Monday, December 15, 2008

The Birds and Bees

Folks, given my advanced age, I am closer to the off-ramp now than to the on-ramp. However, I feel like I am incomplete. I feel that there is something that I should have learned long ago, but I missed out on it - never got the inside scoop. My mummy and papa never sat me down and had that talk with me. You know the one, about, hmmm, what to call it, the one about the birds and bees. Actually, I could not imagine a more awkward conversation. I can picture my parents trying to make do with the standard euphemisms, while I, sitting in my footie pajamas, have focussed every ounce of energy trying to make lightning strike me or trying to spontaneously combust so that I could get the heck out of there. Ack. The thought of this scene makes me itchy. Talk about your heebie-jeebies! On a serious note, I have a 10 year old daughter. I have tried my level best to teach her right from wrong, to bring her up with strong moral values, to be a positive role model in her life. However, I feel totally inadequate and totally uncomfortable even thinking about having the talk with her, my precious baby. My instinct is to stick my head deep in the sand and only emerge when the all-clear signal is sounded 20 years from now.

I have visited the web site of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology for some help. Their advice in this area is to: i). encourage your child to talk and ask questions, ii). maintain a calm and non-critical atmosphere for discussions, iii). use words that are understandable and comfortable, iv). try to determine your child's level of knowledge and understanding, v). keep your sense of humor and don't be afraid to talk about your own discomfort, vi). relate sex to love, intimacy, caring, and respect for oneself and one's partner, vii). be open in sharing your values and concerns, viii). discuss the importance of responsibility for choices and decisions.

Despite my total discomfort and reluctance to talk to my daughter, I know that all of this is too important to ignore and avoid. I can't shirk my responsibility and leave this for others. I know what I must do. Please pray for me to finally be the mature grown up that I am supposed to be, but in the mean time, I need to call mummy to find out about this bird and bee business, it's about time I found out too.