Image credit: © iStockPhotos.com/shvili
Having a daughter is said to be like having a best friend—a lot like you. So, tell me then why we can’t talk to our daughter as we would a friend? Let me rephrase that, why can’t some women?
My daughter who is eleven going on thirty is extremely mature and wise for her own good, which is in large part due to the fact that I have always talked to her as an adult. Some may disagree, but unless you want your daughter to be sitting in Rosario’s with two best friends on her 30th birthday learning for the first time things she should have known years ago—you may want to rethink your plan of action.
I’m thirty-four and a mother of three children, and was raised without a mother. I was twenty when I found out (much to my relief) that I could not get prostate cancer, as I did not have a prostate! The first time I used a tampon, I had no idea you had to remove the applicator. Let’s just say that was an uncomfortable experience! And yes, on my thirtieth birthday while out to dinner, my cousin informed me the actual location of which hole women pee out of. In disbelief, I pulled out my phone and Google confirmed that I was a complete moron. While grateful that I would no longer pee on my hand while peeing in a cup at the doctor’s office again—I decided my daughter would know EVERYTHING!
My motto is this: If they are old enough to ask, I need to be mature enough to answer! Now, this doesn’t mean there aren’t pull-over-to-the-side-of-the-road moments of uproaring laughter—like the time my seven-year-old son asked me if I “liked tacos or hot dogs”—and he wasn’t referring to food! Or, when my daughter very candidly asked how and why boys get boners. In those moments, after the laughter subsided I could have taken two roads—one which is more common than we realize—brush it under the rug with the old faithful “We will talk about that when you are old enough to understand” which means we will address this when mom or dad are able to mentally handle discussing this topic, or talk about it now.
It is vital that our children can come to us, to ask anything, to know that there is a place of non-judgment and understanding. My daughter and I can sit and talk about anything. She comes to me with body issues, concerns, normal girl stuff, boys, whatever it may be, and I want to encourage that. There is going to come a day when something happens that may seem scary to her, and as a mother we should try to eliminate the fear when we can.
At the end of the day, no one wants their daughter to be sitting in a restaurant worried they are going to die of prostate cancer while wearing a tampon with the applicator still attached, peeing all over their hand because they simply were never informed what the hell is going on with their bodies, right?!
Editor’s Note: WebMD has an anatomically correct diagram of the female external genitalia which is lovely and very educational, FYI.