Let’s Talk About Sex Some More…

Now that we’ve covered the anatomy part of things, let’s move on to the sex part. I have 2 boys: T-Rex is 5 and B-Man is 3 so my personal experience is with boys, but I’ve worked with kids all my life so I know a thing or two about girls as well. When I use the word “sex” I’m not just referring to intercourse; I also mean sexual things. Just wanted to clarify that.

            T-Rex has already asked me where B-Man came from because he remembers when “B-man was living in your [my] belly.” I didn’t tell him the whole sperm and egg thing or the whole parking the car in the garage thing (remember that joke from childhood?), but I did try to give him a realistic explanation that a 5 year old could understand. Don’t go the stork route or the he was a gift from Santa route- that’s just ridiculous and confusing. Tell your young children whatever you are comfortable with, but for fuck sake- make it realistic and believable! They will ask you where babies come from so save yourself a mild heart attack when they do, and have an answer prepared!

            Talking about sex at a young age is more important than ever. Girls are getting their periods younger and younger, kids are hitting puberty younger and having sex younger, and teen pregnancy is being glorified on TV. Having an open and honest discussion with your children, no matter what their gender, is one of the most important things you can do for your child. My mother had the whole birds and the bees talk with me when I was 10 because she wanted me to know the facts. Now if you knew my mother this would surprise the hell out of you! My mother is a tiny, old school Italian woman, who is VERY Catholic. You would think she would have avoided that topic like the plague, but not so! She is a smart woman and knew that I would get all kinds of misinformation from my friends and TV/movies. She is the reason I am such an advocate for sex education myself and I am eternally thankful to her for that!

            She always told me I could come to her with any questions about sex no matter how embarrassing, gross, etc. The woman was true to her word, too! In 5th grade I asked her what 69 was because I had heard the phrase at school and lo’ and behold she knew what it was and drew me a picture of a 6 and a 9 and explained it from there. I was thoroughly disgusted at the time, which I’m sure she was very happy about, but also that was the moment I realized I really could ask her about anything. Now don’t get me wrong- she did not support the notion of me having sex before marriage and basically told me that my very Italian Catholic father would kill me if I wasn’t a virgin when I got married, but she did still discuss birth control and STD’s with me because she wanted me to have all the correct information. It’s important for you to give your kids all of the information, even if it’s something you might not be comfortable with. No one can make an informed decision about anything without all of the pertinent information so educate your children ladies! If you don’t, someone else will and I can almost guarantee it will not be the correct information or the information you would want them to have! As parents, we have the power to be our children’s best teachers, so use that power wisely and whenever you can!

Let’s Talk About Sex

male femaland anatomy! Ok ladies, we all know how easy it is to talk about sex while sitting with our girlfriends drinking wine, but most of us find it difficult to broach this topic with our children no matter how old they are. When is it appropriate to start talking about sex, anatomy, etc. with our kids? The correct answer is as soon as possible! Now, I’m no sex education expert or anything, but if I wasn’t doing my current job, I would be a sex educator. Sex education is so important and not enough parents talk to their children honestly about it.
Now, I’m not saying that you want to talk to your 3 year old about the ins and outs of intercourse (I know, bad joke), but you do want to start labeling body parts by their correct names right from the beginning. Sure it can be embarrassing sometimes to say “penis” or “vagina” to your baby, but imagine the confusion for them if you start calling it a ding-a-ling or a cupcake or something crazy like that (and I work with kids so I’ve heard some crazy shit)! I speak from experience because we use an Italian slangy type word for referring to the backside (it’s a family thing) and my son confused the hell out of his preschool teachers last year when he told them his coolie hurt when he fell on the playground! He knew he had a penis because I had always labeled it that way, but it didn’t occur to me that calling his rear end a coolie could come back to bite me in the ass (I know, bad joke again)!
It’s also important to be honest with your kids about gender differences so that they clearly understand from a young age that boys and girls have different parts. This conversation may come before you plan on actually having it. I mean come on, how many of us have had our kids walk in on us or your husband/boyfriend while getting dressed or showering? Here is another area I can address from experience. When my now 5 year old son was 3 ½ years old, he came busting in on me in the bathroom as I was drying off after a shower. He looked at me wide eyed and said, “Mommy, where is your penis?” So I stammered out an explanation about me not having a penis because I am a girl and what I have is called a vagina. So then he follows up my strained explanation with this gem, “Well how do you pee then?” So I quickly reply with, “Mommy sits down. Now go play with your brother!” I had planned on having this conversation with him at some point soon, but of course, he beat me to the punch as kids often do!
Now, if only this was the only time this type of thing happened to me! A few weeks after that incident, I took this same son (we’ll call him T-Rex) to see The Fresh Beat Band (I know, I should be sainted) and he had to go to the bathroom. I took him into a stall and then decided I had to go too. So we are squeezed into that damn tiny stall and I’m trying to squat as quickly as I can and get out of the sweltering bathroom when he very loudly (of course) said, “Mommy, are you going to go poopy?” Oh dear god, are you kidding me right now? So I very calmly said, “No T-Rex, I am not going poopy. I am just going pee pee like you did.” “But Mommy, you are sitting down, how are you going to pee pee sitting down?” Really, I have to have this conversation again and this time in a public restroom? I very briefly re-explained that I have a different body part then he does because I am a girl and that girls pee sitting down and then I got the hell out of there! So you see ladies, have the conversation early on because it will happen even if you don’t want it to!

