Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How to Explain Feminine Hygiene?!

I realize this post is not for all.  But I really want to know.  Shannon is hosting a backwards "Works for Me Wednesday."  Hopefully this will be my opportunity to get some answers.  Speak up people!  I'm desperate!

My four-year-old is very perceptive.  He's always been.  About a year ago, he started asking questions about feminine hygiene products. It all started in the public bathroom when he noticed the shiny box on the wall.

"Momma, what's that?!"

Trying to be discrete, I simply answered, "feminine hygiene products" hoping the big words would satisfy and he'd stop asking.

No dice. 

He's persistent, too.  (Some might call it being stubborn.)

HELP!!!  How do I explain, truthfully, to him what they are?  It's really embarrassing when he keeps asking - whether in the bathroom or the store when I need to buy some.  If I quenched his appetite for knowledge, he would stop asking. 

PS - Yesterday my husband told him, "They are for women...it sort of helps them have babies."  Huh? Hubby said Mr. Intensity thought it was candy and wanted some and that was the answer that came to mind in the moment.

15 comments:

ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

Yikes! I think I'd go with "it's for grown up women, and it's private." LOL. I know, a cop out. Sorry I can't be more help...

MerrandaVK said...

My son is oblivious, although my hub said that it was some of my make-up at one point and I never heard another quesstion about it. I'll check back and see if you have any more good suggestions..

Sadie said...

Mine have always been satisfied with the "It's dirty don't touch it" for the public bathroom stalls. My 2nd born last year walked out of the bathroom covered in panyliners after having used the bathroom in my bathroom. So far they aren't too curious. I've equated it to a chicken laying an egg....chickes lay an egg ~daily even if it's not going to develop into a chikc. Women lose an egg each month...if no baby the egg has to come out and those products are to "catch" the egg. Not sure if that would work at all for a 4 yr old though- I'm sort of glad my kids aren't too curious. I don't like questions like that

Debbie said...

Wow. Four years old, you say? He is precocious. But, mine knew where babies came from at 5, so that's not much older. I have always gone the honesty route. But, you can do it little by little. Maybe something like: sometimes grown-up women use those in their underwear to stay fresher or cleaner? I think honest answers, said matter of factly, are the only way to go. Good luck!

Christa said...

I have three boys (5, 4, almost 3) and two younger daughters. My boys really don't understand the boundaries of the restroom, (or don't want to.) Anyway, one of them asked me once about the little wrapped packages in my bathroom. I told them that they are bandages for mommies. Since I've been pregnant much of their lives, they're a bit more in tune (not too much, though!). I think I've told them that a mommy's body makes a place for a baby and when one isn't put there, the mommy bleeds a bit. That may be too much info, but it's true and simle. Hope that helps!

Brightonwoman said...

I was totally honest with my kiddo when he asked.
When a girl grows up her body gets ready to make a baby. It gathers up some blood and vitamins so that if a baby comes, it will be able to grow. If no baby comes, her body gets rid of the stuff so that new fresh blood etc can come. When the old stuff comes out, mommy uses ___ to catch it so that her clothes don't get dirty.
I have also been sure to clarify that it's not a hurting kind of bleeding (like when he gets a cut or whatever).
Of course, this kiddo was also present for his little brother's birth when he was 6...we're pretty open like that. LOL!

Abbey said...

I like a lot of the suggestions above. I would avoid saying negatives, like dirty, private, etc. This will just make it seem like a bad or scary thing. Believe me- kids remember this kind of stuff. I was a teacher and heard lots of stories about my students' life at home... and when I brought up something to the parents they'd relate that the incident happened 2 years ago, 5 years ago, etc!

I'd highlight the whole "needing blood and nutrients for the baby" and "every so often we get rid of those to make fresh ones for a baby" and "these keep our clothes clean". And I agree to make sure they know it doesn't hurt and that's it's a "healthy, good" thing.

Ashley said...

I really like the ideas about how when a girl grows up (woman),her body stores up blood and nutrients and when there is no baby, your body gets rid of the old stuff (like it "expires" and the feminine hygiene products are to keep our clothes clean. And, I agree about emphasizing that although sometimes we don't feel good during that time, we aren't dying and we'll be okay (but they should be extra good! lol jk...sorta).

I cant wait to see the other answers that come up. Sorry, I didnt have a new answer, I just wanted to put my vote in hahaha :)

jojoebi said...

I like Brightonwoman's explanation, truthful and to the point.
I haven't had these questions yet, just a matter of time.
I did drop a tampon out of my purse and ebi-kun picked up and gave it to me saying "this one goes up your bum doesn't it mommy?"

agghhhhh

Megret said...

Well, I have to admit I'm not totally transparent with our son -- in my opinion, he's too young to start grasping (and worrying about) the "real" answer. I think I finally nipped his questions about pantiliners by saying, "It's a small sort of diaper that mommies wear. It's no big deal."

When our daughter starts asking, though, I will be a little less vague. This girl is the one who, from about ages 10 mos till 18 mos carried around my tampons and played with them while I got ready (lined them up, stacked them, you name it). :)

Anonymous said...

I'm all for "tell it like it is" and have explained to my son that women's bodies (not just mommies'...)make a blood nest in the place where babies grow, and if no baby is there to live in the nest for a while, it isn't useful and comes out so a new nest can be made.

MerrandaVK said...

wow. seems I am the odd woman out here, but I think my boy is much to young to hear about this sort of thing in that much detail... It was very interesting to read everyones answers, though. Blessings to you all :)

Charissa said...

I vote for open and honest. I was thinking it might be a good opportunity to talk about how a baby is nurtured in utero. Maybe an ultrasound picture of JI would be good to show the womb or of course there are all the baby development websites. This could lead into what happens when there isn't a baby there. Life with your boy is never boring - thanks for sharing your challenges.

Amy said...

This is such a good question, and I love the responses. This isn't a helpful answer, but I had to share. When my son was a baby, I was in the bathroom with him, and another woman was asked by her boys-maybe 5 and 7-what "those" in the machine were for. She said, "They're for special occasions!" I thought that was brilliant. ;)

Melanie said...

How funny kids are! My son (3) and daughter (4) are also very curious, and I guess I'm not very modest anymore, b/c they're in the bathroom with me all the time. They have asked me before "Mommy, is your poop red?" I usually try to answer honestly, with just enough info, things like "those keep women's clothes clean, etc." Our kids will probably know way too much before their time, and I apologize if they spoil Santa for anybody's kiddos out there. :) Yes, they already know.

Thanks for the link to your ROCK acronym--looks like a neat idea!

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