16 Feb
Talking to Kids About That Thing

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My husband recently had the sex talk with our 11-year-old son. My husband said that it went well. Unfortunately, when I asked him if he told our son that it is okay to masturbate, he looked at me like I was insane and said that no way was he “going there.” He feels like this is something that people just know and that they don’t need permission. I think that it’s wrong to assume that, but I also think that it would be better coming from my husband than from me.

What do you think?
Signed,
I am a Girl, Don’t Make Me Do It
___________________________________

Dear Girl,

Masturbation is like meth. We all do it, but no one talks about it.

Let me lend you a hand with this one. Your husband doesn’t feel comfortable telling your son that it’s OK to date Mrs. Palmer because his father never told him. Why not call your father-in-law to discuss this lapse in his parenting? It’s not too late to recreate that all-important father-son moment for your husband! If his father is not available (like if he is no longer with us, or upon hearing your request, denies paternity), I recommend asking another male role model to step in to assure your husband. Perhaps a friend, or even a co-worker would work in a pinch. Feel free to brainstorm with some girlfriends.

Now that we got the awkwardness out of the way, let’s attack this head on.

You and your husband need to relay the message that masturbation is a normal and healthy part of sexual development. This also would be a wonderful time to discuss issues such as privacy, closing the door, and knocking on any closed door. If your husband refuses to talk to your son about it, you may have to grab the bull by the horns yourself.

Try to be direct about it. Say, “I don’t think your dad mentioned it, but masturbation is a normal and healthy activity.” It may be awkward, but the awkwardness is a small price to pay for your child not feeling conflicted or guilt-ridden over something normal and natural. Also, reassure your son that unless he raises the issue with you or his father, you will never bring it up again.

If you prefer the less direct route, consider saying, “hey, did you hear about the 15 best songs about masturbation list? Want me to leave the link on your Facebook wall?”

He will probably decline, but a beautiful conversation may blossom.

Good luck!
Marinka, TMH

4 Responses to “Talking to Kids About That Thing”

02.16.10#1

Comment by Amy.

Oh man.. never did have that conversation with the son. Think he got the picture it was ok to masturbate though. At 13 he blurted out “Hey Mom! I think I had my first wet dream!”

I was actually rather proud he felt close enough to me to tell he his news..

02.16.10#2

Comment by kmdguerra.

My daughter’s only two and while I like to think that she will inevitably glean this knowledge through osmosis in the womb, I know she won’t. I’m just glad I have several more years to plan! And I hadn’t heard of “Mrs. Palmer” before…we know her as Rosie Palm and her five sisters here in this household!

02.16.10#3

Comment by the mama bird diaries.

This line brightened my whole day, “Masturbation is like meth. We all do it, but no one talks about it.”

Completely agree with your advice. Talk to your kid. My mother never talked to me about anything so I had to get all my information from porn. Best to go a different direction.

02.23.10#4

Comment by Alli.

At whyzz.com, the source for kid-friendly answers on how the world works, the birds and the bees are one of our most-asked about topics! With the help of qualified experts, here’s our advice for discussing this tough topic for the parents of kids ages 4-7:
http://whyzz.com/right-from-the-start-where-babies-come-from

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