Last Sunday, after we finished our monthly hiking, we went to a small town nearby to have dinner. We were joined in by another family. J and K were having a fantastic moment.
I would expect them to doze off in the car on the way home after dinner since it was a hot and tiring day. Apparently that’s not how it turned out to be.
“Daddy, what’s wet dream? Do you still experience it?” asked K suddenly from the back seat, just a few minutes after I started the journey.
As you might have expected, the question was unexpectedly shocking to me. I expected a long and quiet drive. Not this intellectually challenging question.
It took me a few seconds to calm down and replied without revealing the shock that I felt, “Yes, I do.” At the same time trying to hide my embarrassment coming from the question by pretending it was just like any other questions.
I thought my answer was enough to kill K’s curiosity in this subject. Boy was I wrong.
He asked further, “Daddy, how do you put sperms and woman’s egg together?” Bam! The second question came in with even more bang than the first! Luckily I didn’t lose the wheel while I was driving.
I was thinking: Now it’s the time to tell both of my beloved children about sex. I didn’t have any intention to avoid or hide anything from them. On the spot I decided that it would be a “tell-all” session.
I spared the details but I told them how a male’s sperm and a female’s egg meet. I touched on safe sex and contraception. I even told them how to protect themselves sexually and about sexual harassment.
I also told them sex is a crucial part of a happy marriage when K pressed on to find out if we were still making love.
On and on…
I did most of the talking with a little help from my wife. I couldn’t see them but I could feel that J and K listened intently what I had to say.
All in all, the lively discussion lasted for about half an hour, in the car. Though it was not long but enough for us to educate them on this very important but sensitive topic.
I knew it was coming but I was not sure exactly when. To me, talking about sex with children is one of the most challenging tasks a parent can have. Especially for conservative Asians like us.
I had been postponing my children’s urge (especially K’s) to find out more about this topic all this while. The urge was getting stronger after his teacher touched on the topic of sex education recently in school. His curiosity went through the roof and I thought the timing was right this time and I must deal with it fast.
Before this, I felt that the timing was not ripe yet for this saucy topic. Hence, the info was scattered and not complete for J and K.
Now the moment had come for them to know the whole picture.
No matter when and how I am going to talk about sex education, I have some basic guidelines (principles) that I have told myself to adhere to: truth and transparency. I will not misguide them with half-truth facts and tell them they were brought in by a stork on a bright, sunny day. Or worse, they were found in the dumpster.
Instead I will reveal nothing but the truth (but I decide how much I should reveal) to them so that they understand the topic without distortion. I feel that there’s nothing to shy about and it’s part of how the nature works. I want to be the go-to person for my kids on this topic and I don’t want them to get second hand info from their friends which might turn out foggy or untrue.
In fact, my wife has done a few rounds of basic introductions to J and K on this topic. With our son K (10 this year), she was touching the topic just on the surface but with our daughter J (13), more details were revealed during their respective one-on-one sessions.
I can’t deny the fact that mother is more suitable to take the role as a teacher to daughters when it comes to sex education and vice versa.
Now that I have unloaded what J and K need to know about sex and babies. I feel like a big stone already off my chest now and I can breathe better thinking that I will not be bombarded with questions like, “Where did I come from, dad?”
Of course this is not the end and I expect more questions from them as we go along.
For more tips on becoming a better parent by breaking the rules, check out my “The Nonconformist’s Guide to Parenting.”
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