“My son has come home from school asking questions about the birds & the bees! He’s only 7! We have always been quite open (in an age-appropriate way) about how babies are made – with a seed from Mummy & one from Daddy which grows in Mummies tummies but we have never had questions about how the seed gets into the tummy until now! How is the best way to broach this subject?” Anonymous.
Thank you for your question, it is a good one and I think one that most parents feel a little odd about discussing with their precious offspring.
My feeling is that your honest, age-appropriate information is the best way forward. Taking the lead from your child is a good starting place. Planning a whole ‘sex’ talk when your child is not ready or not interested might mean that it can go very pear-shaped or gets them asking questions that you were not prepared for.
Kids are facts driven and so a little information can go a long way. Keep the talk, short and to the point! The other reason you may also want to keep it facts based is, as your son or daughter may choose to share what they have learnt with friends and their teachers! Some other families may not appreciate them learning about the birds and the bees in a way that is not right for them.
I would perhaps also ask your son or daughter, what they want to know, what has sparked their interest and what are they going to do with this knowledge once gleaned from you.
Books can really help you out with this subject and it might be the ‘sex’ talk actually starts with a puberty one about bodies changing as you get older in preparation for making babies and being adults.
Using books as a starting point means they have done the thinking for you, they have made it age appropriate all you need to do is read and discuss together with your child. If they lose interest, you can pop it on their bookshelf and they can come back to it when they are ready.
Copyright Robert Winston. Click to view.
Here are a few book ideas that may help:
Help your kids with growing up: a no-nonsense book to puberty and growing up
What’s happening to me? (There are boys and girls editions)
Usborne facts of life, growing up: all about adolescence, body changes and sex
Let’s talk about the Birds and the Bees
It’s not the stork!
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