facts of life to a 4 year old? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 17 Old 09-08-2002, 12:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
Astrid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: perpetual motion
Posts: 1,691
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My ds is almost 4 and has asked me how the baby gets into the mommys belly and where the baby will come out.
I am wondering how much do I tell him??
I don't want to lie, but I didn't think he was old enough to give the 'bird and bees' talk to.
I need some opinions, please!!!!!!!!
Astrid is offline  
#2 of 17 Old 09-08-2002, 12:58 AM
 
khrisday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: High Desert of California
Posts: 3,920
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think telling him that a man puts a seed into a woman to start a baby, and it grows inside of her is probably enough for now. I like to use anatomocally correct terms, so the kids know there is a special place inside a woman for a baby to grow called the womb and that it comes out her vagina. If you have any pictures of his birth, you may want to share them with him. TRhere are also lots of good kids boks about birth (we like Contemplating Your Bellybutton)
khrisday is offline  
#3 of 17 Old 09-08-2002, 01:42 AM
 
Kylix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: drifting off in space
Posts: 1,513
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I second Khrisday's response. It is possible to be honest with kids without telling them TOO much. Make sure to use the anatomically correct terms (uterus, vagina etc) and answer his questions as simply as possible.

I feel like if you set up a foundation now where your son feels like he can come to you for questions about sex and the like then later on when it really matters he will feel able to ask questions then too.

Kylix
Kylix is offline  
#4 of 17 Old 09-08-2002, 01:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
Astrid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: perpetual motion
Posts: 1,691
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you so much, that is wonderful advice.
He has noticed that I am 'different' than he and dh, but I have been avoiding the topic although I am not sure why.
Unfortunately I dont have any photos of his birth but I will definitely check out Contemplating Your Belly Button. It sounds really cute
Astrid is offline  
#5 of 17 Old 09-08-2002, 02:27 AM
 
Ruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: A big city in a big state
Posts: 487
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Great advice. I would add please don't save the bird and the bees talk until he is old enough because by then it will be very hard to do (and it is so hard for some parents that they never do it).

So, talk to him as often about the facts of life as they come up. And as matter of factly as possible. I started when my dd was 3 months old. My best friend called me in tears about her teenage daughter who was pregnant and dropping out of school. I took that opportunity to explain to my newborn as much as I felt comfortable telling. Then, I just continued it and added more as I felt comfortable and as she comprehended more.

There are so many good books about it and so many aimed at really small children. Contemplating Your Bellybutton is a great one.

Using the correct names of body parts was hard and now it is so easy. Good luck.
Ruth is offline  
#6 of 17 Old 09-08-2002, 04:00 PM
 
Brandonsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Ohio
Posts: 232
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would agree with the advice other posters have offered, but would add one more thing. When my 5 yo ds began asking questions, I gave him the "simple" answers, without too much info. . .but it wasn't enough for him. "How does the seed get in Mommy?" "Does it come out and crawl around until it finds the special opening in the Mama?"
Sooo, just be prepared to give a little more info if necessary. My ds was spotted soon after this conversation staring intently into the toilet after he had peed. My dh asked him what he was doing and he said,"Looking for sperms" When my dh told him that you really couldn't see them, he said excitedly " WOW, they're invisable???"
Brandonsmama is offline  
#7 of 17 Old 09-08-2002, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
Astrid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: perpetual motion
Posts: 1,691
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I also find that simple questions are not enough for my ds. They just lead to more and more questions! He knows the proper names for boy body parts but I haven't yet approached the girl body parts. Probably easier now rather than later though.

