Why I Had ‘THE Talk’ With My 9-Year-Old

the talk

McKenna: “What’s a condom?”

Me:

FIX IT, JESUS.

Send your angels to minister to my heart and wrap your tunic-clad arms around my shredded doctrine of motherhood.

Because it happened. The question above led to IT…

T H E   T A L K.

And it was terrible.

Yes, I’m talking about THAT ONE.

The big S-E-X discussion all of us get weirded out about having with our kids someday. Well, “someday” came  … last Monday, actually.

And – again – it was TERRIBLE.

I think I have a hangover from the blow to my head and heart still. If you need me, I’ll be over in the corner medicating myself with whatever yummy snacks I can find…

Okay, fine … so it wasn’t terrible. It was actually really good.

At least I can say it was as good as  T H E  TALK  can be with a NINE-year-old. Bless it.

But it was terrible because it represents a new stage, a new understanding, and a new perspective on the way the world works … for both of us. 

The problem is my biggest girl isn’t yet … well, big.

She’s only [9] years old and still a baby, a child, not yet able to drive, solve a quadric equation, or even rationalize why I answer NO to her demands for a Fin Fun Mermaid tail all the time.

I knew T H E TALK was coming, but I was hoping for at least a few more years before forced into it.

I wasn’t ready, but alas… my timeline wasn’t the timeline for us. (Cue mournful tears.)

If you’re wondering how it got brought up — just know I’ll be cussing YouTube and their dang algorithms until my kids are grown with their own children falling down the YouTube vortex of doom.

To keep details minimal, McKenna jumped on YouTube to watch behind-the-scene[s] filming clips of her favorite movie, Disney’s Zombies. Eventually, she landed on this YouTube video and watched the first portion. I shut her iPad shenanigans down with a quick “TURN OFF YOUTUBE NOW” after she asked what a condom was.

The video is a “text story” of a conversation between the two main characters of the movie Zombies discussing how the teenage girl ended up pregnant. Condoms, sex and FREAKING OUT all included in the story.

I debated answering her condom question or not. I debated pushing it off until she officially hit puberty or turned [35]. I debated purchasing an educational book and shoving it in front of her.

I even debated pretending I — all of a sudden — went deaf and mute, unable to communicate ever again.

But ultimately my inner mom conviction won out.

I WANT MY DAUGHTERS TO LEARN THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD FROM ME, NOT THE WORLD.

She is going to be exposed to the way our world acts, sells, and even glorifies sex … alongside so many other “adult” things.

I can’t stop that. Nor do I necessarily want to if I want her to survive out there in the big, bad world.

(TERRIFYING side note: Did you know that almost one in four children will have seen pornography by the time they are ten? TEN!!)

So before she moves into a stage of life (I’m looking at you, Adolescence!) where voices other than mine and her dad’s are loudest, I need her to hear from us so we can lay a solid foundation of how the world works, based on God’s design for it.

So how did the conversation play out between us?

I started by asking her what exactly she saw and what questions she had about it. (I made sure she knew the entire text story was fictional, as well.)

She had no idea what a condom was, but she “sort-of” knew what sex was … that is was something for adults and teenagers.

Hold me, Jesus.

I cautiously dove in head first.

We discussed how sex is NOT, in fact, for teenagers, only married adults, as well as what condoms are and their purpose. This naturally led to a very matter-of-fact discussion on fertilization, babies, adulting, how sex works and all the things, due to her continued follow-up questions. (Have mercy on the questions!)

SO WHY DID I GO AHEAD AND TALK TO MY NINE-YEAR-OLD ABOUT SEX?

Why did I do it now instead of avoiding the subject or brushing it off until she’s a little older? When maybe it feels slightly more appropriate?

Because I needed — still need — her to know and understand one thing before she heard it from friends, governmentally restricted school curriculum, or the internet. (Because she will.)

God designed sex for a very distinct purpose.

A purpose that is extremely private and designed specifically for a tiny group of people — a husband, a wife, and God Himself.

I discussed why it’s private and why so many people (myself included for a long time) didn’t or still don’t understand the blessing it can bring when done in the right context.

She now understands the basics of human biology (for lack of a better word) and life, and I’m no longer nervous about what questions she may suddenly raise because it’s out in the open between us.

She knows she can talk to me about this or anything else, and it’s a safe place. A place where nobody will get in “trouble” and we can discuss the facts and allow God to lead us in our understanding of how the world works.

My nervousness about this topic is now gone.

So if you’re a mama yet to have T H E TALK … go ahead and have your dramatic, terrified and mournful moment. That’s normal.

But I’d encourage you to also let God lead you to the correct response for your child. (Also — don’t make it weird. Practice your poker face now.) Because there’s freedom on the other side of our anxiousness.

I’m willing to bet your kiddo will respect and appreciate you more than you know, opening up an entire[ly] new world of open communication leading into our next stage of motherhood.


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Kristin Funston
Kristin Funston is the author of More for Mom: Living Your Whole & Holy Life and helps busy women engage with God and live with proper perspective and peace in the daily grind. She writes in a way that is relatable and practical, often with a healthy dose of humor. Kristin is a regular contributor to various blogs and has been featured in places like The Better Mom, TODAY Parenting, Scary Mommy, and City Moms Blog. Kristin resides outside of Memphis, TN with her husband and three daughters. You can connect with her at KristinFunston.com or on Facebook or Instagram.