either so I didn’t ask a thing, and just moved on with my life. But seeing now how my family is so tightly knit and open to one another, the silent treatment won’t work. So I’m glad for these two books which literally saved my sanity!