A Brother’s Message to His Lil’ Sister (The Birds & Bees)

0 Posted by - May 18, 2009 - Dear NWSO, Relationships, Love & Marriage


PRELUDE: Yesterday was my little sister’s 20th birthday. They grow up so fast don’t they? Despite an almost 13 year gap between us, she and I have a special bond. I would do anything for each one of my siblings, but with her being the only girl in the house full of boys, I’ve always kept a watchful eye over my sister. Two years ago, on her 18th birthday, I wrote the following letter to my sister as she made the transition from a girl to a woman. Basically, these are my words of wisdom to a young lady I love and cherish, and I decided to share the unedited letter with y’all today. Enjoy.


May 18, 2007

Hey, sis, how are you doing? Yesterday was a real big day—the big 18. How do you feel? Good. I just wanted you to know that I’m so proud of you and the woman you are becoming. I have to admit, I was always scared that you’d become a wild child, but I should have known better—you’re daddy’s brother’s little girl and I love you. Despite our difference in age, you and I seem to always have real conversations. That’s why it’s so strange that we haven’t had this talk before, but I feel like this is the time. You are a woman now after all.

Krissy, please watch these fast little boys trying to hit it and quit it. I’m not gonna get all up in your business, but whenever you decide you’re ready to make that step into womanhood (if you haven’t already…YIKES!) make sure it’s with someone you’re in love with and you truly believe feels the same. The reality is what you feel emotionally may not always be what he does. Remember, guys tend to say a lot of things they don’t mean just to get what they want. It’s your life and any decisions you make are ultimately yours, all I ask is that you make the moment special to you and protect yourself. Whatever you do, be confident in the knowledge that I will always be here for you and will never judge you.

Now, I know you’re heading off to college in a few months and it’ll be scary, but no matter how busy you think I am I always have time for you and your brothers. No matter if I’m swamped with work I’ll always find a moment for my blood. And if there’s ever anything you feel you can’t speak to mom or your friends about, know that you can always come to me in confidence. All I can and ever will do is give you a helping hand at every opportunity and provide you with the best advice possible. If you make a mistake just learn from them. Mistakes aren’t something we should be afraid of, they’re part of life and trust, your big bro has made his fair share of them. More than likely, I have a few more to make before it’s all said and done, so my wisdom is at your disposal any time. That’s what big brothers are for.

Once again, I just want you to know that I’m so very proud of you. I hope you enjoyed your gift, your day and dinner with mom and me. Sorry we met up too late to go to where you wanted, but remember we have a dinner date in a few weeks in the city. I’ll take you somewhere nice and give you more tips on how to conduct yourself when you’re out with a gentleman. Don’t let me find out any of these little boys are pulling the okey doke on my sister. BBQ’s is not a fine eating establishment. Yeah, I know it is when you’re 18, but I’ma show you how a real man is supposed to treat you. I expect nothing but the best for you, because you are the best. Happy birthday, sis.

Love always,

Your big(gest) brother, Anslem


If you have younger siblings, what words of advice have you given them over the years? Does the guidance you provide differ between little brothers and little sisters? If you were an only child, how did you learn the facts of life? Did you get information from your friends? Looking back, how accurate was their advice? Did anything you picked up on the street turn out to be an embarrassing wives’ tale? Who told you about the birds and the bees? How awkward was that conversation for you? How do you plan to tell your kids about the birds and the bees and at what age?

Speak your piece…


  • Octavia

    Just curious did u treat your women with the respect you told your sis to demand?

  • Octavia

    Oh beautiful letter btw

  • http://nwso.net NWSO


    I did and I do… anything else would be BS contradiction

  • distinguishedgentlewoman

    My mother and I had a heated debate about when and how someone should tell a child about the birds and the bees. The conversation came about after watching an episode of Oprah, on which a 10-year-old asked and got an in-depth explanation about sex. Being the old-fashioned gal that she is, my mom argued that if any 10-year-old ever came up to her and asked her about sex, she would tell him/her to go “read their school book.” In other words, she feels that no child that age has any right thinking, let alone asking, about anything pertaining to sex. I disagreed. I believe that anytime a child becomes curious and asks questions pertaining to sex, it’s time to sit down with them and have “the talk.” I’m not saying to get totally graphic—and they got a bit too graphic on the Oprah show—and vulgar about it. I mean explain it in such a way that he/she will understand. I would rather explain the birds and bees to the child in my life, rather than he/she “learning” about it on the streets and getting misinformation from friends.

