Which, in our family, means not only does she get to be baptized:
(see more on that back here),
…but that she also gets to be in on some pretty important news.
Like, I’m talking BIG news.
News about the most “beautiful, amazing, wonderful thing in the world.”
And it means Dave and I get to review this little beauty in order to help us let her in on all that big information:
Yes, we believe that eight-years-old is the perfect age for the “Big Talk.” And yes, I know I’m biased because my parents wrote that book.
But man alive, I have to say they are smart.
I still remember my “big talk” when I was eight. I don’t remember exactly what they said, but I remember sitting on the couch at our house in Virginia and feeling so much love from those two parents of mine because they cared enough to explain that to me so lovingly. I never worried about brining any question in the world up to them after that.
I knew I could talk to them about anything.
Now, I know some may say eight-years-old is too young. Eight-year-olds are too naive, too innocent, it’s too much for them to carry around on their minds and in their hearts.
But Dave and I agree with my parents that it’s the best way to do it. Sure, some kids may be ready earlier, and some really need a little more time, but in general, eight is a perfect age of innocence and awe for explaining something so big and so important.
We want our line of communication about these things to be as open as possible with our children, especially with all the media and television and internet surrounding them, screaming out every kind of sexual innuendo in every form aiming for any age group they can lure in.
For us, starting that relationship of trust early seems to work like magic so far.
Even though we are all hunky-dorey about the idea of “the talk” at age eight, it took us until this last weekend to actually get to it.
Which was perfect. I mean, she’s still eight, right? Eight and seven months was perfect for Claire.
We took her out to our favorite restaurant that had a forty minute wait.
So we hung out in the car and had the big talk right then and there while we were waiting.
Even on the fourth time through this schpeal, I still have to keep referring to the parts I’ve underlined in that book every two minutes to get it to come out all right. But we lovingly delivered the news, and she was all wide-eyed and smiles about it.
(I have to say the book is outlined really well for discussion, thanks mom and dad!)
Then we went in and had a delicious dinner and answered the few questions she had.
You mentioned in the post about Grace that you skipped a few pages. My oldest is nearly 8… I've bought the book but haven't gotten very far. I'm curious as to which pages you skipped!
Great post! My Nook is sitting right here so I just bought the book. My eldest is six and a half, but I might need 18 months to prepare. Thanks for the suggestion!
I don't even have children yet, but when I do I will definitely get this book. Such great advice! Thanks.
I got the talk when I was six, but I was a pretty mature kid and I had an older brother who was bound to spill the beans before my parents could do it!
I had it just with my mom and I remember it being uncomfortable, but it probably was more uncomfortable for her! I asked a lot of questions in the days following too.
Im really glad she took the time to do that!
This book is on my wish list as we have a boy turning 8 in October. I highly respect you opinions, and my husband and are planning to read the book together. I am continuously in awe of how you care for every single detail of you children's life. Thanks for sharing!
My oldest is only 4, but I just bought the book about a month ago. I haven't looked into it much so far, but this was a good reminder that I should! I remember my mom talking to me, giving me info in bits and pieces. It was really embarrassing for me. I am still embarrassed to talk to my mom about anything personal, even now! I'm SO hoping that it won't be that way with my kids.
Jeanine, the book where we skip a couple pages is the cartoon one for kids my parents recommend within their book…you read it with your child. It's called "Where Did I Come From." We actually skipped a lot of it this time around, because it goes into a little more detail than we wanted, but it's a good thing to help explain things.
I SO love that you posted this! I remember learning about a friend that had "the talk" with their kids when they were 8. I was shocked! I felt like that was so young! Too young! Years later, when I had a child, I realized how wrong I was, sadly!
My son came home from Kindergarten one day and asked me about some things he had heard. I explained things in an appropriate, loving and comfortable way. Not too much detail, but just enough to let him know it is sacred and wonderful, and totally not something to talk about with friends.
Later I remember washing walls with him in his room and having an impression that I should ask him if he knew what sex was. He was in 3rd grade. I have to tell you that he felt so much relief to have me talk about it to him! He told me some of the things he had heard from kids at school. It was seriously jaw dropping! So so wrong! So foul! I talked to him about it, the theme of that talk became "well, that's life changing", which he said over and over throughout the talk. He was super cute and our bond and trust grew so much!
I am so passionate about people talking to their kids. My son said that he didn't tell me about what he had heard because he was afraid he would be in trouble. It opened an awesome opportunity to talk about how the adversary wants him to feel that way, so he won't talk to us about it. The spirit is what made him feel like this wasn't right. It was a good lesson!
Anyway, thanks so much! I love this and I am totally buying the book for my next round of "the talk"! 🙂
Oh i bought the book last year, and i havn't got the courage to do it ( Grace is 8 and 10 months) 😉
I know i need to becuase i KNOW she is hearing stuff at school, this actually makes me motivated to get my book and do it!!
Can u tell me which parts you underlined! ahahhah
I never had ' the talk'.
