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Forum -> Chinuch, Education & Schooling
When and how to have "the talk" with my children?
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 10:29 am
I grew up in a sheltered chassidish home and was pretty clueless about life until after my engagement. I struggled a lot in the bedroom, though cannot tell if it was solely because I was sheltered.

Fast forward a decade and some. My kids are growing up and have reached puberty, and I'm pretty clueless as to how to go about discussing s-xual development. When and how do I bring it up, if at all. What do I disclose at what age and what don't I share just yet?

Please guide a first time mom. Thanks!
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giftedmom




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 10:36 am
If they’re girls you should’ve mention periods by now. If they’re boys it’s more tricky and maybe ask dh.
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amother
Daphne


 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 10:50 am
Mikvah.org has wonderful classes called “conversations with our children”.
Take the time to listen. You will learn so much about how/when to have these conversations

https://www.mikvah.org/podcast.....art-1

https://www.mikvah.org/podcast.....art-2


Last edited by amother on Tue, Dec 19 2023, 10:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 10:51 am
I'm already past the period part with my daughter. As for my son, dh had a small talk with him before his bar mitzvah speaking about er-ection and that it's normal and not to give it too much attention. But that's as far as we got. What else?
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 10:53 am
amother Daphne wrote:
Mikvah.org has wonderful classes called “conversations with our children”.
Take the time to listen. You will learn so much about how/when to have these conversations

https://www.mikvah.org/podcast.....art-1

https://www.mikvah.org/podcast.....art-2


Thanks! Will look into it.
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peace2




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 10:55 am
Dr. Shloime Zimmerman wrote a book called From Boys to Men about this. I haven't read it (not relevant yet) but I have heard him on podcasts and he sounds excellent
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Dev80




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 10:58 am
peace2 wrote:
Dr. Shloime Zimmerman wrote a book called From Boys to Men about this. I haven't read it (not relevant yet) but I have heard him on podcasts and he sounds excellent


I don't have girls so no advice there. For boys this book is great! We haven't gotten to all of it yet but I've read it to my son (explained to him it's in convo format). They advise ages 9-12. Once it seemed like my son was hitting puberty milestones we started discussing it. But hit by bit, didn't want to overwhelm him.

Good luck!
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Unigala




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 11:00 am
the program Big Talks for boys is fantastic and I highly recommend.

btw my parents were the most open.. and I dont think they ever sat me down and said let us teach you XYZ..

we were just comfortable going over to them and asking any question and things kind of were taught organically like if I brought something up then she would explain in an age appropriate way.
only as an adult do I realize how unusual this dynamic was and how grateful I am to my parents for just keeping these topics normal but still private and age appropriate.

you know your daughter best of course and if she ever brings up something remotely related or asks anything about it any form.. IMO thats the best time to approach the topic
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amother
Peony


 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 11:15 am
Unigala wrote:
the program Big Talks for boys is fantastic and I highly recommend.

btw my parents were the most open.. and I dont think they ever sat me down and said let us teach you XYZ..

we were just comfortable going over to them and asking any question and things kind of were taught organically like if I brought something up then she would explain in an age appropriate way.
only as an adult do I realize how unusual this dynamic was and how grateful I am to my parents for just keeping these topics normal but still private and age appropriate.

you know your daughter best of course and if she ever brings up something remotely related or asks anything about it any form.. IMO thats the best time to approach the topic


Would you share more? How exactly did you learn about the the birds and the bees?
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amother
Seablue


 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 11:26 am
I teach my kids organically as things come up. I don't believe in "the talk". I discuss matters related to the body just as I do any other topic. I speak in an age appropriate manner and don't add more than they're asking. My oldest is 7. My kids already know about puberty I.e. girls bleed every so often/ pads, bras, pubic hair, changing of the voice for boys...all this came up in random conversations. My kids asked how the baby gets into mommy's belly so I explained that just like you plant a seed and then it grows and develops, tatty puts a tiny baby into mommy and it grows from there. I know this is not 100% scientifically correct, but I felt it was the easiest way to explain it. The kid asked on another day how the seed goes into mommy so I said that tatty loves mommy and that they do a special tight hug. Child was happy with this answer. Again, I know it's not 100% scientifically correct, but as they ask more sophisticated questions the answers will reflect that. All is going well for now..
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Unigala




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 11:26 am
amother Peony wrote:
Would you share more? How exactly did you learn about the the birds and the bees?


for me I got partially educated by classmates like most people are.. and I was only told half truths.. this is prob back in 6th or 7th grade (12 yrs old?).. so I went to my mother and asked her 'how its possible for the baby to look like the father..' I remember thinking I was so smart for asking like that.. like out to get the truth from her LOL

and she said well actually im glad you asked.. and she pretty much explained to me right there that babies dont just fall into mothers stomachs.. theres a hishtadlus that married couple does.. and told me that she isnt going into detail right now because its not important for me to know everything at the age I was.. but she said if you ever have any questions or hear anything scary please come to me and ask me ill be happy to explain.. she said its a beautiful and wonderful kadosh experience but the outside world makes it dirty and cheap and so its important that you ask me..

