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The "sex ed on the playground" thread reminded me to ask for input on this. If a child doesn't *ask* for information, such as how babies are made, do you not discuss it, or do you find a way to bring it up?<br><br>
Judging from conversations I've had with many friends, I had more info about human sexuality and reproduction, and at a younger age, than most people. Body parts were never given nicknames in my family. I don't remember a time when I didn't know about menstruation; I'm sure that as little kids we were often in the bathroom with my mom and that the topic naturally came up. My mom was a childbirth instructor and as a toddler/preschooler I sometimes was present at her classes, and this must have been a part of how I learned what a uterus is and how a baby grows inside and is born. When I was 4 and she was pregnant, I asked how the baby *got into her uterus* and while my question caught her by surprise and we had a couple of "um, er, God puts it there" discussions the first day, she bought a copy of Where Did I Come From and henceforth I knew about the basics of intercourse. My first reaction was to be grossed out, but the adults around me were matter-of-fact about it and I got over my momentary disgust. I understood as a child that sex was something consenting adults did and that they enjoyed it, and that it was something to look forward to someday. My knowledge did not make me grossed out, nor did it make me engage in risky teenage or adult behaviors. In short, I felt like sex and reproduction were handled pretty well on the physical front, and that I grew up with a healthy attitude and understanding of my body. (some things could have been better, but in general, kudos to my parents)<br><br>
So...now I'm a mom. My older son is 4 y/o. When I was pregnant with his brother (he was 2 at the time) the idea of babies growing inside mommies was discussed a lot, in toddler terms, and he has known the word "uterus" since then. I've found that despite the fact that family members often use the bathroom in each other's presence or are nude for other reasons (dressing, bathing), he doesn't ask many questions. Yet somehow along the way opportunities have arisen to discuss things like menstruation.<br><br>
I'm pg with #3 now and he's very interested in the growing baby. We have looked at pictures in A Child is Born (Nilsson/Hamberger), which has been really cool for opening discussions about fetal development and elaborating more on what happens during birth.<br><br>
But still no "how did the baby get in there?" questions.<br><br>
I don't really want him to get to be 8 or 10 and not know about sex. To me, that's too old. I had really hoped for him to just grow up with this information the way I did, for it just to be a normal thing to know, rather than the subject of a big awkward talk with his parents. But if he isn't asking, do I tell him? How would I introduce it? I would really like to provide answers as he needs them and asks for them, but what if he never asks?<br><br>
I've joked among friends that I'm a freak, the only mother who wishes her kid *would* ask where babies came from. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> It's not that I need to have this discussion right this minute, just that apparently some kids don't ask, and end up in middle school not knowing this stuff, and I don't want that to happen. When is a kid too old to NOT bring it up with them?<br><br><br>
Advice? Experience?
 

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No response, but I'll be watching this thread as our nearly 6 year old is remarkably uncurious about these things as well!
 

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My 8yo never asked where babies come from, neither have my 5yo & 6yo so I've brought it up to them. Now my 8yo will ask questions at times. This weekend she did. I can't remember what her first question was but I moved it onto the sex/menstruation/puberty/shaving.<br><br>
She seems okay with the idea of getting a period, almost excited not petrified as I was.lol<br><br>
My mom's solution to telling my sister and I was to give us a book. I don't know what it was called or what it said, I just remember the graphics.lol Dressed woman, dressed man. Naked woman, naked man. Naked man ontop of a naked woman in the bushes. Ironically when I was 16-18 and went out mom's drill was always - no drinking, no doing drugs and no having sex in the bushes. When we got to teenage years mom had the talk with my sister, gave her the Judy Blume book and did nothing for me. I got the Grade 5 lecture from public health which did not prepare me for anything.
 

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My mom's discussion about sex was "don't do that." I was not taught names of my body parts. I was handed some pads and a book in lieu of a talk about menstruation. Questions were not encouraged. I found out everything on my own and I don't want that for my child.<br><br>
My dd is 7. She knows all about periods and childbirth. She knows names for female and male body parts. She hasn't asked how the sperm and egg get together. I haven't exactly gone into that yet because she hasn't asked. I thought I was doing pretty good so far. If dd doesn't ask about sex by age 10 I will probably broach the topic.
 

