Hello. Just wondering if anyone out there could give me their feedback/advice on this question: My niece and her boyfriend will be at my families’ Easter dinner. My niece is heavily pregnant, and I have a daughter who is almost ten years old, is very impressionable and doesn’t know anything about sex, marriage, pregnancy except that a man and a woman get married and then if God blesses them, they get to have children. She is very innocent and I am not looking forward to explaining to her the details of unwed pregnancy, etc. I know that eventually she will have to know these things, but I feel that it is too soon for her to be exposed to this. Should I, a) go to the dinner and hope she doesn’t notice. b) explain to her before we go to the dinner, c) call her aunt and express my concerns to her d) not go to the dinner e) something else? I would appreciate any feedback on this from anyone. Ishii
My youngest brother is 7 and my cousin is also heavily pregnant and unwed. He doesn’t know what pregnancy is yet and is useally too busy playing with my other brother and other cousin (pregnant cousin’s brother) to nodice when our families get together. If your daughter asks, tell her short and simpley that your niece is pregnant. Although I think at 10 your daughter needs to begin to understand the facts of life. I got my period when I turned 10, thankfully my mother and I had been talking about where babies come from and what goes on since I was around 8. And when I was 11 my science did a unit on reproduction. But just to throw this out there, I knew what sex was in basic sence when I was 8 or 9 but I didn’t much else. I didn’t know what an STD or a condom was until I was almost 13, although I knew what birth control pills were.
Uh, isn’t 10 a little late to leave “the talk”???
At the risk of being flamed, I have to agree with the two previous posters. By age 8, I had heard enough about sex from my peers to need to ask my mom what it was. Of course she gave me the bare-bones information, about as basic as it gets, which was appropriate for that age level. I’m wondering if your 10-year-old isn’t quite as naive as she lets on, but feels unable to approach you. At any rate, unless you plan to not have any contact with this niece until the time when you are forced to deal with “birds and bees” (probably when your daughter hits puberty, if she hasn’t already), you might want to use this as a teaching moment for what happens when people don’t follow God’s plan for sex and marriage.
**“By age 8, I had heard enough about sex from my peers to need to ask my mom what it was.” **
That is too bad. Did you go to public schools? Watch a lot of cable tv? Have parents who didn’t care who you hung out with? (btw, this is not an attempt to “flame” anyone) I think kids learn too much, too soon these days and that is because of our overly sexualized pop culture that permeates our society. Of course we need to teach her the necessary facts about sex and marriage, etc. but want to do it on our terms and not be rushed into it in this way. Believe it or not, she is truly innocent! This is possible because we don’t watch much tv (no cable), and only watch wholesome movies. Also, she doesn’t have any older siblings or older aged peers to introduce her to these things. Maybe in a way this dilemma is good because it will force us to teach her about sex and it is probably about time we did teach her some things. But this doesn’t really help me with my dilemma about Easter dinner. What to do. Ishii
No, thanks very much, I was not raised in an immoral environment. I attended Catholic schools and was raised by two of the most overprotective parents I have ever encountered; in fact, all of their attention was focused on me as I was the only child they were able to have. I can’t even believe that someone would suggest that they didn’t care who my friends were (I realize you weren’t intending to flame but I am still insulted on their behalf, as I love them very much and think they did a wonderful job as parents). Other kids hear things from their older siblings. They bring them to school and discuss them with their friends at recess. I was fortunate enough to have parents whom I trusted enough to ask questions about what I had heard, and who were wise enough to give me age-appropriate answers.
As for Easter dinner, as I see it, options B and D from your original post are the only logical ones. If you go, she will likely notice that “cousin looks like she has a baby in her tummy”, and if you call your sister and express your concerns, she will most likely side with her own daughter and tell you not to bother coming.
When my youngest brother was in catholic preschool, two of his classmates were overheard discussing a topic i will not specify in the boys bathroom. These were 4 year olds.
And of course, my wise and rational husband just suggested option E: go, don’t say anything before hand, but use it as a teaching moment if she notices her cousin and asks about it. Otherwise don’t mention it, although I would strongly suggest having “the talk” before puberty hits, or if it already has, before she gets her period. By her age I and some of my friends were in training bras, and this was almost 20 years ago. Girls seem to enter puberty even earlier now, which seems to make education on their biology, morality, and chastity even more important, IMO.
