Parents Perspective

The Unexpected Sex Talk

Before our vacation a couple weeks ago my husband asked our two kids which movies they wanted to downloaded onto their iPods for the long plane ride ahead. My 4-year-old son asked for The Incredibles and Cars. My 6-year-old daughter requested Mary Poppins and Sleeping Beauty. On the flight, my daughter sat next to me while she watched Sleeping Beauty; she seemed to be enjoying it. I read a book (ahh, so nice to be able to read uninterrupted!). About an hour and change later she took off her headphones and declared, "Mommy, that was a grownup movie."

Confused, I took her iPod in hand and fast-forwarded through the movie -- Were those naked breasts? Bare butts? Men in drag? OH MY GOD. THIS WAS NOT DISNEY'S SLEEPING BEAUTY. I gave my husband the stink eye ("What me? What did I do?!") across the aisle and then peppered my innocent little one with questions: Is there anything you'd like to talk about? (No) Was anything scary? (No) Were the grownups naked? (Yes) Were they nice to each other? (Yes) Did they hurt each other? (No) Did anything they do or say upset you? (No)

I wasn't getting anywhere. Why didn't you tell me that it was a grownup movie? (Well, I didn't really know for sure. ....) and likely didn't tell me, because she was FASCINATED. I stopped the inquisition because I didn't want to overblow it (possible?). She started watching Mary Poppins (the real one), and I turned to my husband ("How in the ...."). Later, when we got home from vacation we found out that there's a 2011 version of Sleeping Beauty about a lingerie waitress (?!) who unknowingly receives sexual favors while she sleeps. (It was shown at Cannes Film Festival so at least it was art house, not X house but still ...) My husband accidentally downloaded the wrong one. (Husband feels very very guilty, btw.)

Since this mishap, I've vowed to talk about sex with my daughter in an honest and open way when things arise naturally. And this weekend I'm planning on having The Talk -- I've been holding on to my copy of Where Did I Come From? since I was her age (remember this pic from the book?!).

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I remember finding the whole thing icky .... but fascinating. I think it's a pretty good place to start. And no more erotic movies ... at least till she's 30.

Have you had the birds and bees talk with your kid? Any books you recommend?