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I am going to watch this too. I read the other thread with interest. I've always gone with a child-led approach and just answered questions honestly as they've come up. DS never really asks any . . . and I had a baby this year! He knows where his brother grew, how he got out, how he eats . . . but doesn't seem concerned with how he got there. I don't want him to get the wrong info, but I don't want to give him more than he's ready for either. I'm interested to see how others handle this!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CarrieMF</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7950423"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">no drinking, no doing drugs and no having sex in the bushes.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">:<br><br>
Was the Judy Blume book <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Forever</span>? A friend of mine showed me parts of it when I was in the 7th grade. Piqued my interest. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: That kindof brings us to a whole other topic, that of sexuality. I'm still not sure what I want to explicitly teach my children on that front, and when.<br><br>
But back to the basic birds and bees, I'm interested to see if all the people who chimed in on the other thread saying that kids should know this stuff by age 4-5 will have some advice for me!
 

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Subbing because I've been thinking about this too lately. I have a 7 YO DS who I am waiting for questions from. I would like to give him some basic info soon (beyond body parts and pregnancy -- those he has) but he hasn't asked. I'm trying to balance my thought that he should start to know these things against the fact that he goes to school with very gently-reared (I think over-sheltered) children and everyone (including DS) in his class still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and I fear his sharing info with classmates and having all the parents mad at me.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hubris</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7951075"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">:<br><br>
Was the Judy Blume book <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Forever</span>? A friend of mine showed me parts of it when I was in the 7th grade. Piqued my interest. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">: That kindof brings us to a whole other topic, that of sexuality. I'm still not sure what I want to explicitly teach my children on that front, and when.</div>
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No it wasn't that one. I thought it was this one Are you There, God? It's me, Margaret. But when I looked at in the book store last week I didn't think it was. However looking at the little blurb on Judy Blume's website I think it was.
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">For the first time since I'd started writing, I let go and this story came pouring out. I knew Margaret. When I was in sixth grade, I longed to develop physically like my classmates. I tried doing exercises, resorted to stuffing my bra, and lied about getting my period. And like Margaret, I had a very personal relationship with God that had little to do with organized religion. God was my friend and confidant.</td>
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I know my sister had this one, but I don't know if she had any others. Reading that I'm pretty sure it was this one. I'd only read it where nobody could see me reading it.lol<br><br>
I don't really remember any of the religious stuff though. Only the parts about periods, growing breasts and I think hot dogs & vaginas iykwim. I was 11/12, got AF at 11. Went from not wearing a bra to a 32C the next day.
 

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My DS is only 3, and he doesn't ask about sex, but nor does he ask about his digestive system or how the brain works, but I still want him to know these things!<br><br>
I got a book called "It's Not The Stork", which is a bit goofy but is age appropriate. It explains all about sex and babies and how reproductive organs work.<br><br>
We have read it SEVERAL times and I'm not sure that he entirely understands it, but I'm as he gets older it will sink in a bit more.<br><br>
I think dialogue about sex should be dialogue about any other body function, personally... I want him to understand as much about his body as he can, as early as possible, because I wish I had understood those things when I was young and I really didn't.
 

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I ran into this also, for some reason dd never asked how the baby gets inside. I'm not sure if it was because when she was little we have livestock and bred them so the concept of the boy and girl animals being bred to make more babies made it obvious or what. I can't remember exactly what age I realized I just needed to tell her the penis goes in the vagina since she hadn't made it clear she knew that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ( she is 17 now so it's been along time since we had that convo).
 

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Well, my son asked at not quite 2 the first time the subject of pregnancy came up.<br><br>
Me: We're going to go buy a present for Laura's baby<br>
Him: Lola no baby<br>
Me: She has a baby growing in here (pointing) in her womb<br>
Him: Lola eats babies?<br>
Me: No, the baby isn't in her stomach, it's in a different place, a special place for growing babies called a womb?<br>
Him: How get in there?<br><br>
He asked in the backseat of a taxi with a grandfatherly driver I was sure came from a country where they did not teach their toddlers these things.<br><br>
The next time it came up was in the back of my mother's church on Christmas Eve -- "How the baby get in Mary mommy?" Me "God put him there" Him "God put me in you mommy?" Me "No, remember you grew in (birthmother's) womb" Him "How I got there -- God put me there?" . . .<br><br>
The third time was in a locker room while I was in the process of changing out of my swimsuit. The kid likes to pick vulnerable moments.<br><br>
My point is that I'm far from an expert on children who don't ask -- but as a teacher I can tell you that if you want the kids to know something they aren't asking about a good book is a great way to start.
 

