Remedial parenting 3: The birds and the bees

IMG_0285Few topics raise the discomfort level like this one. I can feel you all starting to tug your collars right now. But you can’t avoid the subject forever, as hard as you might try.

My daughter raised the issue at a fairly young age. I’m not sure where she got her information, but as she brushed her hair one day, she casually mentioned, “I know how babies are made.” Then she turned to me, cheeks and eyes blazing, and said, “And you did it!”

Like many of the more odious parenting tasks, informing our kids about the miracles of life has fallen to me. There are several ways to approach this:

Method 1: Talk to your kids early and often using anatomically correct verbiage. Which they will then spout at dinner parties and other inappropriate locales as soon as they realize the power of their newly-learned words. I did not use this method, but I sure know which parents did.

Method 2: Wait until they ask, and then provide them with a brutally detailed response. This is the tactic I use. It makes my husband a little weak in the knees. He believes in a little mystery. (This led to much disagreement when we got the inevitable questions about the existence of Santa Claus. My husband wanted to perpetuate the myth, but I cannot lie to a child who has just said, “I want you to tell me the truth,” even if it might be in my best interests to do so.)

Method 3: Wait long enough, and your kid will hear it from someone else. Of course, what they hear is anyone’s guess. When my youngest child was about four, his older sister was scheduled to watch a movie called “The Miracle of Birth” in her third-grade class. I’m not sure what she thought she was going to see, but I can tell you it wasn’t a birth. Her brother came running across the yard to report to me that she “was going to watch a movie at school – a man and a woman with no clothes on, and their privates hooked together!”

Oh, the memories. Now I’m weak in the knees.

If you missed the previous Remedial Parenting posts, read:

Effective Discipline

Monitoring Electronics

9 thoughts on “Remedial parenting 3: The birds and the bees

  1. I’ve briefly explained things to my daughter and waited for her to ask questions. She doesn’t seem curious in the least. Part of me is very relived by that and part of me is worried that she’ll hear about it elsewhere. Maybe I should go into great detail and scare her good!!


    1. There is an age where they seem to be very matter-of-fact about it, then I think it dawns on them what it is we’re talking about here. One of the first “Oh, (insert expletive here) moments?


    1. My typical style when confronting things I’m uncomfortable with is to plow right through them, which has definitely helped me through these conversations.


    1. My dad is the one who told me for some reason. I still remember him drawings picture of cells dividing on a piece of paper. I promptly relayed my new-found information to my younger sister and a neighbor.


  2. I can definitely take a page from your book on this one! My daughter is almost 4 and armed with all sorts of body parts talk. She has not embarassed me with it yet because she is too busy saying (loudly) ‘mommy that lady has a baby in her tummy!’ to chubby ladies who do NOT have a baby in their tummies. Gulp.


    1. My daughter, when she was barely talking, picked up a small bottle in a fast food place and said loudly, “Mama, you want some wine?” There’s an embarrassing time and place for everything.


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