How much is too much?
Hi Amy! I have 11- and 13-year-old middle school girls. I’ve started some conversations with the 13-year-old but it’s time to get into the heavy stuff before middle school starts. I’ve had the books you recommended for years but I’ve chickened out a few times! I’m going to lead with, “I’m probably a bit behind the 8-ball on this…” I’m not sure whether I should hold the initial conversations together (although I think my 11-year-old is oblivious) and then give them the books or if I should hold the initial conversations separately. Any suggestions for talking to my middle school girls about sex would be appreciated! –Jennifer
Talking to Middle School Girls About Sex Means Telling Them Everything
Okay! Time to dig out the books and hand them over – and you have it totally right! Say, “I’m sorry – I should have been talking about this with you way more than I have been. Here are some books about sex, love and relationships. Get reading. We’ll be talking – even though it might be uncomfortable for both of us, this stuff is super important.”
Here’s a link to find my fav books for sex talks with middle school girls.
Giving them the books and telling them the sex talks have officially started is the first and easiest conversation. Once you have done this, you can stop tippy-toeing around all the sexuality topics with your 13-year-old–it doesn’t serve her (and its tons easier on you!) She’s hearing all kinds of things from her peers, the interwebs and social media.
Your job is to provide the ballast in the storm of info they are both getting.
It doesn’t matter if the 11-year-old is oblivious, she still needs to know. And with her sister knowing all about sexuality, there will definitely be some passing on of information.
Give them the books separately – and then talk to them together sometimes and separately, too. You know their temperaments and how and when each will be most comfortable talking about sex. You can freely talk to them in the car, at dinner, doing dishes, walking the dog, etc.
Permission granted to talk-talk-talk your head off. No one will die or throw up. Promise.
A huge note of caution with middle school girls, DO NOT use their discomfort as an excuse not to talk to them! Parents make this mistake all the time.
Life is uncomfortable and the best place for your girls to be uncomfortable is with you.
Also, don’t believe them when they say they know it all – they don’t, hell YOU don’t! You can tell them, “I don’t know what you know, and the only way to be sure you’ve got the info you need is for me to tell you myself.”
You’ve got this!!
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