Does anyone know who wrote Contemplating Your Belly Button? I can't seem to find it in the name search at Chapters (I live in Canada)
Thanks again!
Astrid is offline  
#8 of 17 Old 09-08-2002, 04:50 PM
 
moondiapers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lakeport, California
Posts: 6,151
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

-Heather

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
moondiapers is offline  
#9 of 17 Old 09-08-2002, 04:54 PM
 
Zina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: In the Garden, Eating the Apple
Posts: 253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Another book, illustrated with photographs, that gives good info. w/o going too far is called, I think, "How was I born?" It's by JoAnna Cole--who writes the Magic School Bus books. I read this to my kids a hundred times while I was pregnant, they were 5 and 3 at the time. The illustrations are great too.
Zina is offline  
#10 of 17 Old 09-08-2002, 05:23 PM
 
Mcaws's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: TX
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is a subject I don't know how to broach, cause we adopted our 9 yr old at age 5 and he never did ask questions. Now he is 9 and thinks babies come from the doctor like medicine. I had ivf for both of our subsiquent children, so this is where his perception comes from....how do I tell him now that he's old enough to think intelligently about it? Do I just leave it to dh?
Mcaws is offline  
#11 of 17 Old 09-09-2002, 06:42 PM
 
EnviroBecca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 5,131
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
How Babies Are Made is an excellent book! I forget the author's name, but I believe it is still in print. It has charming illustrations that nonetheless give a clear idea of what happens inside (cutaway views). It talks about how plants make seedlings, how chickens make chicks, how dogs make puppies, and finally how people make babies. This is the book my parents found when I started asking questions (and I was 2...so 4 is not too young!) and I wanted it read to me again and again. Not only was I fascinated by the subject, but that book just makes it all seem so happy and natural.

Mcaws, for your 9yo I think a book is the best approach. If you still read to him at all, then read it together, but if you don't then he would find that weird, so tell him you'd like him to read the book so you can talk about it. Then, talk--not just "Do you have any questions?" "No." "Okay."--talk about people you know who are having babies, about how IVF is different from the old-fashioned way and why you did IVF (don't underestimate his ability to understand things like blocked tubes, but back off if he seems squeamish), about when and how you learned where babies come from and how you felt about it, etc.

Please don't "leave it to DH". The people I know who have the best attitudes toward sex are those who got some information from adults of both sexes. When mom talks to girls and dad talks to boys, it can give the impression that sexual topics mustn't be discussed in mixed company--which creates a problem in communicating with future partners, unless you are gay.

Oh! You didn't say how old your younger kids are, but maybe you could ask 9yo to read the book to a younger sibling. Then you can educate 2 at once, plus help 9yo feel like he's teaching something which he may feel he should already know (there was lots of discussion among my peers by 9!), plus give another tactic for asking questions ("Little brother wants to know when he will have sperm.").

Good luck to both of you!

Mama to a boy EnviroKid treehugger.gif 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby baby.gif!

I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more. computergeek2.gif

EnviroBecca is offline  
#12 of 17 Old 09-09-2002, 07:28 PM
 
Kylix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: drifting off in space
Posts: 1,513
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
From Diapers to Dating (can't remember the author..sorry!) is also a pretty good book. It talks about talking to your children about sex using "teachable moments" instead of doing it all at once. It's also a good book cuz she advocates teaching your children YOUR morals not a set of regulations she came up with. For example, your (your family's) feelings on birth control, your feelings on nudity etc etc.

Simpler questions leading to bigger questions is the natural progression of things. My advice to keep it simple and not to tell too much is just my way of saying don't tell your four year old about sexual intercourse, pregnancy and birth if all he wants to know is where the baby is in the mother and not yet HOW it got in there. If he asks how, then by all means go about tellling him how but in such a way that he can understand and is appropriate for his ears.

It's all about setting up an environment where sex and bodily needs/functions concerning sex or the genitals aren't taboo but rather open. Reading books, answering questions honestly and simply and matter of factly, using the proper terms for genitals and not hush-hush terms for example.

Kylix
Kylix is offline  
#13 of 17 Old 09-10-2002, 12:49 AM
 
Pynki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Inside the café au lait
Posts: 7,891
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know that this is probably going to raise a few eyebrows so bear with me... When we told our ds he was 2..

We told him that sometimes mommy's and daddy's give each other a very special hug, and that when it's time to have a baby God sends and angel down to kiss the mommy's belly to bless it....

So if you are really religious.. Which suprisingly we aren't it might not work for you...

Since your is older you can say that daddy puts his seed inside mommy's womb with his penis and when it's time to have a baby g*d sends an angel down to kiss her tummy and bless it or whatever... I really like the angle kissing the tummy bit because for a woman who was not supposed to get pregnant at all or every carry to term i seem to be pretty fertile... And my dh wasn't the 1st guy to try to get me pg... So it must have been a much higher authority than me that lent us a hleping hand... (even though we didn't know we wanted it at the time!!)