    BTW: It’s nice that you and your sister are that close and that you can give her big brotherly advice. My brother and I are not that close. And if he ever came to me and tried to get all up in my business like that, I would gag.

  • http://myspace.com/nexus_da_underdawg da ThRONe

    I think the best advice is not to tell people what not to do like sex for an example ,but tell them not to allow people anybody to force you and all ways be smart about it. I was the youngest of my brothers so I didnt give much advice.

    Not to advice Ans sister to go “hoeing” but I think college is the time in life to unwind and expericence somethings that you might not do once your older. So to tell her dont do this or that to me is bad advice. She has to learn who she is and I dont think she really can having somebody telling her how to conduct herself.

  • http://myspace.com/nexus_da_underdawg da ThRONe


    If she likes BBQ then whats wrong with that? Why are you teaching her to want more than what makes her happy? I think its this teaching that corupts a lot of young girls minds “If a man dont take you to XYZ then hes really not a man or dont really care for you” thats silly. I expected more for you Ans!

  • http://nwso.net NWSO

    @ DaThROne

    Stop misreading my stuff lol.

    For instance, today my sister wanted to go to Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner, personally, I don’t like the place, but that’s where we as a family went.

    Also, remember this was written two years ago. The message is that don’t settle and/or have low expectations because that’s what you’ll get. I’m just speaking from my own experience to my sis.

    Back in the day when I was a kid/teen/whatever, Red Lobster, Uno’s etc was FINE DINING. You get free refills too, lol. But I know now that there’s more to the eating experience than burgers and fries and restaurants that have place mats that double as menus. That’s not a knock to them spots (fully) because I was ay Uno like 2 weeks ago and I can mess with some BBQ burgers every once in a while with no problem, but don’t think those spots are the pinnacle is my message for a young lady (my sis). I never said nothing about go to Chez Whitey, just BBQs (or anywhere similar) isn’t the pinnacle.

    We spoke about offering a tip tonight too… And she already know to carry enough of her own money for whenever she go out. Technically she’s still spending mom’s money so she know the deal.

  • abeni

    I think it’s important that we teach young women how to navigate relationships. Teach them the ins and outs, how to set standards, how to protect themselves, how to love and how to be loved. Women should not fear men’s game. If your head is right, you’ve got support, high standards and high self esteem you will be ok in most cases. I don’t think love should be avoided, it should be welcomed in our lives. We are reaching an epidemic (IMO) of lonely, educated, unloved women.

    …this is my thinking on the matter in general. A lot of girls are going to miss out on a lot of fun if they focus completely on school. A young woman’s life can be very fulfilling if she is a good student and has healthy, satisfying relationships with men and women. With appropriate boundaries, standards, morals, etc. romantic relationships can be so sweet and satisfying.

    I don’t think telling young women to avoid relationships until they get a degree is wise. It does more harm than good.

  • Neska

    That’s real sweet what you did for your younger sister, i now have a pretty good relationship with my older brother where we can kinda, sorta talk like this. Last year for my birthday I asked my dad to write a letter for me ’cause he’s mean when pen hits paper, sadly he misplaced it before i received it (he’s still looking for it).
    Lucky me i am the youngest child so my sisters went through experiences and gave me a heads up before i really got into something and not know what to do. Talking with my cousins also helped me navigate situations if i didn’t want to tell my sister or parents.
    Lastly knowing that you have someone that wont judge you, that you can speak to openly and honestly is what everybody needs, too bad not everyone wants to admit it

  • July

    I’m an only child so didn’t have an older sibling to advise me on anything but my mother was upfront and honest with me and told me all I had to know from the science of sex to the emotional and mental aspect. It was uncomfortable as hell to have mom tell me such things from a relatively young age but in retrospect it must’ve been more uncomfortable for her to do it lol. Although my young self thought I was a bad ass and went in the opposite direction from the advice given, it was great knowing my mom (and dad) had my back and where there for me to drop pearls of wisdom whenever I asked or they felt it was neccessary and for that I’m grateful or else who knows where my ‘bad ass’ would’ve landed up.

