What to say to 5 year old about daddy's vasectomy - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-17-2011, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So hubby is getting snipped this Friday and me and the girls need to drive him to the hospital and pick him up. I'm not quite sure what to say to the 5 year old. I know she's going to be asking where were going, why, ect. Then at home when he's resting with ice on his crotch and she's wondering why this is and why he can't pick up the baby. What would you do? TIA


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Old 04-17-2011, 08:53 PM
 
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Umm, there are some things kids don't need to know about. Daddy went to the doctor for tests.. to help daddy, the doctor made him kinda sore.. he'll feel better soon.

I'm all for honesty with my offspring but my five year old daughter would have cried her eyes out at the thought of "no more babies".
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:34 PM
 
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I would say we are driving daddy to the doctor for an appointment. After I would keep it really simple - daddy has an ouchy and needs to rest.

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Old 04-18-2011, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the ideas ladies. I do want to keep it simple such as daddy has an owie or that he had some tests and needs to rest.

I guess in my head I am anticipating her asking why why why. And she's already asked me a few times since dd2 was born if we're having more babies and my reply was no. Then she says good, because babies need a lot of attention. And dd2 has been getting on her nerves lately.


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Old 04-18-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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I guess I'm in the minority but I told my kids the truth.  "Daddy had an operation so that we won't have any more babies.  He's going to be sore for a few days so no climbing in daddy's lap and daddy can't pick you up."  My parents were very secretive about anything to do with reproduction and I grew up thinking it was all a big shameful secret.  I've vowed not to raise my children that way.  I wouldn't hesitate to tell my kids about a broken bone or knee operation, so a vasectomy gets the same honesty.  And I feel my kids deserve to know that our family is complete.

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Old 04-18-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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I guess I'm in the minority but I told my kids the truth.  "Daddy had an operation so that we won't have any more babies.  He's going to be sore for a few days so no climbing in daddy's lap and daddy can't pick you up."  My parents were very secretive about anything to do with reproduction and I grew up thinking it was all a big shameful secret.  I've vowed not to raise my children that way.  I wouldn't hesitate to tell my kids about a broken bone or knee operation, so a vasectomy gets the same honesty.  And I feel my kids deserve to know that our family is complete.


Parents sex lives and reproductive lives do not necessarily have to be shared with children. That's TMI in my opinion. Not shameful ... just none of their business or concern.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cjam View Post

I guess I'm in the minority but I told my kids the truth.  "Daddy had an operation so that we won't have any more babies.  He's going to be sore for a few days so no climbing in daddy's lap and daddy can't pick you up."  My parents were very secretive about anything to do with reproduction and I grew up thinking it was all a big shameful secret.  I've vowed not to raise my children that way.  I wouldn't hesitate to tell my kids about a broken bone or knee operation, so a vasectomy gets the same honesty.  And I feel my kids deserve to know that our family is complete.



I also wouldn't have a problem telling my kids this, personally. I don't think it's telling them about our sex life to tell them why he had an operation any more than it's telling them about our sex life when they go to prenatal appointments. My five year old would not be okay with me just saying "it's an owwie" because we explain things to him usually. He would want more details. He knows about scabs and scrapes and broken bones. I see no reason to keep a vasectomy a secret.


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Old 04-18-2011, 09:11 AM
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My husband had one last year and we told our boys (then 7 and 4) what was up. I'm not sure exactly how we worded it, but basically we told them that he had a minor surgery so we wouldn't have any more babies. They already knew how babies are made. I don't think it was TMI. My 5 yr. old has been on a "oh well, you can still adopt more kids!" kick pretty much ever since. 

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Old 04-18-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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We just went through this last week.  DH got himself to the hospital and we hired a sitter to stay with the kids so I could pick him up. (we live in a city and do not have a car, so packing up the kids to get a taxi and wait etc....not worth it)

 

DS did not ask why DH had ice on his crotch (and DH didn't refrain from picking up the baby, but she's not that heavy).  DH simply told DS not to jump on his lap for a few days and DS said, "Okay". and then we both ran interference for the week.  DH was back on his bike riding across town in 8 days.

 

If he HAD asked why, we would have told him it was an operation. If he HAD asked what for, we might have told him the truth...probably...in loose terms he could follow.  I don't really know.  Ironically, we didn't plan that far ahead.

 

I think this is something I'd be far more comfortable talking about when DS is older and understands his own body a bit better.  Or maybe when he asks for a another baby we can explain then why that's not going to happen.  I just didn't feel the need to over explain. 


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Old 04-18-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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I offered a zillion times to drive DH to his appointment, but he wanted to drive himself and did, with no problems -- the doctor OKed it, too. Just a thought (although I think that it's nicer to get a ride, which is why I kept offering when my DH refused). 

 

My very curious and inquisitive 6-year-old had zero questions about it, to my immense surprise. DH lay on the couch with an ice pack the first day, then lay in bed with an ice pack the second day, and DS never really asked why -- I think he just assumed that DH wasn't feeling well and didn't think to wonder why. So you never know, you might get off the hook entirely! 


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Old 04-18-2011, 09:44 AM
 
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We also told our daughter the truth. "Mama and Papa are all finished having babies, and papa is getting an operation so we won't have any more. He is going to be very ouchie and sore for a few days, so no jumping on him!" She was about five years old when he got the operation, I believe.

I didn't see any reason to keep it from her. My parents told us about my father's vasectomy when he had one, and it was hardly a traumatic big deal for us.
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I also wouldn't have a problem telling my kids this, personally. I don't think it's telling them about our sex life to tell them why he had an operation any more than it's telling them about our sex life when they go to prenatal appointments. My five year old would not be okay with me just saying "it's an owwie" because we explain things to him usually. He would want more details. He knows about scabs and scrapes and broken bones. I see no reason to keep a vasectomy a secret.