{To be continued…}

Who is Mental Mama?

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So who is “Mental Mama” and is she actually mental? Some people may say that I am, but I assure you only a little! I am married and have 2 kick-ass little boys who are 5 and 3. Thank goodness my dog and my cat are females or else I might be totally boxed out in my own home! I have an MS in Counseling Psychology and am a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. I have been in this field for over 13 years now. I work part-time as the mental health therapist in an inner city elementary/middle school, but I am a Mom first and foremost. I have travelled the world; love wine, music, and food; have great friends and a wonderful family. I have a passion for fashion and love clothes, jewelry, and shoes (I have almost 200 pairs) {or maybe I should say “had a passion for” now that I have kids so I’m pretty much broke!}. I learn something new everyday from my kids (both my own and those I work with) and am thankful for that.
I have VERY strong opinions about things and am not afraid to express them. I try to be polite, respectful, and tactful (at least most of the time)… but sometimes people may get their feelings hurt because I’m a “tell it like it is” kinda’ gal! I’m not afraid to curse or use strong language when in an appropriate situation (never in front of children of course) and I’m not one to be messed with. I will defend myself, my family, and my friends, and my beliefs in any way I see fit- so again- sometimes people may get their feelings hurt and I won’t apologize for that! I’m quite feisty (that’s the Italian in me!) Basically, don’t dish it out if you can’t take it because I can take it- I’ve learned, from my experiences in life, that you have to have tough skin to survive!
The important thing to realize with this blog, is that while I am a mental health therapist and I do remain professional when on the job- this blog is NOT a direct extension of my job- it is an extension of who I am as a person and my job is only one part of who I am. I will curse, use strong language, express my (strong) opinions (which some people may consider unsavory), and I may even use insults. If you don’t like that kind of stuff, then I certainly wouldn’t read any of my posts!
Some of my posts will definitely be educational and informative and will pull from my background in psychology, but I do not claim to be an expert in anything and this is not an advice giving blog or the place to come for mental help (so that’s my little disclaimer).
Again, a reminder, I am a mental health therapist, but I am also a human with flaws. Being a therapist does not make me perfect, nor does it mean that I won’t get angry or insulting on here. The one thing I dislike the most is stupidity and ignorance and if I feel someone making a comment is being stupid or ignorant I’m most likely going to tell them so. A close friend of mine has always told me that I should have been a lawyer because I love to argue, but I don’t see it as arguing as much as I do debating and trying to educate people beyond their own ignorance. I’ve made it my mission in life to try help people not be so stupid- just kidding!
This blog, whether anyone reads it or not, is really just a creative outlet for me. I love to write and it’s something I’m good at. Writing, to me, is therapeutic so that’s why I’m here. Anyway, if anyone out there in Cyberspace does decide to read this- I hope you enjoy it, and if not, feel free to never return!
Pace (that’s peace in Italian, in case anyone was wondering)