What a shame.
** “No, thanks very much, I was not raised in an immoral environment.**”
Seeker, I wasn’t intending to insult anyone. But I would submit that if someone had " heard enough about sex from their peers by age 8" then one could possibly conclude either, a) the environment was somehow so filled with sex that even the most conscientious parents couldn’t protect their child’s innocence, or b)the child had older siblings who didn’t respect their younger sibling’s innocence, or c) the parents were not concerned about their child’s innocence. In your case, it is apparently the former, but I know of a lot of parents who consider themselves good traditional Catholics but don’t seem to care about all the garbage their children are exposed to at such a young age and what it does to their innocence. Or maybe they are too busy. Ishii.
I had to deal with this, but my daughter was about 7. My husband’s cousin was pregnant outside of marriage. I simply said God knows whats best for us and that is why babies should be born after marriage but sometimes people don’t follow God’s will or don’t know God and make poor choices.
My daughter is now 11. My bestfriend since childhood has a 17 year old daughter that became pregnant over the summer. My daughter was 10 at the time. I prayed for guidance on how to address this properly. My daughter knows about periods and the some of the biology of reproduction but she doesn’t know how the egg and sperm meet. I told her “Ashley” was pregnant. That she made a poor choice and life is going to be difficult for her. She will have to give up many things that she planned on. But we still love Ashley and show her compassion and support. What Ashley did was a grave sin but if she seeks forgiveness from God he will forgive her. I was careful to tell her being pregnant was not a sin although at 17 it is much more difficult and that babies are beautiful blessings from God. The sin was engaging in something reserved for married life.
I asked her if she wanted me to explain how a person becomes pregnant and she emphatically said she didn’t want to know. I told her fine, but if she had any questions not to be afraid to ask. And that we would have to discuss it soon. She said, “ok -but not today”.
Every night as part of evening prayers we prayed for Ashley the baby and the baby’s father as well as the rest of the family. Ashley’s daughter was born on Holy Thursday. We went as a family to see the baby and my daughter got to hold the tiny newborn.
I’m a homeschooling mom. We have no cable TV, in fact we don’t watch programs on TV only wholesome videos/dvd’s. I’m careful about the people my daughter spends time with. But I think we need to deal the realities of life and the fact that people sin and make mistakes. We need to teach love and compassion as part of teaching good morals. There is no sin in being pregnant -the sin happened before the pregnancy. As pro-life people I think it’s important to stress that babies aren’t sinful.
My daughter got to hold a newborn baby for the first time in her life. Just looking at baby “Elizabeth” tells you God brings good of bad situations. She talks about how she hopes Ashley and her boyfriend stay together and get married some day. And she knows this is far from an ideal situation. But she’s also learned we don’t shun the people we love because they make mistakes.
Thank you Rayne 89 for your perspective. I know that tommorow will most likely prompt a few questions from my daughter that we had hoped to deal with later rather than sooner, and on our own terms (as I mentioned). Wish me luck. Ishii
I just want to point out that you may be too focused on doing this “on your own terms” instead of what is right or necessary. It would be helpful to know exaclty what your terms are…
I’m with Jen…my mom thought she was in the clear waiting to have “the talk” with me when I was 10, and 2 months later I had my first period…also more than 20 years ago. It’s time.
your daughter knows more than you think she knows
you don’t ban family members because they are pregnant and you aren’t ready for The Big Talk
A ten year old may be menstruating soon and is more than ready for The Big Talk anyhow, so this might be a good starting point.
How come auntie is having a baby if she is not married to John? Well, honey, these things happen, we will talk about it later. When later comes, repeat that God’s plan is for people to get married first, the have babies, but things did not work out like that for your niece, but that you are sure she is doing everything she can to make things right, and that in any case, a baby is always a wonderful thing, and discuss ways you can help your niece.
Oh auntie, boy are you big! hopefully you have taught her not to make pointed personal remarks in public, this is also a good time to talk about etiquette.