It's increasingly looking as though DSD might be with us a long time--definitely through this school year and possibly more permanently. DXW is on the other side of the country.
Anyway, long introduction to my question. Yesterday DH gently told me that he thinks I need to have The Talk with DSD.
He doesn't think DXW has done this.
I come from a super dysfunctional family and have been working very hard on cultivating healthy attitudes and parenting behaviors. My own mother never told me a thing. She handed me a pamphlet (perkily entitled Growing Up and Liking It) and I learned everything else from The Godfather books and my parents' supposedly hidden copy of The Joy of Sex .
My own DD is only 10-months-old so I thought I had some time... Have any of you ever had to deal with anything like this? I'm tempted to call DXW and see what she's told DSD, if anything.
It feels too early in our relationship to be having this talk. But it might be fine. I just don't know. I do think I need to if DXW has done this yet.
Any tips and thoughts on this?
It would have been nice to talk to my step mom, but he just sitting down some day and starting "the talk" would have been worse. I mean I didn't know her and this was stuff I was only starting to talk about with my friends, I would nont have talked to a stranger about it. I know you are really thinking about sex, but I think periods are a less intimidating topic. Start by just showing her where you keep your stuff or if you are not going to share (I can't imagine using my moms tampons in the beggining (they were so big), but we did use the same pads) buy some for her or take her shopping and find a spot for it in your house. I am not sure how but I hope this discussion grows into what her body does to get ready for a baby and what to do when you want to have sex or how to keep a baby from starting. I also think that any talks that my step mom and I had for a long time were about someone else- a movie that we were watching, something my friend said, something she heard.
Going shopping together for menstrual supplies (if she wants to use cloth pads, you could shop online) is a great idea. I really appreciated that my mom both encouraged me to order a "starter kit" advertised in a magazine (and when it arrived, sat down w/me to look at the different kinds of pads and talk about how to decide which kind to use) and showed me where her supplies were if I wanted to try them.
Another approach is to look for an opportunity to bring up the subject in everyday life. For example, one of my friends saw her mom write "SP" and circle it on her calendar; friend said, "What does that mean?" and her mom said, "Started period." and explained about menstruation and Natural Family Planning and followed her daughter's questions from there for a very comprehensive education!
Good luck, and good for you for being willing to take on this task at a less-than-perfect point in your relationship!
Mama to a boy EnviroKid 10 years old and a little girl EnviroBaby !
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The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
Susan61: Thank you for reminding/telling me what an honor this is. I'd been feeling so nervous and ill-prepared that I'd lost touch with what an honor this really is. Still trying to unlearn the lessons from my own mother--who always referred to menstruation as "The Curse."
Mallory: Your story moved me to tears. I'm so sorry that you had such a difficult experience. I'm trying hard to be a good step-mother---but stumble and awkwardly falter all too frequently.
Your story makes me all the more committed to having our conversation soon.
3BoysMom, EnviroBecca, and Lilyka: Thank you so much for the suggestions! Helped a lot. I'd been having trouble envisioning how I could introduce the topic---it's so hard to know how to give what you've never received.
I'll let you know how it goes. I'm going to go book shopping later this week.