Archive for January, 2010

Parenting Tip: Talking About Sex and Public Restrooms

Boys In The Men's Room

When it comes to the sex talk with my child, I’m about halfway.  See, I decided all that drama about the BIG TALK with those traditional birds and bees was not for me.  If I’ve learned anything about parents and kids over the years it is this:  Many small, relaxed conversations with bits of good information beat the mother of a download (including all the nitty gritty, shock factor and a powerpoint,) everytime!

So by 7, certain things have happened, basic questions have been asked and that has led us to this cache of knowledge:

1. There is a purpose for private parts and it has to do with babies

2. One reason that things feel so zingy down there is so we WANT to play the game grown ups play that sometimes ends in a baby once we are old enough

3. Most kids are curious and check things out on each other; the first time is a pass, the next time, you are responsible for knowing the agreements (which you made after the first time)

4. There are Agreements, actually Commands, that NO adult will ever play these games without agreement from the other adult

5. All adults know that it is NEVER OK to play the games using privates with a child.  If they do, it is always their fault since kids don’t know how these parts work yet.  Both need help and coaching so keeping that secret Never works out.

What I’ve been able to do, given where we are at, is helping me conquer the one fear I’ve had about raising a boy; let’s call it Public Restroom-phobia.   When my son insists on using a men’s restroom solo, I have disturbing visions stemming from a Jodi Piccoult novel about a little girl who was haunted by a 2 minute fondling in a Mickey D’s men’s room visit spurred by a dare. 

Here’s how it goes now:

Me:  OK I’ll be here, you have 2 minutes.

Him:  OK

M: If anyone gets in your space unless they are helping with soap and papertowels, you call for me.

H: Got it.

(I have gone over and continue to refresh that if someone does anything confusing, scary, or demanding, he is to call me, get away, and if need be, pee on said person.  He loves that.  Be assured I will be in there in two nanoseconds)

Once he returns:  Hey, did all the adults keep their agreements?

Him: Yup!

Now I can go on with my day and my child has a viable plan that has him feel more like a victor than a victim!  What’s your version?

January 12, 2010 at 10:57 pm 1 comment

Dawn Roth

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