  • Elle

    What’s wrong with being a wild child? *hands on hips*
    I was/ am on and it didn’t have any negative effects on school/work and the like. But that’s beside the point.

    I have an older brother, the gap between us is about as big as the one between you and your sister.
    All the while he is my male role model who taught me how to ride a bike and explained physics to me, I would never on earth go to him for relationship advice. That would be way too awkward. As far as I am concerned, my brother doesn’t have a sex life, matter of fact if you ask me he looks like a Ken doll from the belly button downwards and I assume his son fell from the sky. So yea, if he is anything like me he would not want to see me in that kind of light by giving me relationship and love advice.

    Birds and bees? My mom is a nurse. Consequently, she explained things to me in a very mature way. No birds and bees involved. I don’t remember it but she said I asked her where the babies come from when I was really young. So she explained it to me. The rest of it all was more a “learning by doing” deal.
    That’s a general problem with me. I don’t ask for nor do I accept advice very well. It starts with me not telling much about my business. Logically, people don’t really know what’s going on in my life and therefore don’t offer advice. I feel the need to experience everything first hand. When I was a little girl, my mom told me not to touch the candle while it was lit…sure enough I looked into her eyes pretending to listen while reaching to the side in order to “grab” the flame. That’s just how I function. I always need to see it/feel it to believe it.

    Should I have a child one day I will treat it with the same respect I demand. And to me that involves talking to him/her in a mature way and not “sheltering” them from what society may deem inappropriate. I will explain life to them from my point of view while giving them enough room to develop their own perspective. No birds, bees, easter bunnies or Santas. Knowledge is power and ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s just ignorance. So yea, no lies or pretty pictures from me.

  • midwest

    i don’t have any younger siblings but i do have children.

    for me, the chats(because there was more than one) about sex weren’t that difficult or stressful. and they started, using the actual words and terms in an age appropriate way, from the time they were toddlers. it began with me teaching them the proper words for all their body parts and went from there.

    i started out telling them #1 that’s YOUR body and NO ONE, not me, not your teacher, NO ONE has the right to touch you in any way that makes you uncomfortable or that hurts. i made sure they understood that were someone to try to touch them or tell them to do something such as having them touch their genitals or tried to convince them to let them touch theirs that they had my permission to scream or hit them if necessary to make them stop and tell me or their father immediately.

    and once they were older, #2 ALWAYS use a condom if(big if) you’re going to be sexually active. and that was it.

    all the rest of it about relationships and how another person should treat you wasn’t a “sex” conversation. it was an everyday thing that went along with having respect and love for self and recognizing those people in this world who don’t have your best interest in mind.

  • pjwill

    I have Girls and we started talking when they where around 12 and have not stoped talking they are 21 and 23 and i will always be there to hear what they are saying good letter

  • http://mssimone1203@facebook.com Simone

    First let me say I have been reading your blog for the past two weeks and love it everyday.

    The letter you wrote to your sister was touching and oh so necessary. I think it is very important to let your family know you “are there” for them. Often times we expect that because we are related support is a given and disappointed when it doesn’t occur. It is my opinion that a woman’s best education on men has to come from a man because you know the characteristics best. You didn’t define what the gift you purchased was but I think this letter was priceless!!

  • http://www.nubiamag.com Cari

    Sweet, I had a similar convo with my big brother but it was more raw and in your face, this is how men think, what they will do and say to get some ass type of discussion…lol

  • July

    I just need to add that although I am an only child I have a whole lot of male cousins who took it upon themselves to act as my big brothers and more times than not it was just damn irritating.

    The advice they gave (if we can even call it that) was barked at me eg. “if I catch you with any boys I’ll beat you within an inch of your life” or “boys are trouble.stay away.end of conversation” :-)

    So NWSO I must say the way you have interacted with your sister in such a loving, open and supportive way is just so sweet. Beautiful letter.

