I know I am not the only one…the parent who picks up their child and you start a lite conversation about how their day went on the drive home. Your hope is that they had a great day and stayed out of trouble. They confirm that and you finally breathe a sigh of relief, but before you know it some advertisement on the radio or a sudden streak of curiosity brings up a question that nearly runs you in the ditch! It’s what I like to call, “Car Chronicles”.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the talks I have with my son, but they are some of the funniest, educational and challenging topics I have ever experienced as a mom. On this particular winter evening, I was relieved that my smartphone’s calendar was free of any holiday obligations. I zoomed through traffic as Ace and I talked about what was for dinner and what series he would select on Netflix. Then our conversation took a turn when he asked, “How does that baby get in the belly?” I was so caught off guard! Below you will see how the conversation went:
Since about age five this question has come up and I have always been able to give an age-appropriate response that he is satisfied with, but now that he’s older, wiser and just plain old persistent in wanting to make sense of the world around him it is not so easy to dress up a response (honest of course), wrap it in a bow and keep him happy. As you can see this made for quite the discussion for my social media moms, dads, and aunties. Even a few guys without children found it funny. The common thread that I discovered surrounding this topic, however, was that most moms said, “I’m Not Ready!” Is sex still really that taboo to talk about? Although I co-parent and we are pretty transparent with Ace, I don’t always get the play by play of what he and his dad talk about. I mean…I am not a guy and I never will be so I try to allow his dad that space to teach without getting in the way and then we have to backtrack when things like this happen.
Three weeks after the talk about bellies, babies and “swimmers” (I think that’s what got me most) ABC’s blackish aired S3E11’s “There Eyes Were Watching Screens” and this is the one show during the week that Ace and I bond too! We watch it together, laugh and have open dialogue afterward. To my surprise, this episode was about Dre and Bow’s ten your old, twin daughter hearing her peers at school talk about sex! In Diana’s offense she went to the older siblings and asked them what it was and they advised her to “Google it”. She did and her mom found her on a pornography website. Bow loses it and has no idea what to say to her and when she talks to her husband about it he cringes about the thought of having, “The Talk”. So I would say the answer to the question I asked earlier is yes, talking about sex is still taboo to many.
Although, I am not completely unaware that this is an issue in our world I truly think I never gave it much thought. blackish went on to state that statistics show that girls as young as ten years of age are addicted to pornography. That was shocking to me, but then I had to remember a discussion that I had with a mom that said her 8-year-old had the same thing happen to her at school. However, she decided it best to look it up and search the word for herself and her mom later checked her search history and to her surprise, she had explored a lot! I have not had that issue with Ace at this time…knock on wood. I began to do some research of my own and I did discover that:
- 9 out of 10 children between the ages of 8 and 16 viewed pornography on the internet, in most cases unintentionally.
- The average age of first internet exposure to pornography is 11 years old. [source:archomaha.org]
Overall, I feel that Ace asked a great question and the timing of the show airing was perfect to build on and make sure that we had an understanding. Obviously, it means the world to me that I get to talk to him and that he wants to talk to me because when the time comes that an outside source brings it up he will have the knowledge to respond appropriately. Clearly, he is correct when he said, “It’s bound to happen!” We might as well be prepared parents. That makes me laugh every time I think about it. Also, if you have been sleeping on blackish…I highly suggest you give it a fair chance. They are in their third season and have done a remarkable job creating content that is modern and relevant to the many issues we face today! You can catch them on Wednesday nights at 8:30/7:30 CST.
I would like to know! What has been your experience with your children and hard-pressed questions? Comment below…