‘Where do babies come from?’
All generations of parents have been overwhelmed by the awkward question above. It’s probably the conversation that has flustered parents since the dawn of time. As parents we need to consider:
What age should I explain it?
Who should explain it?
How should it be explained?
HINT: Always lock your bedroom door!! It’s extremely uncomfortable for all parties involved when your little one walks in on you in the act.
I feel this is a very sensitive topic although many approach it as a ‘natural and beautiful’ act that shouldn’t be shrouded in mystery. I find myself in the middle between conservative and liberal concerning my views on sex education. While I don’t want my kids to view sex as a scary thing I do want them to be cautious. My overall goal is for my kids to feel comfortable approaching us with questions related to their body and/or sex. Especially, when you read how many kids are exposed to on-line porn and other unsavoury sources of information. The explicit nature of the information available to our kids angers me and I don’t want the internet to be their primary source of information. For my sons, I want instill in them the importance of respecting a woman’s body like they should their own. Similarly, for my daughter I want to teach her to love her body and to make wise choices.
‘How babies are made’ is a major discussion but SEX is a massive topic that needs to be continuously discussed.
I’m definitely not an expert and nor are the mothers who volunteered their experiences on this topic. The information below is from different generations of mothers who have learnt through trial and error how to approach this generally dreaded topic.
Sit down and keep it relaxed.
Don’t let your kids see how uncomfortable you are as this can cause them to perceive sex as a taboo topic that shouldn’t be discussed. The main aim is to harbour an atmosphere that encourages open communication that may continue into the future.
Don’t overwhelm them.
Gradually speak to them about different topics when you feel they are at the right maturity level or when they broach it. By not bombarding them with all the information in one fell swoop, this will allow them time to fully process the details. It can be overwhelming for both parties.
A ‘fluffed up’ version can set them up to be confused when faced with the ‘scientific’ one. It may feel awkward using ‘grown-up’ terms with your child but one mother said that she ‘fluffed it up’ and then had a distraught daughter when she heard the ‘uncensored’ version from a school friend.
Reading one of the many books on the ‘birds and he bees’ may be an effective way to educate your child. Many mothers said that talking about it was difficult because when they got flustered their explanation became jumbled and rushed. By reading a book together this made it clearer for the child and easier on the mother. Also, being more relaxed encouraged their children to ask questions related to the information that had read in the book.
Here are three books that many mothers recommended:
‘Where did I come from?’ by Arthur Robins
‘Where do babies come from?’ by Ruth and William Rusch
‘What makes a baby?’ by Cory Silverberg
Call in the experts!
Some mothers said that due to their own upbringing they found discussing this topic with their kids really uncomfortable. So instead of leaving it to chance they went online and found organisations that offered seminars and workshops for both parents and children to attend. A couple of mothers said that these seminars educated their children but more importantly gave them the confidence and the tools to continue the discussion. It’s all about getting on-line and looking for a place near you.
It is probably one of the most important discussion you will have with your children.
In a world saturated with sexual images and information you want yourself as a parent to be the first port of call. I believe it’s vital to make a good impression on probably the first important question they may ask about sex: ‘Where do babies come from?’
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