I remember being 8 when I got the talk too. I'm glad we still have a couple years for my husband and I to come to an agreement on what age is best. I'm more glad to know your parents wrote this book… I've been beyond impressed with your parents and their profound wisdom and goodness to share it. P.S. Your family is just too cute 🙂
Thanks for this! My son is 8 and 5 months and we're gearing up for our first time with the big talk THIS weekend! I have been a little nervous about it, so I'm glad you brought it up today. We've got your parents book, and I am going to check out the picture book from the library. Whew! I'm a little nervous about showing the picture book! I'm pretty sure he is going to pass out! I would love to know what you skipped!
I totally agree with you. At age 8 they are too young to feel awkward or embarrassed, then the lines of communication are open and it becomes a natural thing for them. We need to get to our kids before the world does. Great post!
We bought your parents' book and are anxious to use it for the big talk with our almost-nine-year-old. I wish I had had this talk with my parents when I was young. I had to learn a lot — and very fast! — when I got married!
Also, I see that your parents are going on a Cruise Lady cruise to Alaska. I'm so tempted to go 🙂
I was 5 when I was given "the talk" because I heard the word "sex" and asked my mom what it was. She handled it very well and bascially told me how God designed it, and it's something to be shared within a marriage. I never forgot that. Thanks for posting this, because I have a 6 year old and we have thinking about what would be the appropriate age with her!
My question is, how do you make sure your older children don't spill the beans to your younger one!? My daughters are 23 months apart and are best friends and tell each other EVERYTHING! I could see it being hard for my oldest not to talk with the younger one about it! Has that been a problem for you!? Thanks again for your insight!
School Library Journal Review:
These books concentrate on teen abstinence, idealizing post-adolescent marriage and "committed relationships" as the best settings for sex. The Eyres, authors of several books on parenting, including Teaching Your Children Values (LJ 3/15/93), propose telling children: "Sex is awesome and wonderful: save it for the one you love." Tips, reading selections, and sample dialogs are given for each age group, along with appropriate preparation and follow-up. Though much here is excellent, few sex educators support withholding information from young children, as the Eyres seem to recommend; and the book cannot stand alone, since many details about sex are not provided. Only for libraries with other, more detailed books, such as Mary Calderone and James Ramey's Talking with Your Child About Sex (LJ 12/15/82), Patty Stark's Sex Is More Than a Plumbing Lesson (Preston Hollow, 1991),
What a great book! I'm on page 67, and I'm already so relieved to have found a resource to help my husband and I explain the "awesome" details when the time comes! I sometimes overshare when I get nervous, so I really appreciate the dialogue sections to use as a guide. Highly recommend!
I honestly just think you and your family are FABULOUS!! You have been a huge inspiration to me and my little family. I only have one little 16 month old daughter, but I get so excited about having more and parenting them when I read your blog. You are such a great example, keep it up, I love reading about it all!
I found this book years ago and thankfully have used it on all four of my kiddos, now 15, 13, 11, and 9. Never used the picture book even though I bought it…:)
We have open honest discussions that never happened when I was growing up because my mom was, I think, embarrassed and didn't know what to say.
Thank you, Shawni! My oldest is 8 and so I now know what I need to do! I bought the book and am excited to be on top of things! I'm so grateful to have "met" you at just the right time! I have a probing question for a future Friday Q & A… My mother is particularly difficult and pessimistic and toxic to me and I don't want to live near her. She wants to come live near me to be close to the grandkids. I know you don't have this problem because your parents and inlaws are fabulous, but do you have any experience with toxic people? Can I tell my parents not to buy a house in my city &/or ward?! Thank you for being a daily inspiration in my life. You make me want to be better. I think in my head, WWSD? What would Shawni do? Keep on, we need positive inspiration amid the stress of this life!
We have used your parents book for the first two of our boys (third is only 5 yo) and LOVE it. It's been the best way to start the conversation. And it's made it so the kids feel like they can ask us ANYthing. We really appreciate your parents writing this book and helping us with this. We have always said we would do it different than our parents did with us, and it's been one of our great achievements as parents. Thanks!
We just had "the BIG talk" with our 9 year old son last weekend! My oldest sister has used "how to talk to your child about sex" by your awesome parents accompanied by their recommended "where do I come from" by Peter Mayle with 4 of her kids – and idolizing my sister (and since I've read so many of your parents books!) we followed suit with our oldest and are planning to have the discussion with our 2nd oldest in a few short month on her 8th birthday.
It's such a difficult discussion to have – I was so grateful to have such great information and advice!
Just went through this with our 8 year old twins. The timing was perfect for them… they asked just enough questions for us to know they understood and were willing to talk to us about it. And that's the most important thing, I think… to open up those lines of communication so your kids know they can ask you if they ever have questions.
I LOVE your parents book and recommend it to everyone. I used it with my two older girls. Our son will be 8 next month. He seems less ready than they were so, I think we may wait until the New Year and re-evaluate. Comforting to see Claire is 7 months past 8 …. I think I get a little anxious that if we don't hurry we won't "get to them first."