Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Birds and the bees..ahem! ahem!!


I always believed that I was great at communicating with my kids. This belief was held strong because my kids talked endlessly to me about everything under the sun. From their teachers to their classmates, even shared their follies and foibles with me. I prided myself on this rapport with them, until my daughter started to grow up and I got immense cold feet at the thought of talking about 'the birds and the bees' to her. I pepped myself up each day and practised my lines in front of the mirror. Wondered endlessly about ways of broaching the subject. Talked to my cousin, who shared her wisdom with me quite generously. We even came up with a line..which went like this, "God made women differently, so that they could shower their kids with love. For this a woman's body is different and a store house of love, ahem !! ahem!! and so she has to bleed every month! " Phew..I know it was a total non starter, but can't blame us for trying. And yet when I came face to face with my 9 year old, I fumbled and failed miserably. It was pathetic, I chided myself and coped with untimely wit from the hubby saying.."Maybe you should blog it.. for the kid to read and get the picture!!"

Needless to say my communication skills had failed me at the most important point of my as well as my daughter's life. I saw mothers talking to their daughters about issues ranging from sexual abuse to periods with the ease of making toast and omlette. And all I did was practise my lines in front of the mirror... what a dimwit really!! This was a serious thing, and I hated to see myself fail. I cursed the school which did not bring up sex education until class 6. Did they not know that smaller girls were molested each day and also that the intake of protein being higher now, had brought down the age of menarche? How I wished she would pop a question to me.. somehow I felt that would make it easy, but all she talked about was Hannah Montana.. Dear God!!

On noticing the fact that she avidly followed my blog posts, I did consider the option of blogging about 'coming of age'. But then it was such a defeat. Imagine having to talk to my own daughter through a blog!! I did try to broach the subject by bringing up the topic of boys.. yah I know it's way too beyond the line.. but what the hell.. I was trying at least. But the conversation stopped even before it started.. boys were quite silly and yukky, and they smelled awful after the soccer games, when they came to class. Well what do you say to that. Then I started on another plane.. asking her what all did she and her best friend discuss apart from studies and homework and of course Hannah Montana? To that she said, "Films, at times we talk about the latest films". I pounced on that and asked her what she thought about the ways of the filmstars.. and she said they were cool!! I knew I was failing again and stopped myself from blabbering further because I noticed that my 6 year old son was taking way too much interest and my daughter was losing interest as quickly.

After having struggled like this for more than a few months, finally I decided to gather a bunch of young girls in the age group of 9 to 13 and their clueless mothers to form a group. Called up my gynaec and asked her to give the quintessential talk. So today evening, I and a few mothers like me would sit with our daughters and listen to the Gynaec talk about things each girl has to know and know right and from a proper source. I would be definitely focusing on the communication part. I am also hopeful that this exercise will open further channels of conversation between my daughter and me.

I would not be surprised if my daughter has already 'googled' the topic.

Hope I am doing right..any thoughts?



13 comments:

Kishore choudhary said...

सुजाता सबसे पहले तो बधाई आपने एक संवेदनशील विषय पर बिना किसी पूर्वाग्रह और बिना तथ्यों से छेड़ छाड़ किये सटीक बात कही. पोस्ट प्रेरणादायी है और ईमानदार भी, पूरी पोस्ट को पढ़ते समय मैं आभा को देखता रहा कि वह इस तरह मेरी तेरह साल की बेटी से इस विषय पर संवाद करेगी, मुझे पता है उसको भी वे ही समस्याएं आ कर घेरेंगी जिनका आपने सामना किया है.
कल की कहानी लिखने के बाद हेन्ना मोंटेना के आईडियल स्टेट से उपजे वातावरण की पृष्ठभूमि में एक कहानी प्लान कर रहा हूँ आज दिन भर वही दिमाग में घूमती रही और आपने भी इसे सार्थक तरीके से सम्मिलित किया.
कमोबेश मेरी बेटी भी हेन्ना की दीवानी है कुछ दिन पहले उसके चारित्रिक विरूपण के किस्सों और उससे उपजे अवसाद के बारे में मैंने मानविका को बताया था कि किस तरह इस नाजुक उम्र के दौर में प्रसिद्धि के साथ असुरक्षा बिन बुलाये मेहमान की तरह आ पहुंची थी कि एक बारगी लगा हेन्ना एक सामान्य लड़की कि तरह शायद ही जी पाए. सच है सुजाता दुविधाएं मुंह बाएं उपस्थित है सांस्कृतिक प्रदुषण के रूप में, हाँ आप जैसी जागरूक माताएं अवश्य ही अपनी संतान को राह दिख पायेगी. गूगल सर्च से जानकारी पाना सराहनीय तब तक नही हो सकता जब तक कि सम्पूर्ण जानकारी तक न पहुंचा जाये और गूगल कभी मम्मा की जगह कैसे लेगा ? आपका विषय बहुत विस्तार लिए हुए है परुन्तु आप जिस तरह से पोस्ट का आगाज़ करती हैं उससे ही लगा जाता है कि हौसले बुलद हैं.

