Nothing says we have to launch into a “sex talk” when our kids ask about a baby’s beginnings. But we have the opportunity and responsibility in our hyper-sexualized culture to share what we can—before the culture does, building bridges to and foundations for more intimate conversations in the future.
- Babies grow in the mother’s uterus, not her tummy. It’s helpful to know that the baby isn’t growing in the same place that food goes. Uterus is a big, funny, word. Your child will love it!
- Just a single picture of a baby in the womb can open an entire conversation: “That’s just what happened to you!”
- Videos or presentations are available online that show the incredible process of a sperm and egg combining and developing into a fully developed baby. Parents and children can watch together in wonder, beginning at any point of development, or stopping to admire any stage.
- Teaching the accurate names for private parts of the body matter-of-factly protects a child from shame. It also opens the path for a discussion about modesty and why we let other moms and dads tell their children about their own bodies. (If a friend asks a question about private matters, we could teach our child to say, “Ask your mom or dad. That’s who I talk to.”)
Yes, more questions may follow. We can consider how to answer them very simply and factually, beginning with the important starter, “What do you think?” so we know what our child is really concerned about. But our answers may also be, “I don’t know, but I can find out. Isn’t it amazing?” And that may be enough (and give you time to do your homework.)
The point is to show a child that life is a beautiful miracle as well as a series of biological events. It also introduces them to their own personal history. They are unlike anyone else who is or ever was, and they are worth more than anything money can buy.
Making the human body an unforgettable part of your child’s early training not only feeds their curiosity, but keeps them looking to you as a source of information and introduces them gradually to deeper or more intimate subjects as they grow emotionally. They will remember your time together, and the wonder and the safety they felt as they asked questions.
Whether you know it or not, you are the expert. Your child is looking to you first and foremost for this information. Beat the culture to it. Train your child to know the facts and build early bridges to talks about sex and integrity as they grow. It all starts with the moments when they discover you are a non-judgmental and trusted source of accurate information.
“How are babies made, Dad?”
“Wow, that’s a great question! I’m glad you asked. Want to watch a video about it with me?”
You’ve got this, Mom and Dad. Conversation by conversation. Easy-peasy.