I remember this so clearly.. I think maybe some kids would have pressed on and wanted more details.. but for me that was already awkward enough and honestly because she was so non reactive and casual about it I didnt feel the need to push.. because if I was curious I could just go back and ask her again.

also I want to just say that this kind of openness and education should start young.. my mother taught us about puberty way before we were physically mature (late bloomers here) and she told me then that she wants me to know this because other kids might talk and its important that I have the right facts and not be embarrassed..
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Unigala




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 11:30 am
just to add.. you can see from my post before that my mother never explicitly laid out the actual action.. and for me that worked great..

I dont believe that children so young need to know the literal actions.. if a child is taught about body safety and privacy.. and also theres an open environment.. and also they know basics that should be enough.. unless they really care to know the gritty details..

I think people will disagree with me on this but this is the way things were in my house and we all felt very open and not weird about these things..

to me its not about hiding things or being secretive its just I feel like there are age appropriate boundaries that can be kept
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amother
Royalblue


 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 12:02 pm
It was very important to me to be the first to present this material to my children. Rather than having them come to me with questions about some nonsense they heard from a misguided friend. My children have friends who are 1-2 years older, so 11 would have been too late.

I gave my DD the full reproductive talk, periods and s_x and pregnancy, at age 9.5. I told her she can ask me whatever she wants but not to bring up these topics with her classmates, and if they bring it up in any group setting, to try to lay low or step away.

For a reference point of where the community is holding, the school gives the girls a talk about periods, with parental permission, in fourth grade.
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amother
Opal


 

Post Tue, Dec 19 2023, 5:51 pm
Less popular opinion in the chassidish community I was raised in but I believe in being open and honest with kids. My mom answered anything I ever asked her honestly no matter what it was. My husband's mother on the other hand doesn't tell her kids anything and uses code words for stuff she thinks is inappropriate, which makes me super uncomfortable since she's a grown woman, like grow up honestly. My husbnad still holds some resentment that puberty was never explained to him.
I would definitely discuss at least what's happening with their body, and possibly go further if you think they are mature enough to handle it.
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amother
Pistachio


 

Post Thu, Dec 21 2023, 10:45 am
How would you explain to a 7 yr old who asks how a babys comes out . She has older married sisters and sees hears all the works
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mfb




 
 
    
 

Post Thu, Dec 21 2023, 11:04 am
amother Daphne wrote:
Mikvah.org has wonderful classes called “conversations with our children”.
Take the time to listen. You will learn so much about how/when to have these conversations

https://www.mikvah.org/podcast.....art-1

https://www.mikvah.org/podcast.....art-2


Thanks for sharing
Do you happen to know if it’s possible to get hold of the booklet/papers the speaker refers to ?
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amother
Yarrow


 

Post Thu, Dec 21 2023, 11:35 am
amother Pistachio wrote:
How would you explain to a 7 yr old who asks how a babys comes out . She has older married sisters and sees hears all the works

Hashem makes a special hole where the baby comes out of
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amother
Viola


 

Post Thu, Dec 21 2023, 12:43 pm
amother Yarrow wrote:
Hashem makes a special hole where the baby comes out of


This makes it sound unnatural and confusing.

“Every woman has a little hole down there near the area where you pee from. When a baby comes out this tiny hole can stretch very wide, just enough to allow baby through.”
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amother
Pistachio


 

Post Thu, Dec 21 2023, 12:49 pm
May sound scary to a 7 yr. Old no?
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amother
OP


 

Post Thu, Dec 21 2023, 12:51 pm
amother Viola wrote:
This makes it sound unnatural and confusing.

“Every woman has a little hole down there near the area where you pee from. When a baby comes out this tiny hole can stretch very wide, just enough to allow baby through.”


Eek, no. I wouldn't go into that much detail. What's so terrible about telling young kids that some things they need to be a bit older to understand and know?
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