How to Teach Kids about Sex: Go See Les Mis and Leave the Kids with Dad

– Posted in: Elfie, Mouths of Babes, Movies, Newt, Parenting, Personal Insanity, Sex, Tenzin, Thank God Your Father's Home, TV, Worrying, Worst Mom Reviews

I went and saw Les Miserables with a girlfriend the other night. It was an amazing movie, but for some reason, I still feel like I could just nitpick it to pieces. I’m starting to think this could be my calling — professional life nitpicker. Too bad I can’t get someone to pay me for that…

les-miserables-film-hathaway Anyway, I came home and told my husband, Tenzin, how we apparently wouldn’t be taking the kids to see Les Mis due to its rather “realistic” portrayal of 19th century France. I could be overreacting — what 8 or 10-year-old wouldn’t benefit from seeing a little kid shot in a gun battle that made blood run through the streets. Or men swimming through raw sewage. Or a desperate mother forced into prostitution and selling her teeth (good gravy, did anyone even know that kind of thing happened?).

After my debrief, I went to tuck in the kids and asked them what they did while I was gone.

“We played Wii.”

“And we put together legos.”

“And we learned what SEX was.”

Wow. Okay. This was shocking but not totally surprising news since they (well, really my 8-year-old daughter — the boy couldn’t give a damn) have been asking various questions for years. Usually we answer with some biologically explanatory answer, and it’s put to rest. But I’ve been waiting for the day when I’ll be pinned down and really hit up for details.

Tenzin and I had even planned on sitting them down and just laying it all out there (is it just me or am I using a lot of double entendre-ish verbs in this post?). And truth be told, I was not excited about any of this. It might sound crazy, but there was just a feeling of crossing over — like once they knew about sex, they’d never look at the world in the same way again. Like one of those bubbles that surround childhood would be burst. And we all know those can’t ever be resealed.

Honestly, I blame all of this new-found interest on Neil Patrick Harris. The kids walked in while I was watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother the other day — the one where Barney breaks a “jinx” and gets hit by a bus. So now he’s their new favorite person. Of course they wanted to watch the rest of the show, and the thing is riddled with sex jokes.

Then I made the mistake of showing them Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, where Neil plays an aspiring super villain. If you haven’t seen this, trust me, it’s worth the 42 minutes of your life. The kids have memorized all the songs (in a good way, not an “I’m going to strangle you” way). And even though there are some bits in there about Captain Hammer’s penis and getting to do “the weird stuff” the second time, they pretty much went over the kids’ heads. Or so I thought…


Anyway, as usual, all of my worrying was for naught. Tenzin got out the anatomy book and explained everything (Well, not everything — lord knows how many conversations will be had about “the weird stuff”). And the kids basically took it well. They were kind of grossed out and couldn’t really believe they’d ever be interested in doing any of that business themselves.

But back to my part in all of this during the tuck-in that night. My son says, “We heard that you and Dad had to do it two times.” To which I said, “Well, I hate to tell you this, but Dad and I have done it a heck of a lot more that two times.” I figured by then, might as well rip the Band-aid all the way off…

I did not, however, say that we hadn’t done it nearly as many times as Dad would’ve liked. Especially in the last 10 years or so, since they’d come along. That’s a whole other conversation for another day.


14 Comments… add one

Verity December 29, 2012, 10:06 pm

Oh my god – that is so funny! The whole time we were worrying about how the movie would effect them. When my eldest was told about this, she said something about why would anyone ever do this. I let it slip that it feels pretty good. My god, what was I thinking?
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Tammy December 29, 2012, 11:53 pm

Well you don’t want to turn your kids into frigid freaks who think sex is evil. That’s why this is all so hard. It’s natural, but don’t do it. It feels awesome, but don’t do it. It makes the world go ’round, and it wrecks people’s lives! Argh!!!

Seriously, sex is so complicated. I think that’s why I get so mad at people for sexing up their kids — well, mainly their little girls. Scratch that — boys too. They’re exposed to SO much. Boys just have the luxury of not being dressed up like mini adults. But anyway, there’s enough to be dealt with when you have the mental capacity to handle it. As a child, you shouldn’t be saddled with any of it.

(And just to clarify, if anyone’s reading this and totally confused, Verity and I went to Les Mis together — that’s what she’s talking about.)

Rachel December 30, 2012, 2:47 am

Dreading that conversation. DREADING it. Even as a grown up I refuse to think of my parents “doing it.” blech. You just made me think of it!!!
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Tammy December 30, 2012, 2:56 pm

OMG Rachel. You’re going to make me pee my pants.

Mary December 30, 2012, 8:00 am

Oh how I laughed reading this! I remember sitting down with Matthew and sharing with him this book we got on teaching kids about sex. Pertinent memories were him saying “how does the penis get past all that fur? Does he just ram it in there?” or the ending of..”Sydney is not ready for this. We should wait a while.” Always looking out for his sister…uh huh.

Tammy December 30, 2012, 2:58 pm

How did you keep a straight face throughout that? Dear lord! Have you talked to him about any of that? Does he remember? If not, I’m going to remind him…

Kelly DeBie December 30, 2012, 8:56 am

At least you got out of doing it…
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Tammy December 30, 2012, 2:58 pm

True dat…

crazyladyx5 December 31, 2012, 7:23 am

This is just too funny!!! I just give my kids a book and say “read”… lol

Tammy December 31, 2012, 12:45 pm

That would’ve been the reasonable thing to do.

Kristen Daukas December 31, 2012, 7:40 am

You should have just told your oldest and given him the directive to “pass it on” 😉 I love the sex talk especially now that mine are old enough that they know.. now it’s the good stuff and man do they get embarrassed.
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Tammy December 31, 2012, 12:46 pm

Except that the boy doesn’t “get” a lot of things. So lord only knows what kind of story he would’ve told the little one. Actually, that might’ve been really funny. Damn.

Michelle January 1, 2013, 5:53 pm

My almost 13-year-old and I have been having many of these talks with little bits of information each talk. She normally lets me know when just the two of us need to go get fast-food and sit in a booth in the back of the restaurant. The whole concept of sex “freaks me out” (her words), but not as much as the concept of periods. We had THAT talk and then a few weeks later she asked, “So when will I have my period”.
I said, “You mean your first period”?
She said, “You mean it happens more than once”?
Me – “Yes”.
Her – “Well how many times does it happen”?
Me – Oh….about once a month until your about 55.
Her – That’s funny. Really how many times!

LOL – all I could do was laugh!

Tammy January 1, 2013, 6:12 pm

Michelle, that’s just about the funniest — and most pitiful — thing I’ve heard in a long time. She sounds just like me when I was her age. Not. Wanting. Any. Part of it!

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