What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10Find out more
Giving DD "the talk" as a dad(58 Posts)
DD is 7 nearly 8 and its getting to a point where we probably need to talk to her about sex and also about growing up and going through puberty.
DH and I (both males) aren't really sure how or where to start.
We always assumed that she would ask us and then we would just answer her questions as honestly as possible. But she has never asked.
She does know where babies come from, just not how they got there.
We are really worried about getting it wrong.
So I'm hoping you can maybe give us some tips on how to do it or what to do to make it comfortable for DD.
find a good book. Mummy laid an egg is one example that springs to mind. I don't think it is brilliant, but it will do. There are probably better ones.
You are right, it is getting very late, if she genuinely hasn't ever asked questions. She is probably getting information from somewhere else.
Yes we are wondering if may be she has had information from elsewhere in which case she might believe things that aren't true.
I got my dd the usbourne book "what is happening to me " after getting recommedations on here. Think she was 7/8. She point blank refused to look through it with me but I left it with her. Now she's 9 and I know she looks at it quite often, plus she's happy for me to flick through a few pages with her every now and again. So not really "the talk" but more of a drip feed. She never asks any questions either
When I was that age, I was quite happy to talk about periods and puberty with my dad (and mum of course), but wasn't too comfortable talking to them about sex. I was a bookworm so found a lot out from my mum's family medical encyclopaedias. Son I think a good book aimed at that age group would be a great start.
My mum got me the Claire Rayner book "Where do I come from" when I was about 8 or 9 and just left it on my bed with a note to say if I had any questions to ask her. We never spoke of it again In all seriousness it was a good book and I understood it straight away - it's a little dated now but it's not like sex and puberty is any different than it was 30 years ago!
are there any aunties or similar on the scene? lots of children are curious when they see sanpro in the bathroom, or even see their mums changing pads etc- they find stuff out quite naturally that way. Your DD is a bit young but I gave a widowed friend the UK edition of our bodies ourselves for his daughter. Maybe worth you having a look at it, anyway.
Will it be covered at school? Our school has a sex ed policy and they outline exactly what is covered in the topic for each year group. It could be a good starting point for the conversation e.g. 'So, I hear you are going to be learning a new topic at school and thought we could have a chat about it '
The Usborne books are good. DD also liked the American Girl book 'The Care and Keeping of Me for Girls' which talks about puberty body changes like spots, needing to wash more, hair, as well as periods, bras etc. It doesn't really cover the sex side so much.
I know DD reads the books on her own. As you say, they can hear daft rumours in the playground, so it's good for them to have the facts. I have also told DD if she has any questions at all no matter how small she can ask me.
It's great you are thinking about it and want to do it right.
You should start now, quickly and in a lighthearted way. She's only 7 she probably won't be embarrassed at a casual discussion.
It doesn't cover puberty etc but 'what makes a baby' is a good one. It was written to be able to be used with different types of families and doesn't assume that there was a mummy and a daddy involved.
You need to say that the most common way of making a baby is for a man and a woman to have sex. A seed like a tadpole comes out of the mans willy and goes into the lady's vagina (or whatever word she uses) and swims to the lady's egg and then together they grow into a baby in the woman's tummy. 9 months later, baby born from woman's vagina or if that is difficult then the doc can make a little cut in the tummy to get the baby and sew it back up. Then say but if a woman is married to a woman or a man is married to a man then they need a bit of help from someone else to have a baby. Eg two ladies will have a seed given from a man. Eg two men will ask a lady to carry the baby and give the egg. You'll presumably need to tell her how she personally was conceived - is that what she's getting at? Have a distraction ready like trip to park/ somewhere she likes
Plus if you have younger kids, tell them earlier than 7.
Plus don't treat it as "the talk". She should feel like it's a chat she can follow up any time and get further info. You don't need to tell it to her all at once. It should be a process that as kids get older they get more info. But your dd is already 7 so you'll have to move quicker.
This is quite a good book. www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1407116045/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I don't think "The Talk" is always necessary, I think giving her a book - or preferably several - will suffice if you anticipate it being very uncomfortable; as long as she knows she can ask you any questions. I was a very cagey kid (should revise that to "am a very cagey person"!) and that's what my parents did.
Agree she is probably getting "information" from peers!
Just out of interest, why is 7 too late? Need to move quick, tell younger siblings earlier etc? My DD is 7 and a half and not mentioned a thing or shown any interest and I remember my talk with my mum was when I was about 9. I've been thinking about getting a book or similar but the posts here imply I've left it dreadfully late? Why the hurry?
Around 6/7 my daughter read Mummy Laid and Egg obsessively, in fact I think that's the book that cracked reading for her as she found reading difficult and this was the first book she ever wanted to read (again and again).
I agree books are a good way in but they have to be age appropriate, some of them have quite grown up stuff in for 7 depending on the child. It also depends if they are a good reader.
following with interest - my DD1 will be 8 in about a week, and I was thinking about exactly this. Like your DD she hasn't really asked, although knows the rudiments. Coincidentally (?) we are also a same-sex couple. Is it really very late, as many posters are suggesting?
San Puberty for girls has moved at least two years earlier than in previous generations, so that means changes like hair under the arms, in private places, perhaps getting sweaty and breast growth happen sooner, so by 8/9 lots of girls will be starting this, some even sooner. Periods are not unheard of by 9 and quite a few girls still start in primary school. That's what spurred me on when mine were about 8 and I realised we hadn't started those conversations at all, once we got going it wasn't as embarrassing as I feared.
Thank you for the great advice, DH is looking at books now. Quick question are we supposed to buy her certain types of tampons or pads, for her too look at?
She isn't showing any signs of puberty yet so do we buy her some so she knows where they are when it comes to the time?
She knows that it takes a man and a women to make a baby, that baby's grow in the mother and how they come out. She knows how we got her and has done since she was little.
She just doesn't know the in detail of how it happens.
Have a look at the book suggestions on here. I was thinking the same as you and am going to order some of these for my 8 year old. She seems to have got most of her sex Ed from watching Yorkshire Vet! Prior to that she never asked much but with every new episode new questions are asked!!
Definitely start with pads. Companies like lil lets do teenage friendly packaging. Caring for herself hygienically during her period is something you'll have to get ready to help her learn - it's probably a good idea to start thinking about how you'd approach that.
I also didn't realise how early periods etc could start. We thought she would just ask questions when she was ready.
But I saw a thread on here the other day about a little girl starting puberty at DD s age and I realised we couldn't just wait for her to ask, just in case as it might happen to her or one of her friends soon.
Yes it's not necessarily that there is a rush to explain how babies are made, but that puberty has moved forward, so many girls are experiencing body changes by the age of 8. And if you are going to explain puberty then you will have to explain the rest too!!!
But as others have said it doesn't have to be one big Talk but a series of ongoing conversations.
When she first starts, she will be best with pads. Tampons aren't ideal until you are adept at dealing with your period in my experience - I started using them at about 16 (although my periods started late at 14). I wouldn't think a little girl would need to know about tampons so early on. It probably is worth getting a pack of pads so that if she does start she will have immediate access to them. Ones with wings are good as they stay in place but aren't as discreet as non wing pads - I prefer the security of knowing they are stuck in well and truly but all girls are different.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.