I had the talk with my daughter and I wasn’t ready. She was watching a video on a popular family You Tube channel called 8 Passengers. At first I was mad, until I saw the video myself.
I never thought I would have such an adverse reaction when it came time to having, The Talk with my daughter. Most of time I over share, over comment and overly insert my unsolicited opinion. For the most part, I’ve always been comfortable talking about uncomfortable topics, sometimes to a fault, so when my daughter asked me when I was going to give her The Talk (that’s exactly how she put it), I was completely taken back and uncomfortable with what I was feeling and thinking.
It’s way too soon, I thought! She just turned 8 in February (fyi- it’s October). Seriously, how did she know about this already? She never really questioned what Tampons or any other feminine products were, or even how babies are made. I asked her where she heard about it and her answer shocked me.
“From 8 Passengers on YouTube”, she said.
We’ve actually watched this channel together many times. One thing Gianna and I like to do is watch DIY’s and family channels on YouTube. This family has six kids and share many of the ups and downs families often face. I love watching them, however I’ve never seen the video she was talking about.
You hear it often in parenting circles and fellow mom friends, “If you don’t talk to your child about ____, they will learn it from YouTube”.
Pssh! Not me, not my kid!
To be honest, I don’t remember how I responded. It was at night and I probably blamed it on her little brother who had to be put to bed.
My Feelings Towards 8 Passenger Mom
I’ve got to be honest with you, 8 Passenger Mom, I was a little angry with you. Why would you put that on You Tube!? That is a private discussion between a Mother and Daughter. Plus, having this discussion with my daughter seemed like a few years out. Now, because she watched your video, I’m being forced to have it with her before I was ready.
Did you catch that? Before I was ready. This whole discomfort with me having this discussion had nothing to do with my daughter. I never thought about her curious little mind or innocence of wanting more knowledge. Whether I liked it or not, she was ready and it was time.
Back to me being angry at 8 Passenger Mom. The second I dropped my daughter off at school the next morning, I searched for the YouTube video on their channel. It was pretty easy to find and I couldn’t believe how many views it had – 1.2 Million! About a minute and half into the video, she talks about what prompted the discussion. It was because her daughter started asking questions. Then, as she went on to say how old her daughter was, my anger dissolved into love and compassion. While fighting back tears, she said her daughters age. She is eight. The same age as my daughter. At that moment all my negative feelings disappeared. As she cried, I cried with her. I knew EXACTLY what she was feeling and why. As mothers with daughters, we all know this time is coming. Unlike solid foods, potty training or even the first day of Kindergarten, THIS moment when we have this talk with our little girls, hurts. I’m not talking like a hurt that stings for only one second. It’s deep and it lingers. I still feel it even after 2 weeks of having the talk. I’ve already cried three times writing this post. It’s the hardest reminder that they are growing up.
How Our “Talk” Went
Like the Mom on 8 Passengers, I’m not going to go into details on this. The same day that I watched the video, she asked me about it again while at my parents house. My Mom took her out to lunch and it came up again. My Mom told Gianna the story when she first told me. She told me a period was something at the end of the sentence. Like Gianna, I knew it was more than a dot.
I surrendered to the idea that this had to go down – today. When we got back to the house I told my husband what was going on so he can keep our wild 2-year old monkey entertained. Confession: I poured myself a glass of wine and went into her bedroom.
She could feel my hesitation and I told her that the reason it wasn’t easy for me, had nothing to do with the topic. This was just another sign that my baby girl was getting older. I let her sort of guide the discussion by her questions and I made sure to answer them all. We talked about puberty, emotional and physical changes, pimples and pads.
Apparently some of her friends already had the discussion, so naturally it spurred her curiosity. Just when I thought our talk was over she asked how babies were made and a gift from God was not the answer she was looking for. I told her that married couples love each other and have this thing called, sex. Not surprising, she knew of the word but not its meaning. I kept it really simply and light. As she gets older, I’ll be able to explain more but for now, our talk answered all her questions and eased her curious little mind.
Whew. This was tough to write.
If I was denying that it was time to have the talk with my daughter, I know other Moms out there are saying the exact same thing. The time will be different for us all, but some things to consider when deciding if it’s time for you are – older siblings, older close friends or family members, how much exposure they have to movies, You Tube, etc. I’m sure there are more, but this is our experience.
Thank You, 8 passenger Mom for being so transparent, vulnerable and honest about your experience. I feel you and thank you for making me feel like I wasn’t alone. Sorry I ever judged your decision for making that video. Here I am writing about it and it feels sooooo good to get this out and share my story and personal struggle. Keep making videos and I’ll keep writing.