sujata said...

yes @Kishore, as parents we all have to go through this, and its always best for the child to know the facts of life from the parent, yet its the most difficult thing to discuss with them.. Am sure Abha has a plan too.. thanks for sharing your views. Hannah Montana has definitely taken our girls by storm. Did you know that she has heart problems? I keep telling my daughter that..to admire her energy.

sanjay vyas said...

i came here via kishore's blog and stumbled upon a very sensitive issue at a very right time in your post.had i not visited your blog today i might have missed this latest entry.
you have suggested the whole topic in your title using the idiomatic phrase of birds bees and the butterflies.since i too have growing daughters, i can understand the task ahead of my wife.
you have very sensibly discussed the delicate issue . kishore ji's was a father's perspective and in a sense should be considered as a part of the post.

Babli said...

Absolutely brilliant..You have described the true fact of life which comes in everybody's life...Really appreciable for your sensible thought by choosing the little birds,bees and the butterflies.

sujata said...

@Kishore and @Sanjay first and foremost let me really thank you both for joining in . To be honest I had not expected any guys to react to this post or comment on it. Its usually left to the mothers to deal with these issues. Am very happy to see that both of you are so sensitive about the topic, am sure your kids are very lucky to have you. Thank you both again very much. Yesterdays session went very well and the doctor was extremely friendly and dealt with topics in an open and child friendly manner. I am happy I did this for my daughter. It has opened the communication lines between us.

@Babli thanks once again for appreciating my post.

aleem azmi said...

fabulous articles....u have explained...a real and intersting fact ....describe by u ....its gr8 thing u have been exposed....which is acceptable for...everyone...thnx being for urz nice explaination abt these matter....GOD bless...keep writting ...my best wishes wid u ....

Aparna said...

When my elder daughter was in class 5, her class teacher took all the girls aside and had a detailed discussion on the female anatomy and how the body works. For that I'll be eternally grateful.Her first information came from a great source after all. But I also feel that more than the onset of puberty,we must discuss with our kids(both girls and boys) about sexual abuse. It is rampant and happens everywhere, even in schools. We must educate our children about good touch and bad touch and always, always let them know that no matter how difficult it may be for them, they must immediately tell us about any such incidences. Believe me, getting your periods suddenly may shock a girl, but, sexual abuse damages your psyche forever.

Dream'R said...

wow...sujatha..i like the way you write...i know that has nothing to do with the post but i m getting to that.

So its really that hard for moms? i didnt know all that. I know its hard for a bro to be involved in all that talk..so i just avoid bein around ma mom and sis when they r talkin about anything like that.

I really enjoyed this..:-D..hehe...do let me know how the talk went.

luv
amith

sujata said...

Thanks @Aleez for stopping by.

@Aparna, I totally agree that sexual abuse at any age is very harmful for the psyche and for a kid it at times shatters their self esteem completely as they dont know how to deal with, I am glad I could equip my daughter with ways and techniques to deal with harrasment in whatever form, as and when it comes to her life, I will take it for granted here that sooner or later some form of harrasment is bound to face her.

@Amith, its more difficult than what i could express in writing. But the talk was a great success and opened new communication lines between us..I can easily start a relevant topic now by saying..what Aunty said that day...

thanks for appreciating the post, will look forward to your next.

Sujatha said...

Heh, heh, I'll let you figure this one out. I have another 6 more years atleast before I have to deal with this. By then you'll have had your talk, right?

But I'm sure there some not identical but parallel talk for boys that has to happen way before then with my son. Aargh!

FWIW, the group session with a gynec sounds like a sensible idea. I remember that I learnt about it from my science teacher. Our one section did not happen to have boys so she seized the opportunity to educate us. When I eventually did get my periods, my mom was shocked that I was not panicking and that I knew what was going on!

Indrani said...

You have handled it so well by getting a gynaec do the talking. Girls mature fast mentally too and with the slightest hint they grasp the matter. Again the question is who will give 'that' slightest hint and how?

sujata said...

Yah Sujatha, it is extremely necessary for our young boys to be correctly informed about things. One of my aquaintances who is quite vocal and also a doctor, though a different field of specialisation has done this exercise with the boys of our peers. I have heard he has done an extremely good job and even now these young boys knock his door for any questions they have.

Hey Indrani, having failed myself to even give my daughter a hint, or maybe the hints I was giving were not being picked up by her, whatever the reason, things were not moving, and this really worked wonders. Now everyday my daughter has some question or the other for me.

प्रसन्न वदन चतुर्वेदी said...

thanks for this good post.communication with child is always good for both,child and parants.....