One night at dinner, my 7-year-old son said, “Hens can’t make eggs by themselves. They need the rooster’s help.” Although I clearly heard him, I tried to ignore him because I wasn’t prepared to go down this rabbit hole. Of course, he would not let the conversation die.
“The rooster has to add a little something to make the egg grow,” he continued. “What does the rooster add, Daddy?” In his science class, they were observing an egg in an incubator. His teacher had attempted to explain the miracle of life as benignly as she possibly could, but her description left my son with a few questions.
Before I could answer, my 9-year-old daughter chimed in.
“Can a woman have a baby without a man?” she asked. My wife, KayEm, and I looked at each other and wondered if we could steer this conversation in a different direction.
“No, a woman cannot have a baby without a man,” said KayEm.
“My piano teacher told me about a teenager who had a baby without a husband,” said Nee. “How did that happen?”
At that point KayEm kicked me under the table, and we realized we couldn’t delay “The Talk” any longer. Thankfully, we had been preparing for this day for several years. When Nee was 5, We attended a “How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex” seminar. The speakers recommended a book and several articles for us to read. KayEm and I, being diligent students, studied the information and waited for the right moment.
I must admit that we should have addressed the issue sooner. Nee is quite perceptive and noticed that several high schools had nurseries and toddler sized playground equipment. We told her that those things were for the student’s children. Although she couldn’t really reconcile this information, she never pressed further.
Like many parents, KayEm and I were reluctant to have the sex discussion because the thought of it made us uncomfortable. We realized that we had to push past the discomfort to ensure that our daughter received honest information from her parents. We didn’t want the media or her peers to shape her perceptions about sex. The truth had to come from us.
After the talk, Nee had two responses: “EWWWWW!” and “So how often do you and Daddy do that? Once a year?” Other than that, she handled the information well and was quite mature in her reaction. In fact, Nee’s response has made it easier for me to let our 7-year-old know exactly what the rooster needs to add.
Questions: Have you had “The Talk” with your kids? How old were they? How did you handle it? Did your parents have “The Talk” with you?