Same here. My daughter is very observant and curious. "Papa has an ouchie and you can't play with him for a week" just wouldn't work at our place. She would want to know why, would really need to make sure he was okay, and would have lots of questions. I would rather tell her the truth about the vasectomy that say "none of your business" and leave it at that. I don't think it is an inappropriate subject for a five year old as long as it is explained in ways that they can understand.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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Yeah, I think it depends on just what your kids will accept. Some will accept "Daddy went to the doctor, had some tests, and he's fine but ouchy," and others want the details.

 

Does your daughter know how babies are made (specifically, what the Dad's role is)? I think that would inform my own decision. 


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Old 04-18-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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I am in the camp of those who wouldn't keep it a secret. I want my kids to know about this stuff-- how bodies work, how reproduction happens, etc. I wouldn't share intimate details, of course, but this is a medical issue, not intimate at all in my opinion. I would explain it just like I explained when I had my cat spayed-- we love you so much, and we're so glad we have you, but now we have decided we don't want any more babies, and so the doctor is going to close the tubes up so we can't have any more. I wouldn't say "snip" or "cut" just because I know that would worry my DS. Just that the tubes would be closed up.

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Old 04-18-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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Thinking on this further, in the last two years, DH has had an appendectomy, knee surgery and a hernia operation...it's been a rough few years medically speaking, so to see daddy with ice on his lower body post surgery for him was probably sort of like "Oh that ol' chestnut!  Anyway, pass the bean dip."

 

I think there's nothing wrong with telling the truth to kids, but I think I'd only discuss it with them if they asked in which case I would be honest and open.  I do not think I would call a family meeting to discuss it or anything.


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Old 04-20-2011, 04:36 PM
 
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Reading with interest...Dh will be getting one soon. We have a 2 and 5 year old. We will be telling the 5 year old the the truth I think. We are very open with how our bodies work, how babies are made. 

 

Thank you for the thread.


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Old 04-20-2011, 04:46 PM
 
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I would tell them the truth about it, just like I would tell them about any other medical procedure. Today I went to the podiatrist and he shaved my corns down and fitted me with orthotics - I told them about it. DD went with my when I had a mole removed from my butt lol.gif, and thought it was cool to watch. DS was with me when I got blood drawn last week, and I explained all the steps to him. When I got my IUD, one of my kids asked why I was going to the doctor, so I told them. I don't see any reason not to. Am I missing something?
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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I had my tubes tied when my dd was almost three and I told her about it so I suggest just saying what is going on, especially if you have already had the talk about where kids come from anyways.

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Old 04-20-2011, 08:13 PM
 
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I agree with the straight up ladies. My 4yo often "helps" with my MW visits and is eager to meet her new brother aka one of the products of my sex life. My kids have been in the room when I've had a pap and don't blink an eye. They'd all like to witness this next birth which they know, in age appropriate ways, did not happen because the stork came to visit mama and papa. We're talking about sterilisation and, when that time comes, I don't feel like honesty is TMI nor is it oversharing our sexual and reproductive privacy.    

 

If it's not right for your family to be candid about a vasectomy, that's fine. I for sure hope you get some great, gentle responses.  

 


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Old 04-20-2011, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thanks for all the replies. Dd does sorta know where babies come from. I generally explained it to her because she asked. She was present when dd2 was born. Actually her head was right there when dd came out and she said "I see lips". A very sweet moment.

Today I mentioned to her that on Friday we need to get up early to bring daddy to a doctor appointment. She didn't even ask what the appointment was about, as she usually does. She just complained that she had to get up early. I guess that the doctor said that dh needs to be driven home otherwise he would for sure drive himself.

I guess I will just have to wait and see what happens and if she asks any questions. Will update after Friday.


 


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Old 04-22-2011, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well it's all over with and talking with dd about it went fine. On Thursday night I reminded her that we needed to get up really early to bring daddy to the doctor appt. She said why is daddy going to the doctor? Then I kind of fumbled and was saying uh uh uh...then dd said, mom just say it already! So I just said it. Daddy is having a procedure so that we don't have any more babies. Then she looked at me and said no more babies for us, but I like babies. Then she started babbling about how her friend wants her mom to have a baby so she can have a sister. So it turned out fine. Although when we went to pick dh up from the hospital, he was sitting in a chair in the recovery room and she was very stand-off ish and didn't want to go near dh even when he told her to come over.

I'm glad I said what I did to her. She can totally tell when I am not being honest with her and I am a horrible liar.


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Old 04-23-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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Perfect time for a little sex education.  We did it with our kids.  

 

"Mommy and dad have decided our family is big enough.  We decided daddy will get a vasectomy to stop babies.  He will have a little surgery and will need a little TLC afterwards  "  We gave rules on how to snuggle with daddy for a few days.  

 

By the time my dh had his vasectomy the older two kids had an idea about how babies were made.  It took a part from mommy and a part from daddy.  It took 2 more years for my son to finally ask how daddy's part get into mommy's part.  My oldest dd just "figured it out" on her own.  We still discussed it.  

 

Then let the conversation go from there.  Vasectomy, vas deferense, penis, testicles, sperm, egg, womb/uterus, vagina are not bad nor are they dirty words.  Sex education should be an on going conversation.  

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Old 04-25-2011, 05:23 PM
 
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My Dad got a "mole" removed from his leg when I was young. We drove him to and from the clinic and were very gentle not to jump on him after the procedure :-)

 

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