So that means that you and Dad did that twice.”
-Bridget Gawinowicz, age 5, after being told by her mom how babies are made (she has one brother).
It’s inevitable; The Question: “Mom, where did I come from?” If you are not sure about when or how to talk to your children about the birds and the bees, here are a few tips:
- Give them the facts – start early with short, age-appropriate conversations, adding levels of sophistication and detail as they maturity.
- Use everyday events as conversation starters - for instance, television ads. I remember years ago, seeing an ad on TV that showed a happy little girl whirling around in a ballerina costume, then all of a sudden she was a sad pregnant teenager. Maybe not the best ad, but I knew what the underlying meaning was and I asked my daughter if she understood. It was a great conversation starter.
- Create an open environment – kids these days know a lot about sex, but so much of it is misinformation. Letting our kids know that they can talk to us about anything not only makes them feel relaxed about talking to us, but we can give them accurate information. And just because you are talking about sex doesn’t mean you are condoning free sex. Actually the opposite is true – keeping an open dialogue about sex gives you the opportunity to talk about your values.
- No need to bare all of your facts – if they ask a question about your behavior, you don’t have to share your personal history, and, in fact, it is not always helpful to do so. Ask them why they are asking; their question may be a cue that something is bothering them. Remember, you want the focus on them, not on you. What you did in the past is less important to them than how they are going to deal with their lives now.
By Claire Gawinowicz, Certified Parenting Educator