After my recent posts and the following comments I have realised that I have an 11 year old son with whom I have not talked with about the finer details of life. He is still a young sort but I am incredibly proud of him because of the way he is so self-assured whilst retaining a sensitivity and best of all he has a great attitude to girls. He can be a boy's boy and then easily be a best friend for girls and stands up for them when boys go "Ewwww, it's girls, yuck".
I remember when I talked over periods and stuff with my daughter it was not easy. She is nearly 16 now and we seemed to have coped. With my son being the carefree sort I am afraid that I have been coy over the years, especially when the sanitary towel adverts came on the TV. He'd asked "what's that for" and I'd say something along along the lines of it being a type of tissues. I fudged it quite frankly.
Although other things in our life are more rounded I really have hidden from broaching these things with him. But now something has happened to me. I think it is from just writing these few entries in my blog, by talking about it, by thinking things over more specifically and by discussing these issues more with hubby that I felt empowered. And so I did. We sat down for a over an hour and started working through "how a woman works" and then "how a man works". I have in mind to talk more about hygeine and relationships but there is only so much which he and I can take in one sitting.
But I have to say, it went really well. I was surprised how well we were both able to talk about these things. I knew he had done some stuff in school about male adolescence. He said he didn't remember doing anything about females.
We had time and no interruptions. We talked periods and hormones and even the shape of the female body using a combinations of my drawings and a biology book. We talked about feelings and nice stuff about the clitoris and the shape of the female organs and how, with the lips, it looks like a lily or a tropical flower. We talked about understanding and giving women space and privacy when wanted, and about PMT, comparing various women and girls my son knew.
We talked about the penis and how the pipes work cutting off urine when it is erect. I realised I didn't know what controlled the hormones in a man, in the way the pituatary gland did in a women and so we are going to look that up. We didn't get as far as talking about reproduction, or sensuality for men or for between men and women, and we'll come back to that another time. We did enough in one go and I was surprised neither of us were needing to rush off in embarrassment.
My son made it easy because he was interested and asked questions. Neither of us felt the need to smirk until he did when I got to talking about the various names of the scrotum. I was surprised about how easily I was able to talk about periods to my son. In a way, I think it was easier to talk to him about it than it was to talk about it with my daughter a couple of years before his age.
He doesn't look mentally scarred as a result and I can not believe how it good it all feels. I think it is partly about me realising that my son was ready to know and should know about these things. There is still more for us to discuss but it is a good start.
This afternoon I went with him to the Public Library to get some reading books. I thought I might take the opportunity to get some books on the body and found it interesting. There were two books on the shelf on reproduction. One had pictures that jump from a nice couple smiling at each other to the egg and sperm fertilizing. A huge number of unanswered questions. On the same shelf were four books on drug abuse. Very worthy and I do not wish to take away from them but it did bother me that kids could not see pictures of the human body in more detail and yet had graphic detail of a number of "shooting up" scenes including one of a woman with a hyperdermic up a bulging neck vein (or blood vesel).