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In an effort to make sure that my kids have a direct line of communication with me and know that I will always do my best to be completely honest with them, I have often said that they can ask me anything. I will tell them as much as I know and I think they can handle (of course it goes without saying that I have had this conversation with the now 9 year old, not so much the two year old).
 
Now as you would assume with kids, lots of unexpected and uncomfortable questions are often asked. Of course you eventually expect the "where do babies come from?" to which I promptly headed off to the book store to purchase Where do I come from?, which we read and re-read together with added questions (and answers along the way). We also got the "Why is it called a penis and how come girls don't have one?", to which I answered and my husband was horrified that we should be talking about penis' and vaginas at the breakfast table. My theory is that you should tackle the topics when they come to hand (time and situation permitting) so that I can hold true to the "you can ask me anything" motto.

The thing with answering such questions honestly is that a small person can only take on so much information at a time. So even if you are brutally honest it might just go over their heads or perhaps even give them unnecessary issues about the topic. So I feel that it is always important to give age specific answers to questions and go back and revisit topics as my children get older and need more of in depth knowledge about stuff.

When we tackled the notion of where he came from (this question came up at around five), this included the proviso that the mum and dad needed to be married. Now that is not to say that babies are not born out of wedlock or that I even have a problem with that happening (which I don't - to each his own), I just didn't want to have to go to far into detail with a call from the principal later in the week because it was a bit hard to put an age limit on it all (who knows how literally kids are going to take your answers "well, I'm a boy and you're a girl so ...." ).

Anyway, he must have taken it all away and mulled it around because about six months later we were walking to school one day and he had more questions about it all - but this time relating to friends of ours, who are also a gay couple. It went something like this "So Charles and Doug are a couple right?" to which I replied the affirmative. "So they have sex then, right?". Again I answered to the affirmative. "So, which one of them will have the baby?". Ahh, a question I had not seen coming and was not prepared for. (Do they have a book at the library about that??) So then we talked about how having a baby required a man and a woman (now remember this is an age appropriate talk - so we didn't discuss how in this modern day and age it is possible to have two mothers or two fathers or just one parent or any other variant, we were just doing the basics). We continued to walk on for a bit in silence and he was obviously still working on this one because later that day we were on a car ride somewhere and he pipes up from the back. "Well, if they can't have a baby then why do they have sex?"

So, at this point I am thinking it's all good to be open to questions but you just never know what your going to get!! Having said that, at least he's getting his information from me instead of some other random primary school kid.

Have you had any "hairy" questions and how did you go with them?

Cheers,

Lee

 


09/23/2012 3:07pm

So funny, they are just so innocent when they ask, they just truly are curious and want to know.

I had my 6 year old ask me how the babies get out of tummy's, whilst sitting in McCafe.

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Lee
09/23/2012 9:03pm

They often seem to ask at difficult moments! I think it's easier to get into the nitty gritty when you are at home with them! But I guess that's not always where inspiration strikes. : )

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09/23/2012 8:08pm

These conversations usually happen in the car for me. My seven year old son knows that it takes an egg from mum and an egg from dad to make a baby, but has not yet asked the question how do the two come together. We also discuss the idea of different types of families of two mums, two dads, a mum and a dad, or a single mum or a single dad. You're right, the key is to not overwhelm them with information, answer the question honestly and immediately!

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Lee
09/23/2012 9:05pm

Now that mine is 9 we are really more into the "warts and all" of the whole process. Although it's funny because he is alright with all that - it's the kissing he can't get over. He finds it disgusting! I'll bet that changes in a big way in the next few years!

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09/25/2012 4:19pm

I haven't had so many questions but I hear random comments at dinner time about 'sex' that almost make me choke on my food. I really thouht i'd be given a few more years grace.

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Lee
09/25/2012 8:53pm

I know!! I thought we'd have until at least 10 before we had any deep and meaningful discussions! But that has definitely not been the case!

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