Posted in Blended Families, Multicultural Families, Parenting Culture, Teenagers, Big Kids

“The talk”

Teo

So, my oldest is turning 15 this year, she is having a quinceañera party which, in Latino culture, signifies her transitioning into a woman. Now, she is not a woman and will never be a woman in my eyes, still my baby girl. But I do understand she is getting older and the fact that she doesn’t live with me, due to a divorce from my first wife, makes things a bit more challenging. I want to have “the talk’ with her once she is 15, but I’m not sure how to approach it, never had “the talk” with a girl. Any suggestions? Thanks

  • Elle
    Jan 05

    Before anyone here tells you how to go about it... Can you expand a little more about your GOAL here? Is it to: - explain how sex works? - tell her not to have sex until [fill in the blank] - explain the complexities of a meaningful and satisfying sexual experience and relationship and how to navigate that safely? - find out whether she has already had sex? - something else? What youre trying to achieve will impact how you go about it.

  • Teo
    Jan 05

    Thanks Elle, how about all encompassing. A conversation that will let her know how important it should be to her to have respect for herself and her body and also to assure her she can talk to me about sex.

  • AdamAnt
    Jan 06

    We started educating our kiddos with body awareness using proper terminology - & keep adding to their sexual / family education as they have more questions or curiosity. As ours are still littles, not really sure how we’d approach a family teen who needs or seeks education. Our niece (who was 12 at the time) had been searching for answers - so my sis (who is also a nurse) took her out & had parallel talks with her about her feelings & how her body works. Not having to make eye contact unless you want to helps with the comfort level for both. It feels like being there & answering questions might be more effective than one big assault of information all at once.

  • Julie
    Jan 10

    I mean no disrespect here, but hopefully you (or someone) have been having these conversations with your daughter for awhile now....having said that the points you want to make are really good ones and are in my opinion best taught by example. Also, while my dad always made it clear to me I could talk to him about sex I never, ever did. It was too weird and embarrassing to get into details with him and in the end those were conversations I had with my mom and sisters. So I would definitely also discuss with your ex wife (as long as you’re on good terms) and make sure she’s also having these conversations with her. One thing my dad did that was really sweet was he often took time to just talk and listen to me. Whether it was taking me out to a fancy dinner or going on a bike ride or hiking or just a simple chat at the kitchen table. By his example I expected any man who showed interest in me to do the same. Give me undivided attention and conversation and genuinely want to learn about me and my interests. If you’re not doing those things yet you could maybe start there. Another thing I heard recently was someone (I don’t remember if they were an actor/musician/etc) giving an interview and they were saying that they invested a lot of time up front with their kids just having fun with them and engaging in activities they enjoy with the mindset that there’s always time for relationships, sex, etc but for now just have fun and enjoy being young. I like that approach as well. I guess what I’m saying is that “the talk” doesn’t have to be a talk at all, but instead a myriad of fabulous memories where you show through example how to live your best life. Good luck!!

  • Sophia
    Jan 11

    Love that you are asking for help! Love that you are going to have the talk with her. The quinceañera is the perfect time to open that door. You can sit her down and say "you're transitioning to womanhood, I want to make sure you know about all your birth control methods" discuss respectful relationships and that she is amazing and that if her partner doesn't treat her like a queen then there are more fish in the ocean and that she can always come to you for information and advice and if you don't know the answers, you'll find them out. Bedsider.org is a great resource and planned parenthood. and giving her copy of the book ourbodies ourselves might be interesting.

  • Michelle
    Jan 27

    You may want to have the talk with her, but make sure she wants to have the talk with you first. The best thing you can do for your relationship and her self-esteem is respect her boundaries. I’m sure she’s watching tv shows with mature themes. Find out what she’s watching, then watch them on your own, and start a conversation with her about the characters. You can pass along your wisdom to her using fictional characters as a conduit. The entire time you are allowing her a certain amount of autonomy and respecting her boundaries. If she clams up during your conversations, that’s a giant red flag that she doesn’t feel respected. If that happens, change the conversation and let her direct it. Listen to what she wants to talk to you about. Kids will only listen to you, if you listen to them first. - good luck

  • Elle
    Jan 28

    Want to upvote Michelle's comment about 100 times. Best comment thus far.