Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Science with Mom or Dad

Okay, this is for everyone who keeps asking how to educate your children about the facts of life...
You have to first understand the irony of people asking me this question as there are certain words and topics that I have always had difficulty discussing. My brother would purposely walk around the house naming body parts just to cause me to blush. A psychotherapist could earn a lot of money trying to figure out all the whys and roots of my innocence but it is what it is. So when God gave us two boys first, I came up with this wonderful plan: The Good Doctor would do the bulk of the sex education with our boys and I would take the girls. Since there weren't any girls, I thought I was safe.  I was wrong.

Now, before you start composing your letters warning me that both parents must model and teach healthy sexuality in the home and that it can't be left to just one parent or to limited times in a child's life, let me assure you that I have done my part with both the male and female children and we do try to maintain open communication at all times. But when it comes down to some actual teaching of the birds and bees and mens-of-the-nation, we do make sure we cover our bases by using a book series and we do separate into male parent/male child or female parent/female child subgroups. This is to make the child more comfortable. Or maybe it's to make Mom more comfortable. Either way, it works for us.

After The Good Doctor had a few successful rounds of education with his sons, it was my turn with a certain daughter. While The Good Doctor was able to read the chosen book with little drama, no further questions and a simple "good" answer to his final question of how do you feel about this, it was not to be for me. Had I known then what I know now, I would have made a different plan; The Good Doctor would teach the girls and I would teach the boys. Consider this your warning. I can read the exact same book, to a child of the exact same age, get questions right after the first page and continuing well after the last page has long been turned. He reads and is done.

So, for all of you Moms and Dads who might be as squeamish as me with this topic, let me introduce you to the series that has saved me: The New Learning About Sex series published by Concordia. And even if you are not squeamish, this series helps you figure out what to teach and when it is appropriate to teach it. The six book set is separated by age. They used to have videos but I never recommended them to anyone as they were old and as corny as the word corny. The introduction to each book gives a little explanation and rationale into what is being taught at that age and why.

A few years back, 2 male children found "Science with Dad" written in that column of their lesson plans. They were excited for days, not believing their good luck in bidding Mom's teaching a brief adieu while Dad, the more fun parent, was obviously taking over. Suffice it to say, they were blindsided. I came home after that particular lesson to two very sheepish looking boys who were not quite as excited as they had been. When I asked about their science class, one child said in a deep, manly voice, "We had science with Dad. We learned how babies are made," and the second very quietly whispered, "It was disgusting." They didn't mind returning to Science with Mom the next day, even if it was a boring lesson on astronomy.

Sometimes Mom wins after all.

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