Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Birds and the Bees

My friend overheard her 5-year-old boy say this to his 3-year-old sister in a very serious tone,"Daddy's are supposed to make babies in Mommies' bellies."

My, how wise we get when we turn 5-years-old!

How do you explain baby making to young kids? Psychologist Lisa Kainan says to keep it simple, but to explain that babies do not go in and out of a mommy like food does. She says that's what a lot of kids think.

You can also read sex talk with a 6-year-old. This article gets a little tricky. The author suggests saying something basic and seeing what questions the child has. She says most kids know less about sex than we think. They just get bits and pieces, so it's important for parents to explain it in a scientific way.

At what age do you start this talk? Doctors say it depends on the child and how much he/she understands, but most kids are hearing things at school by 9-years-old. Experts believe it is important not to act embarrassed when you talk to them about sex. They suggest having the conversation with someone else first to make sure you are ready to say what you need to.

This advice is from the site talking with kids:

"Teaching your children about sex demands a gentle, continuous flow of information that should begin as early as possible -- for instance, when teaching your toddler where his nose and toes are, include "this is your penis" or "this is your vagina" in your talks. As your child grows, you can continue her education by adding more materials gradually until she understands the subject well.

"Talk about sex in a way that fits the age and stage of your child. If your 8-year-old asks why boys and girls change so much physically as they grow, you can say something like, "The body has special chemicals called hormones that tell it whether to become a boy or a girl. A boy has a penis and testicles, and when he grows older his voice gets lower and he gets more hair on his body. A girl has a vulva and vagina, and when she gets older she grows breasts and her hips grow rounder."

Wow, I didn't realize how much I am not looking forward to this. I can see my son looking back at me like I'm crazy already. When I explain things to him now he says, "Mom, you have never told me that before" in a tone that means, "I can't believe you waited this long to tell me."

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


Anonymous said...

Thank God for Tivos and DVRs! TV nowadays (not including my favorite newslady at 19) can be so startling, to watch even the lighter programs you need to do it when the kids are in bed to have to explain things that we parents don't even understand!

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