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I think it's perfectly acceptable to ask a verbal child what they think about it. For example, you may ask your preschooler how he thinks a baby gets into the uterus. You still may not get very far, but it's not a bad way to start, you know what they know and can progress from there.<br><br>
Christa
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Him: Lola eats babies?</td>
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lol<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">He asked in the backseat of a taxi with a grandfatherly driver I was sure came from a country where they did not teach their toddlers these things.</td>
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The convo was probably quite mild and even refreshing from alot of what he'd hear or see, especially if he drives night shift.
 

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My DD (almost 4) is another one that has received some information, but still doesn't really understand. She is soon going to have a cousin, and is excited. She can't wait to help baby eat from Aunties "oobies" and change the diapers. However, she told me she was going to eat the baby when she was big, so she could have a baby in her tummy. She also refers to her vulva as her butt...in her mind, if it's in panties it's a butt, regardless of what I say. She has had many small conversations with me regarding body parts and such, but she believes what she chooses.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Evan&Anna's_Mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7951359"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">everyone (including DS) in his class still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and I fear his sharing info with classmates and having all the parents mad at me.</div>
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FWIW, I knew the truth about where babies come from *and* Santa Claus before attending school, and I never told any other kids.<br><br>
And personally, I don't think we parents should ever be expected to withhold the truth from our children for fear of their sharing the truth with others.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CarrieMF</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7951467"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I thought it was this one Are you There, God? It's me, Margaret.</div>
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Ah, yes. The only things I remember from that one was the antiquated sanitary napkins (belts with hooks were long gone by my time) and the exercise, "I must, I must, I must increase my bust!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> The longing for breasts and a period really resonated with me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">
 

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My ds asked when where babies come from when he was 7. I pulled out my copy of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Where did I come from?</span> and read it to him and his 5 year old sister (she is not one to be left out of story time). After a few weeks of questions (where in my head I looked like that famous Scream painting) the questions stopped but he would read the book on his own time and sometimes read it to his sister. I also asked him if he shared this info with his friends because some of my friends were horrified that I shared this info with him and his response to me was a laugh and a long Noooo. I don't think they want to know. As I am typing this I am thiking this was 2 years ago. I should ask him if he talks about it now.<br><br>
The point of my ramble, was I was always open to any conversation and sometimes initiated them because I want my children to learn from me first. Thanks to my open communication I have been able to correct some of the info my children come home with.<br><br><br>
I loved <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Are you there G-d, It's me Margaret</span>. It really spoke to me.
 

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It's always seemed a bit strange to me that the conventional wisdom about sex ed is that you should wait for your kid to ask questions, then just answer the questions, but not give them any more information than they've asked for. Do you feel like it's important to wait until your kid asks to explain what banks are for, or that the earth goes around the sun? To me, sex is just another bit of useful information you should feel free to bring up whenever you feel like it, even if it's not in response to a question. If you never bring it up yourself, and are careful not to give "too much" information when you answer questions, aren't you giving the subtle message that sex isn't really something people ought to talk about?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hubris</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7956622"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ah, yes. The only things I remember from that one was the antiquated sanitary napkins (belts with hooks were long gone by my time) and the exercise, "I must, I must, I must increase my bust!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> The longing for breasts and a period really resonated with me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"></div>
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Apparently in 2006 they replaced the belts with hooks with disposable pads.lol the sad part is though, here at the hospital when you have a baby they use the belts with hooks. I had it with my first, with my 2nd they brought me mesh panties. With my 3rd I refused to wear the belt and wouldn't do anything until they brought me the panties.lol anyone I met I told them to request the panties too. I could not imagine using that belt for a week every month.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Daffodil</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7956956"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's always seemed a bit strange to me that the conventional wisdom about sex ed is that you should wait for your kid to ask questions, then just answer the questions, but not give them any more information than they've asked for. Do you feel like it's important to wait until your kid asks to explain what banks are for, or that the earth goes around the sun? To me, sex is just another bit of useful information you should feel free to bring up whenever you feel like it, even if it's not in response to a question. If you never bring it up yourself, and are careful not to give "too much" information when you answer questions, aren't you giving the subtle message that sex isn't really something people ought to talk about?</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
Parental attitude can go a long way in a child's reaction, imo. If it is natural for you to discuss, chances are the child will accept it is natural. If it is avoided as an uncomfortable/touchy subject, chances are the child will be uncomfortable discussing it as well.<br><br>
Also, if you wait until adolesence (or close to it), kids can be less open to discussing things with parents in general at that age. That can be just one more barrier to the conversation.<br><br>
We have books in the mix on the subject, and I have checked others out of the library to boost understanding. That can be a good approach to opening the door to questions on the subject. "Hey! Look at this cool book!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 
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