That's what we said.. Luckily we haven't needed to have that talk yet.. He hasn't asked.. When he does we will let him know all the legistics that are appropriate for his age...

Best of luck!!!

It's lonely being the only XX in a house of XYs.
Pynki is offline  
#14 of 17 Old 09-10-2002, 01:05 AM
 
merpk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 14,887
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When we just had ours, we told 4yo (&2yo, but doubt she was listening ) that we love each other so we have a baby growing in my uterus, etc., etc., etc. No questions or funny looks there. But when it came to how the baby gets out, the very factual description given, using anatomically correct terms, got a furrowed brow ...

So we took out "What to expect when Mommy has a Baby" or something like that from the kids' library, and he loved looking at the pictures of the egg&sperm joining and dividing into the blasto-whatever ... but any other pages he just wanted to turn past.

Baby came out (kids were not at the birth) and he hasn't asked again.

But he remembers that dividing cell stuff.

- Amy
merpk is online now  
#15 of 17 Old 09-10-2002, 02:06 AM
 
Ruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: A big city in a big state
Posts: 487
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Contemplating your bellybutton was written by Jun Nanao. There is also How babies are made by Andrew C. Andry and Steven Schepp; Where Babies Come From by Martin Silverman, MD, and Harriet Ziefert (all ofyou know her!); What's Inside? Baby by Alexandra Parsons (you might find it better by the publisher Dorling Kindersley Book.

These are are not my favorite or the best ones. They are just the four that I happen to find in one of our three bookshelves full of books while I was looking for the author that wrote Contemplating your bellybutton. The point is there are MANY MANY books. Don't wait for your child to ask because she may not ask or it may be too late to ask.

I do tell my dd probably more than what she is ready for but she just ignores that extraneous information and asks about it later. I tell her that Daddy's penis goes into Mommy's vagina and sperm comes out blah blah. I cringed the first few times but now it is easy. I still haven't the courage to explain orgasms etc. I did skip that part in one of the baby books (not in the above four). See there is SOME modesty OR IS IT prudishness left in me. I said instead it feels good to mommy and daddy and more importantly, we did it to make YOU! Most of the books end up with something like that-celebrating that the parents loved each other so much to have a child to read that book to.

Great advice from everybody. I even like the God Kissed the Belly advice. I am not religious either but I like talking about God with our dd. One concern may be that that child may think Oh No, I can't hug my friend because we might have a baby together. I remember thinking when I was small that the penis went through the bellybutton and remember thinking how painful that could be. I also remember being a teenager and feeling so guilty about petting that I thought I was pregnant for sure and I hadn't even had sex!
Ruth is offline  
#16 of 17 Old 09-10-2002, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
Astrid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: perpetual motion
Posts: 1,691
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow!! What a lot of wonderful advice

I am not religious but I love the angel kissing mommy's belly. My ds has not asked too many questions lately but we are ttc so I am sure they will start up once I am pregnant. I will be sure to pick up a book or two to help me along, as well as write down the advice written here for reference.

Thanks everyone
Astrid is offline  
#17 of 17 Old 09-10-2002, 11:57 AM
 
hahamommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Exactly where I need to be
Posts: 1,151
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Most of the physical "where did I come from" questions were taken care of by my "Baby Story" addiction and my compulsion to narrate the episode! :LOL
The actual *talk* started when DD was really young and would ask about places I had been before she was born: Why didn't I get to go? Oh, but you *did*! You were an egg, waiting in line! At six she knows she has all her eggs, but DS won't have sperm til he's older; that you need a Daddy Seed (sperm) to fertilize your Mommy Egg to become a baby.
She's just learned that girls can marry(be in love with) girls and boys can marry boys, but you can't make babies that way and you need help to get a baby! (Thanks Rosie O'Donnel!)

~diana google me: hahamommy. Unschooling Supermama to Hayden :Super Cool Girlfriend to Scotty . Former wife to Mitch & former mama to Hannahbear
hahamommy is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off