My three year old loves it when we tell her stories at bedtime. Once I decided to tell her the story of when her little brother was born. My story basically explained that there was a baby growing in mommy’s tummy and then I had to go in to the hospital where her brother was born, and how happy she was to hold him for the first time.
When I was finished telling the story, there was silence. I walked right into this one, didn’t I?
“Where did the baby come from?” she asked.
“I carried him in my tummy,” I explained, hoping that would end the conversation.
“But how did the baby get in there?” she went on.
“We’re having that conversation now? I’m not ready for this!” my inside voice screamed.
After blinking away my deer-in-headlights face and calmly thinking things through, I remembered what I’d often heard my work colleagues say: always answer your child’s questions about sexuality simply, truthfully and at the level they can understand.
“Mommies have little eggs inside them and Daddy gave me his tiny seed and together they made a baby inside of me. The baby grows inside a little, cozy home called a uterus. When he got too big to be in there, he came out!”
“How did he get out?” she persisted.
“I went to the hospital and I pushed him out.”
“Oh, okay mommy.” And that was the end of that!
She seemed quite satisfied with this information and I haven’t heard any more questions…yet!
Has your little one been asking you questions about sex and sexuality? Take it from me – it helps if you feel a bit more prepared to talk about it. By handling your child’s questions factually and without emotion (much like you answer the thousand other questions your inquisitive little one has already asked), then you show your child you are an “askable” parent. Your child will then feel comfortable coming back to you as they grow older, (likely with even more difficult questions) rather than turning to social media or other questionable sources.
Please take the time to read Children and Sexuality: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers of Young Children.
How did you handle the “how are babies made” question in your house?
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