  • Nicki

    I have a lil sis, the advice I gave her is to not make the same mistakes that I made, as I am a single mom. Granted I was 24 when I had my daughter, its still tough. Youth is the time to have fun and experiment. I have found that teaching a younger person how to be smart about the decisions they make to have fun, has more value to them and they actually listen.
    As for teaching a kid about sex….guess what we start teaching kids about sex the minute they find out the difference between boys and girls! A kid can see people kissing on a tv show and ask why. Sex talks are even when we tell the children not let people touch them in thier “private places” My best advice is to find age approriate ways to teach our children as they are growing up. Believe me I got a talk every year for as far back as I can remember.

  • http://www.myspace.com/curvywitdreads904 Ms Curvy Wit Dreads 904

    I was an only child, so no siblings to get the dirt from ahead of time. My mom was definitely very old school. Talking about sex and parts of your body was taboo. Funny that we could talk about damn near anything else but sex. At 10 she got the school guidance counselor to give me the “where do babies come from” and “whats happening to my body” books. She never told me to come to her with questions, she just figured out that the guidance counselor would answer them, but frankly she was an older white woman in her mid 50s and the thought of tellin her about any warm tingly feelings in my nether regions just never crossed my mind…strange, hmm? Lmao.
    The closest talk we had was “Now that you can get pregnant, keep your legs closed” Im kinda defiant so when someone tells me, dont do it with no explaination as to why, then im gonna be curious, especially since Skinemax..i mean, Cinemax was in high gear back then..lol All my info, I got from my classmates and girls I went to church with. My aunts tried to have the birds and bees talk, but that they did the “do as i say, not as i do” type spiel, which was entirely ineffective. Needless to say, by age 21 I had 2 children.
    Looking back on it now, I made lots of stupid mistakes. Did things cuz I had no better advice to go off of. Being a female and having my dad involved in my life, I wish my dad would have gotten more involved in that aspect. For the fathers out there, as difficult as it may be to hear or think about, your daughters need to hear how men think from a male perspective..and what better one than that of dad..or big brother, whatever the case may be. Every female needs a man in their life, who wants nothing from them sexually, but only wants to give them good sound advice and are generally looking out for their best interests..because many young women are obviously getting the message confused.
    I have 2 sons ages 5 and 7 and when they get old enough to be curious, im gonna answer their questions truthfully. Only you, as a parent, know your children and what kind of info they are ready for. We see how fast these kids are growing up nowadays..we cant keep doin things the way Big Mama did them. The only thing that stays constant is CHANGE..meaning we have to adjust with the times. Using antiquated ways of teaching our kids from the mistakes we made only leads them down the same futile paths. We gots to do better..and that means starting off by being honest.

    Nuff Love
    Ms Curvy Wit Dreads 904

  • http://myspace.com/nexus_da_underdawg da ThRONe


    I would hope your sister would know theres a higher level of dinning ,but who cares? If shes ok with mickey dees or Uno(I dont even know what that place is) let her be. If I was advicing a young lady I would focus on the signs real dude show when there really feeling her as opposed to dudes that do stuff just to get what they want.

    Im with Elle! Let people do them. You cant protect your sister or any love one from the world. No two people experience will be the same. Sometimes you have to be free to make your own mistakes I feel thats how you find yourself. But I will say to her are anybody follow your mind and not your feeling and most cases you know the player from the honest dude.

  • Kelly

    @ da ThRONe

    BBQ’s is the name of a restauraunt in Manhattan and is considered to alot of New Yorkers to be a “fine dining establishment”. I think that was the point he was trying to make to his sister :p

    Dallas BBQ’s is NOT a fine dining establishment..btw.. last time I ate there a HUGE cockroach did a dance across our table. =(

    NWSO – great letter… was very touching :) Wish my big brother had done the same.

  • litrisha

    I wish someone would have told me about the “birds and the bees” when I was younger and not just that, but LIFE in general. I think I would have been better prepared, but that’s where experiences come in at. If you don’t know about something, you go through it from experience then you should learn from that experience, whether it was positive or negative. I’m 30 and I’m just now starting to get and understand relationships…….but hey I know what to do and what not to do now by experience. Some things just come to you as you get older.

