I often hear people ask the question, to their friends or on parenting forums, “How do I talk to my child about sex?”
This question has always confused me because talking to my children is something that has come rather naturally to me. There are parts of parenting that I struggle with, no doubt. For instance, remembering to wash their bed sheets and avoiding power struggles over meals. But for some odd reason, the topics of conversation which my peers often avoid with their own children are topics I do not feel quite so squeamish about.
For that reason, I’ve started transcribing some of these conversations to share with you, my readers.
Please keep in mind that this isn’t everything, this is simply a snapshot. Talking to our children about sex is not something we can undertake once and be done with, but rather it is an on-going conversation throughout their childhood. Starting with toddlers who are just learning their own anatomy and gradually increasing information as it is age appropriate for the child. Just a few minutes of honest conversation a few times a week is all it takes to raise well-informed and unashamed children.
The following is a conversation that occurred between myself and my son (age 4 at the time) when he was trying to avoid his bedtime.
Me: You’ve brushed your teeth, you’ve had your story, it is past your bedtime, what are you doing still up?
LittleMan: Remember when I was inside of you?
Me: Yes, I remember it very well. You didn’t like to stay still and go to sleep at bedtime back then anymore than you do now. Used to kick me awake at all hours of the night.
LittleMan: How did I get out of your uterus?
Me: Well, when you were big enough to live on your own, without my oxygen and whatnot, you were removed from my uterus by a doctor. It is called a C-Section.
LittleMan: How did the doctor get me out?
Me: Well, the doctor took a small knife and made a cut in my abdomen above where you were, then pulled you out through that cut. But you should know that MOST babies aren’t born that way. Your little sister, when she was born, she traveled through my cervix, down my vagina, and out my vulva.
LittleMan: Sissy came out of your vulva?
LittleMan: Could I have a baby through my penis?
Me: No, it doesn’t work that way. But, when you’re grown up, if you want to be a Daddy then you can marry a woman and she can give birth to a baby. Or you could marry a man and you could adopt a baby, just like in that book we were reading yesterday. There’s lots of different ways people get babies but generally, at some point, every baby starts out in a woman’s body and then comes out either by a cut a doctor makes in the abdomen or through the vagina.
LittleMan: Was Daddy there when the doctor took me out of your uterus?
Me: Yes, Daddy was there.
LittleMan: Was Daddy there when I got put in your uterus?
Me: Yes, Daddy was there then too.
LittleMan: Ok. I’m glad Daddy was there.
Me: I’m glad you’re glad. Is there anything else I can do for you? You ready to go back to bed yet?
LittleMan: Will you bring me some water please?
You might also be interested in How to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse.