Talking to my Sons about (Almost) Everything

We were in the Laurentians last weekend at a typical family gathering. There were seventeen of us at the dinner table so you can imagine the decibel level.  Add to that the  rapid fire exchanges switching between English, French, German and Hungarian. It can be difficult to keep up, especially for first-timers. It’s not like we’re deliberately trying to test someone’s potential fit for our family — but surviving these dinners is a good predictor of who will embrace loving chaos in the future or die from a splitting migraine.

My cousin Andrew (optimistic soul that he is) brought his girlfriend for the first time. It was impossible to talk to her (or anyone, actually) during the meal but after the masses dispersed we were able to have a quiet chat. She works as a high school counselor dealing with difficult issues like on-line bullying. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to worry about things like this but we agreed that parents shouldn’t spy on their kids’ on-line activity. Rather they should create a relationship where their kids can talk to them about anything.

She observed that many parents are unable to discuss difficult subjects with their children. For example, sex is often a taboo topic, so kids are not well prepared to protect themselves from inappropriate on-line activity. I said I always prided myself in being able to have frank conversations about sex with my sons. The last thing I wanted was for them to be pulled into harmful situations or engage with women in a Neanderthal way. But there was one time, I recalled, where I was at a loss for words. She laughed when I told her the story. I already shared it with you four years ago…

Tongue Tied About Oral Sex

When parenting duties were being divvied up, I somehow drew the short straw. My husband John comes from strict Baptist stock, the kind of people who don’t talk about sex because it may lead to dancing, or worse, cards. By process of elimination, I was assigned the responsibility of sex education for our two sons.

I took my responsibilities very seriously. I read Jake and Micah books like Mommy Laid an Egg, used anatomically correct words rather than “privates” or “willy”, and let them stay up late to watch South Park.

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Photo credit: Unsplash – Frank McKenna

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