  • http://www.myspace.com/kobe81fan Shay from L.A. (Los Angeles)

    Reading things like this makes me wish that I had siblings…sigh

  • Dc Man with a plan

    Whether we refer to it humorously as ” the birds and the bees” or specifically by it’s clinical, scientific names, or down and dirty street names–it’s about sex, pro-creation and enjoyment. I think every sane, reasonably mature adult has an obligation to discuss SEX with their sons and daughters ( neices and nephews and other young people, who may not have sane adults around them) in their sphere of influence. It is not that all of us necessarily offer sage, well thought out advice, but if we can articulate something about our experiences and knowledge on the subject; can express thoughts based on what we WISH we had known, or what we learned the hard way–it’s all going to be to the good bcuz even though many will not receive the information and use it…one day it will resonate in a meaningful way and that person will be better for the talks you had. They may heal quicker from heart break, may recall you are someone they can trust when they find themselves in a bind, afraid to ask others for help….AND, they may take the other advice you provided more seriously, once they have validated the truth you gave for a lesson learned the hard way. Young people listen to you more than you may ever know, especially when you LIVE what you speak, or have the scars to prove you know what the heck you’re speaking about.

  • AGK

    Beautiful letter :)
    Ur a great brother!

  • http://www.myspace.com/diva_attorney KeishaD

    Great letter; very heart felt. If one’s father is absent then it’s imperative that someone (a man) teach the younger generations (particularly female) the truths about their potential dealings with men. For me this was not done; so I spent years fighting the demons that tried to kill my self-esteem because Daddy wasn’t there to assert the first words of who I was as a little girl, and not to mention a woman. Mommy was there, but she too had generational demons that she never disclosed yet, somehow they transferred to me. How sad!
    Like your sister I am an only girl (only 1 other sibling), so since I can’t speak to my brother as a man, on behalf of a man.. All I can tell him is that affirmation is everything. The words that he speaks to his daughter in her youth will become the life she embraces in her womenhood. Thank you NWSO for being the mantle carrier to your sister…KUdos!

  • Chocolat Beaute’

    I have the 6 brothers and i am the only girl , so i have heard it all time after time . Lol . They have helped me relate to men better and a few other things . I believe that they took part in helping me become such a good woman at a young age

  • Righteous Mama

    I always wished I had a brother growing up. Not for advice. Really, I wanted one to threaten and beat down jerks who treated me badly. Lol.

    But my older sister and I were a great team and stood up for each other. She’s taught me a lot about relationships but I too had to learn and make my own way. You can’t rob people of the pain and experiences they must go through to develop wisdom.

    For my children, I am certain they will make their share of mistakes. I am a big believer that being a good example is the best teacher. By example, I hope I am teaching my sons what a good woman and mother is. We don’t talk about sex much but we do talk a lot about marriage and responsibilty. I know it’s hard for sons to talk to their mother about sex but I keep positive male role models all around us. Its unnatural to expect teens won’t have sex before 18. All you can do is arm them with wisdom and proper guidance and be confident that they will be alright.

    Great letter.

  • Anonymous

    Is it me, or does someone ALWAYS have to put da throne in his place?

  • Ms P

    I am an only child so I was not blessed to have a big brother like you, NWSO. However, I was/am blessed to have a Momma who always kept it real! She gives it to you straight no chaser & I love her for it! When I was a young girl I would think “oh no” here we go again when she would give me advice. However, when I went away to college all of her advice would pop up at just the right time. She told me things like if you date a football player, don’t date another, and the same for Kappas,Ques etc, or you would make a “name” for yourself. Some of the best advice ever! LOL. All through my life my Momma’s advice has been invaluable. In turn I also tell my daughter the same. Sometimes we have great dialogue & other times I get the “crickets” look. LOL. But I know that I have to let her know the best of what I know & that includes some of the mistakes that I have made in my journey. I wish I could shield her from all of life’s heartaches but that is not possible. However, as she becomes a teenager I try to arm with all that I know. It is my duty to equip my “baby” as best I can.

