It was a quiet evening. I was sitting on the floor playing with my niece, Jason was at his computer, and Bailey at the laptop reading. The TV was on, more as back ground noise than anything. I wasn’t paying any attention to it. Obviously my son was at the very moment that I wish he wasn’t!
“What are tampons mom?” is the question that rang loudly in my ear! I first laughed hysterically, trying to find the words that made sense to a 10-year-old!
For a brief second I contemplate on what to say. Do I tell him, it’s nothing he needs to worry about? Do I tell him they are for plugging drains, ahem, sink drains?! Or do I tell him the truth?! I tend to always lean towards the truth, age appropriately that is!
I start out by explaining why tampons are needed. Not the discussion I thought I’d have with my son, but he asked and I shall answer! I told him when girls get to a certain age they start to menstruate, they get what you call a “period”. Usually between the ages of 12 and 13, but sometimes sooner. I told him that they bleed from their private area. He looked mortified when I said that! He asked if it hurt, he obviously associates blood with pain. I told him girls do get cramps when they get their period but it only last for few days once a month. I proceeded to tell him hormones are released to different parts of the body to help prepare the body for pregnancy. Girls have eggs, boys have sperm. (Yes, he knows what sex is and how babies are made, he’s 10!) We’ve already had that talk, to an extent. Further discussion will come later down the road. Simply put, I said when the girls eggs aren’t fertilized by a male’s sperm then the eggs fall apart and that is what comes out to be her period. The tampon acts as a plug. Blah blah blah…Again a tad mortified! I am fairly confident he is very happy he is a boy! Too much information? He was curious, I told him the truth! How else do you explain why a women would bleed from her private parts? Any other explanation would have been a lie and far worse than the truth! I can only imagine what a kid would think up trying to figure out why?
Although it was a very interesting and funny conversation we had, I’m glad he is not embarrassed to ask us these personal questions. Truth and education are the best tools we can give our children. They need to know they can talk to us, about anything. And they need to know we will be truthful with them. As much as we all think our own children won’t make mistakes, and they will always make the right decision, they may not. It’s our job to educate them on the facts of life, and allow them to make their decisions and hope they make the best one.
So, how do you handle situations like this? How do you plan on handling them? The sex & protection talk, the period talk, the hormone talk! I know some people avoid it, and to each their own! I didn’t have anyone to talk to when I was young so it’s very important for me, and Jason that Bailey always comes to us with those questions. With all these dang commercials about tampons, and condoms, erectile dysfunction and women who need a little “help down there!” We as parents need to get to them before the TV does! I for one could do without these types of commercials, but they will always be there. I’d rather educate him than have the TV do it! I won’t leave it up to the Trojan man or the Tampax girl pouring blue liquid on a pad to do it!