Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
For Your Journal: Writing Prompt

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Do you keep a journal - or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help.

Three times a month, I'll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don't worry about grammar or punctuation - just write. Then let the writing simmer and your mind wander for awhile.

And who knows? Maybe you'll discover a character for your next short story or a theme for a narrative essay. Or maybe you'll use the idea to create a special holiday card or photo album for someone in your family. However you decide to use your journal entry, I know you'll enjoy re-reading it months--and years--down the road.

A friend shared this two-part conversation she had with her two elementary school-aged children. Have you had a similar conversation?

Part I
Daughter: Do you know what the bad thing is?
Mom: What?
Daughter: The bad thing. Doing it.
Mom: Doing what?
Daughter: Sex.
Mom: What's sex?
Son: It's when a man has his penis in a woman's vagina. I looked it up in a World Book.
Mom: Really?
Son: Well, I didn't really look it up. I was looking up "sailboat" and I flipped the page and it was there.

Part II, a day later
Daughter: You have to have sex to have a baby, right?
Mom: Yeah, pretty much.
Son: I thought you just had to love each other a whole lot.
Did you have sex when you had me?
Mom: Yes.
Both in unison: EWWW!
Daughter: And me?
Mom: Yes.
Both: EWWW!
Son: But not XXX (name of little sister).
Mom: Yes.
Son: EWWW! You had sex when you were old?!

The American Academy of Pediatricians says teaching children about sexuality is one of our most important parenting responsibilities:

If you relinquish that role, your child will still learn about sex, but from other children, television, popular songs, magazines, and other sources. Much of this information will be inaccurate.

Journal Entry: Write about a conversation you had with your child about sexuality. Who initiated, and what prompted, the discussion? Were your ready for it? What surprised you most about the exchange?

For more information about children and sexuality, check out the AAP's Healthy Children website: Preschoolers, Grade School, Teens.

Karna ConverseĀ is a freelance writer who’s written everything from technical documentation and price proposals to newsletter articles, devotionals, personal profiles and essays. Her essays have been published in a variety of regional and national publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, the Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup anthologies, Our Iowa, and on Iowa Public Radio. She and her husband are parents to three young adults. Karna is a former blog editor, senior editor, managing editor, and editor-in-chief of Literary Mama.

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