Having a sex talk with a middle schooler

I always knew in the back of my mind the day would come when we Paul would have to sit down and have the talk with Nick. I say Paul because everyone knows we have that particular talk with the same sex child, right? Right? Thank you for agreeing with me on this because Paul never believes me when I say it. See, nobody ever sat me down and talked with me about the whole girl thing, or the girl/boy thing, or the sex and pregnancy thing. Everything I learned came from reading Judy Blume books and a textbook in health class and you can probably guess how well I paid attention in health class. I didn’t think we needed to have any major discussions yet since Nick is only 12 and still hugs and kisses me goodbye before getting out of the car at school, a sure sign he has no interest in any other girls besides his Mom right now. I know, that’s totally in my imagination, but don’t you go ruining the reality in my head.

Paul and I were recently in our bedroom chatting while Nick and Cody were in the living room a mere ten feet away watching television when I suddenly hear Nick’s voice, “You better not be having intercourse in there.” First, we know he pays attention in health class with his use of such technical terms. Second, holy crap he pays attention in health class. Paul and I immediately rushed out to the living room as if we were two teenagers who had just been caught in a compromising situation. For the record, we would have totally closed the door if there was any funny stuff going on in there, but that’s not the point of this educational opportunity. Paul took a seat at my computer, practically curled himself into the fetal position and mumbled something to the affect of take me to a happy place while rocking back and forth. Yeah, can’t you tell how helpful he was going to be during this conversation?

I explained to Nick that is not what we were doing and then just let him take the lead. Paul acting shocked Nick even knew the word intercourse continued to curl, rock, and mumble. Thanks honey, you seriously rock as a Dad. So Nick and I talked about what intercourse is and then he started sharing more terms like penis and vagina and the phrase that might have caused Paul to topple from his chair. Nick said something about the “stuff that comes out during an erection.” Now I’m pretty cool and open to talk about this kind of stuff, but even I had a moment of thinking I want my baby back. I want him clung to me and learning how to walk and learning new words that don’t relate to anything of a sexual nature. Also, I was holding back some giggles. I know, I’m so junior high like that.

Then Nick carries on, continuing to make my heart race school us in sexual education as Paul continued to rock and mumble and occasionally look up at me with his jaw dropped at how openly I’m talking with Nick. Here’s the thing, this works for us. We’ve used humor to get through life as we live with autism and even during the most difficult of times when my Dad was dying with a brain tumor. I don’t think our conversation style has any less of an impact, mainly because I did stop a few times to make eye contact and put on my serious Mom voice when expressing that sex is ultra serious and making babies is life changing and not at all to be considered until you are at least 30 (again, leave me alone, this is my pretend reality). Mind you, I might feel differently if I had a daughter, but I don’t. I have two boys and since dear old Dad didn’t exactly step up to the plate I had to pinch hit and I’m pretty confident we made our point enough for now. At the end of the day, Nick knows that he can come to me any time with any question and I will talk to him openly and honestly with love and support. When he hands me an anti-anxiety pill with a glass of wine to wash it down before asking to have a conversation, it might be time to worry. Until then I will continue to enjoy my hugs and kisses and I love you’s…..


  1. Like you, I was just tossed into the sex ed class at school. And it was just one class, if I recall, went over the basics of sex, sperm, etc, and that was it.

    I wish my parents would have sat me down and explained it to me. I think you handled it rather well 😀

    • I have a feeling it’s more common than not that parents just figure kids will learn everything at school and do the right thing. Thanks for the compliment…..I like to model my parenting style after the Cosbys. 😉

  2. I read through your post with a big smile on my face. Been there…..and I think you handled it beautifully. The most important piece of your conversation is that Nick now knows that he can come to you with any questions. He is lucky to have you Cathy.
    Lori Popkewitz Alper recently posted..Friday PotpourriMy Profile

    • Thanks Lori. It’s probably a little wrong that I’m most happy to hear that you had a big smile on your face while reading this post than any lesson that Nick learned from the conversation, but yes, I truly hope he knows he can come to me and most importantly that he WILL if he needs to. 🙂

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