  • Mimi in the OC

    I am the second of 4 children and the “birds and the bees” were explained and clarified by my older brother and my mother.
    I hung out with my older brother (1.5 years age difference) a lot and his friends when I was younger. They “protected me” until I could fly with my own wings. The role they played was to help me witness and understand male functioning. Not that I have fully figured it out lol, but i can see clear for the most part. It defiitely helped me make better decisions, but I still made some mistakes regardless just like everybody else.
    My mom, she keeps it real, straight to the point. Even before I ever thought of liking a boy, in 6th grade a couple of days after my biology class on human reproduction, I realized that whenever it is I was going to have sex, I NEEDED TO WEAR A CONDOM PERIOD lol (I was still living in Cameroon at the time, obviously AIDS is a bigger deal, so preventive education starts early). I never told my mom when I “did it” the first time but she figured it out at some point. Little by little she started talking to me openly about her own experiences as a teenager/young woman, which made me share mine in return. Ever since, we’ve been getting closer and closer and she’s up to date about my dating life lol.
    As for my brothers and I we are close in age, so I assume they had their “real talk” at some point too, but not in my presence.

  • javon504

    beautiful letter

  • http://www.onyxbeauty.wordpress.com Onyxbeauty

    You’re letter is great and so is taking your sister to fine restaurants. I would add one more thing to your show not just tell her how a real man treats her: Create a tradition and send her flowers–maybe for V-day or her B-day.
    My Big(gest) brother sends me flowers for my b-day every year. The first time a man gave me flowers I did not think it was love. I just appreciated the gift.
    My big(gest) brother has made it harder for men to get to me and you are doing the same for your sister.

    BTW love your blog….I’ve been a silent reader:-)

  • http://myspace.com/nexus_da_underdawg da ThRONe


    “My big(gest) brother has made it harder for men to get to me and you are doing the same for your sister.”

    Is that a good thing? I am by far the most romantic dude I know(are atleast out of the people who admit it) but is his “setting the bar” better for you? I think expectations are the worst thing in a new relationship.

  • Just-a-black-girl!

    :o( I’ve always wanted an older brother….beautiful letter…wish I had that kind of male influence in my life! Keep up the good work big bro!

  • http://onyxbeauty.wordpress.com onyxbeauty

    Hi Da Throne

    I;’m not talking about expectations that a man must buy me flowers etc. But what having a man in your life that isn’t interested in sex or a romantic relationship who provides, makes you feel special etc sets the bar for the woman to NOT fall for the first man who does something nice for her. Too many young black women fall for men who buy them stuff, give a flower, or a BBQ dinner and think it’s love….

    The first man to show love to a woman is her father….sometimes that comes from a big brother. Either way the first man to do something nice for her should not be a man interested in her sexually…

  • Mrs. Wanderingheart

    I’m the eldest of two girls and I did alot of the discovering and learning on my own, and it was FUN!!!! LOL I’m glad I had the experiences I did, but I do kinda wish I had someone to teach me the ins and outs of dating, sex, relationships, and whats-not, maybe I wouldn’t have had the blunders that I had….. but then again, I’m stubborn as hell (Capricorn!!!), and the advice I did get from my parents and older cousins and friends who went through the motions didnt matter….. I had to learn on my own. I read alot too, so I learned alot from books and movies, and my sis has learnt sooooo much from lookin at my life, she admires, respects and clowns me (and she’s justified in doing all three!). She’s a fine young lady if I must say so myself, so I guess I was a fine example :) :) :) Great letter and Great initiative as an older brother, I loved it!!! (AND OF COURSE TELL HER TO WANT AND EXPECT THE BEST!!!)

  • Jcatgrl

    My “birds and the bees” experience wasn’t exactly the best of ‘em. I’m not saying I got a totally graphic version from the playboy channel or something, but my mom didn’t tell me ANYTHING. I found out everything from these two little books that you can only get from a doctor’s office: A Doctor Talks to 5-8 year olds, and A Doctor Talks to 9-12 year olds, when I was in the fourth grade. I don’t think she told my little sister anything either, so unless she found the books, too, the first time she knew anythig was last year, in the sixth grade. My other little sis is in the fourth grade now, so I hope to spare her that same experience, and read the books with her. It’ll probably be awkward, but less awkward than not knowing anything until sixth grade health class.