Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Indifferent to Inquisitive



Part 2 of the Touchy Club - 


If you didn't read part one, this is what happened:

Hubby walked into the bathroom to find our two youngest with their pants down. Our 6-year-old daughter quickly pulled hers up. The 3-year-old didn't care that he was half naked. Our 9-year-old was in the bathroom with his clothes on. Wow! I have a fantastic hubby that calmly asked what was going on. Our 3-year-old said they had a secret touchy club. My husband talked to them about respect for bodies and why we keep our bodies clothed.
Later, I had separate conversations with each child. I started with our six-year-old (part 1). Here is my conversation with our 9-year-old:

Me: What gave you the idea to start a touchy club?
K: I don't know. 
Me: (I just kept waiting......I knew he had a reason and wasn't ready to tell me yet. I figured if I just waited, he would tell me. 
K: Well, we were bored and didn't have anything to do so we made a secret touchy club.
Me: Do we have secrets in our family?
K: Not really. 
Me: We have surprises, where someone is going to find out soon. We don't have secrets where no one is ever going to find out. 
K: I know. 
Me: Are you interested in what a girl's body looks like?
K: Not really. Well, what are those (pointing to my breasts. I didn't realize it had been so long since I was breastfeeding and that was a regular topic in our house). 
Me: Those are my breasts. Do you remember what they are for? 
K: For feeding babies. 
Me: (At this point I knew he really was interested in a girl's body and he was just not sure it was okay to be interested.) It's okay to be interested in other people's bodies. It's okay to be curious. 
K: Oh. 
Me: Every body is different and girl's bodies are different from boy's bodies. Do you know why they are different? 
K: So we know which one is which? He thought about it for a minute and said, "Oh, so we can have babies!"
Me: Yes, absolutely! Those parts of our bodies that are different from each other are special because one day they will be used to create babies. We keep them sacred by showing reverence for them and covering them. 
K: Okay. 
Me: If you are ever curious about a girl's body, you can ask me or your dad. 
K: Okay. What are those little parts on the outside? 
Me: (I knew he was talking about the female genitalia.) The bumpy part with the crack in the middle?
K: Yes. 
Me: Those are called the labia. 
K: Labia. Oh. 
Me: Any other questions (boy did I get an earful!)?

This simple question turned into a barrage of questions, some had to do with sexuality and the body and others did not. Here is a sample:

Why do people date?
How long do they date before they get married?
How does a baby taste in the uterus?
Do smoking or drinking hurt a baby in the uterus?
How do drugs affect a baby in the uterus?
How long is a baby in the uterus?
How do I know what age of girl I should marry?
What is God's plan if I don't get married?

I'm not going to put all these conversations and answers here because that would be a long post. I can tell you that since he finally decided to be inquisitive, rather than just absorb everything we've said, I ask him a lot more often if he has any questions. He has started asking me a lot of questions and I realize that he is getting ready to understand puberty in more detail. He will be 10 years old in a few months and we will begin those conversations as we feel he is ready and the timing is right.

Touchy Club


We had some good talks recently with our 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. It started like this:

Hubby walked into the bathroom to find our two youngest with their pants down. Our 6-year-old daughter quickly pulled hers up. The 3-year-old didn't care that he was half naked. Our 9-year-old was in the bathroom with his clothes on. Wow! I have a fantastic hubby that calmly asked what was going on. Our 3-year-old said they had a secret touchy club. My husband talked to them about respect for bodies and why we keep our bodies clothed.

Later, I had separate conversations with each child. I started with our six-year-old.
Me: How did you feel about the secret touchy club?
A: I didn't like it.
Me: Do you know why you didn't like it?
A: No. I just didn't like it.
Me: You body is very special and who can look at and touch your body?
A: Me and you and dad and the doctor.
Me: Why is your body special?
A: Because our body is a very special temple for our spirit and certain parts need to stay covered.
Me: Yes. I know you love your big brother. But, you can always say no to something that makes you uncomfortable, even if it's someone you love that asks you to do it.
A: I won't play that game anymore. I don't like it.
Me: Has this game ever happened before?
A: One other time at Anna's house (name changed; this was an adult's house where my husband and I were spending time with our friends and the kids were in another room playing this game. It was only our children. As I had other conversations with our children we figured out what was happening. Our oldest came up with this game and it wasn't anything beyond "playing doctor." I do have to say that I was a little concerned that someone had done something to him to start this game. It turns out, he's just starting to get curious about girls' bodies. This is normal for this age, but he now knows how to appropriately ask about girls' bodies.).
Me: How did you feel about playing the game there?
A: I didn't like it there either.
Me: How do you feel now?
A: I feel a lot better now that you know and I don't want to play it again.
Me: If someone asks you to play it again, what will you do?
A: I will ask to play a different game.
Me: What if they don't want to play a different game?
A: I will play something else.
Me: By yourself?
A: I guess.
Me: It's better that you play by yourself than a game that's inappropriate.
A: Yeah.
Me: You also should tell mom or dad if someone asks you to play a game like that, even if you didn't play.
A: Okay. I feel lots better now.
Me: I'm glad. I love you.

Stay tuned for Part 2.........Talking with the 9-year-old culprit!!!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Standing Up



Yesterday our daughter was having her dance pictures taken. On the way home we were talking about the friends she has made in her dance class.

Me: You have some new friends you've made this year in your dance class. It looks like you have lots of fun with Sarah (name changed).
A: Yeah. All the girls in my class are nice, except sometimes Ariel
(name changed) tickles me and I tell her I don't like it. She doesn't stop.
Me: What do you do when she doesn't stop?
A: She does it all the time. One time I told the teacher. She had to sit out from some fun stuff.
Me: It's hard to tell the teacher when someone does something that you don't like, especially when it's a friend. I'm glad you stood up for yourself.
A: What does that mean?
Me: Well, it means you tell other people what you do or don't like in a nice, but firm way. You say, "I don't like it when you do that. I need you to stop right now" ( I said this in a firm tone, not yelling, but an "I mean business tone." For those of you that know our daughter, she is so sweet and soft spoken. It's a stretch to get her to use a tone like this.)
A: I don't want to be mean!
Me: If you really don't like something, or someone is hurting you, this is not a mean voice. You are not yelling or saying unkind things. You are telling them that you really mean what you say.
A: Oh.
Me: It's unkind for them to not listen to you when you are telling them you don't like something or something is hurting you.
A: I only told the teacher one time.
Me: I'm glad you told her that one time. I hope you keep trying to let this friend know you don't like it in a firm way. You can always move away and tell her you will stand by her again when she listens to you.
A: Yeah.

Appropriate touch click here.