Ging and I were watching an episode of Glee (the one where Finn and Quinn tell her parents she’s pregnant) when a new word caught my ever perceptible daughter’s curiosity.
“Mommy, ano yung ‘sex’?”
I sorta like grunted and continued to munch on a corn chip. Crickets chirping.
“Ano nga yun Mommy?” Ging repeated when it became apparent I wasn’t giving her any answer.
“Er, well, it’s something for grown-ups only…” I vaguely answered, and tried to divert her attention by reminding her not to drop crumbs on the bed. It worked, at least for that time.
But I couldn’t help but think about that instance. What if Ging heard that word again and she wasn’t with me or any other sensible adult (Ok I’m not saying I’m always a sensible adult, but I am mostly when she’s around. It’s one of those required motherly stuff)? What if she Googled the word and found out for herself what it really meant?
What’s the best time or age to talk to your kid about the birds and the bees? With all these modern technology and Internet being accessible almost anywhere, it’s so easy for kids to get information, even wrong or distorted ones. Hey, even I get wrong information. (Damn that Daily Mirror website, I should have stuck to People.com).
Let’s face it, kids are acting older at a younger age. Ten years ago I was having sex at eighteen; imagine what they can do today! Add to my paranoia: my sister telling me that some girls are getting their period at the age of 10, 9 or even 8 years old! Eight! That’s my kid! That can’t be. She just stopped breastfeeding like, 7 years ago! Hello! She is not wearing a napkin any time soon!!!
I racked my brains and realized I myself never had a real sex talk with my parents. I guess they were from the school of thought that if we don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist. Or they trusted us to be intelligent well enough to figure it out ourselves. Unfortunately, I must have inherited my mom’s scientist-like gene that believes in experimentation, so voila! Knocked up at 18 with the first guy who came along.
I’m not saying for sure that if my mom or someone older had sat down with me and showed me cartoons of swimming sperms and multiplying egg cells, I would not have had the irrepressible desire to know more about sex at an early age, but I guess it might have helped to stall my raging hormones a bit more. Addison (from Private Practice) got it right when she told Naomi to talk to her 13-year-old daughter about sex, “so she can stay a kid a while longer.”
My Sex Ed 101 is basically gleaned from reading Tiktik and Barako my male friends sneaked into school during our sophomore year, and giggling over porn tapes after COCC training. In senior year at HE class, Mrs. Dayan had us watch a video about the facts of life, which had most of us yelling “Ew!” when the baby’s huge head popped out of the woman’s vajayjay. Then she told us that sex is good, that when it’s the right time, reaching “high heavens” would be so, so worth it. “But not now,” she sternly emphasized, to which I could hear some of my classmates giggling nervously.
(Years later I would find out that while I have the reputation of being the most uhm, liberal, among my batch mates for getting pregnant first, some of my “quiet, innocent” classmates were getting it on years ahead of me. Wow, still waters do run deep, huh?)
Other than that, we mostly got you’ll-be-struck-by-lightning-if-you-so-much-as-think-about-sex lectures from our elder professors. I get that their intentions were good, but I think at that age and time, an honest approach to responsible sex (talk about birth control or STDs for crying out loud) would have been more effective than trusting “Ang Propeta” to teach us about life’s most valuable lessons.
So I guess my question now is, when would be the right time to take Ging to a quiet corner and tell her that having sex before she’s 30 causes unwanted pounds, zits and body odor? Or I should just tell her that her idols, the Jonas brothers, have this thing for chastity jewelry?