"We cannot protect our children from life. Therefore, it is essential that we prepare them for it."- Rudolf Dreikurs
The BIG S-E-X Talk....
TRUE STORY: What do you say when your 6 year old asks you while waiting in line at Wal-mart; "Mommy, how did you and daddy get me and CJ?" I remained calm and said, "We will just have to talk about that..." This answer suited her just fine until I could get home and talk to Cedric about it to see how we will decide to address it with her. I was thinking..."where did this come from, she turned 6 two weeks ago and now she wants to know what sex means...", What in the WORLD!!
Later that evening before bed, Madison came into our bedroom and whispers to me, "Mommy remember you forgot to tell me something...you forgot to tell me what sex is." Cedric and I looked at each other took a deep breath and followed these simple steps:
- Be relaxed and calm- be matter-of-fact so that they will not think the topic is too embarrassing or taboo.
- Keep it simple- the best answers are short and uncomplicated. Use the correct terms for body parts (penis and vagina). Explain that a seed from daddy and an egg from mommy join together in mommy's stomach. That's where the baby grows in a special sack there, called the womb. A follow up question may be, "Do you mean like eggs in the refrigerator?" Keep answering questions as long as they show interest, but don't overload with too much information.
- Encourage their interest- No matter what the question is, try not to snap back, "Where did you get that idea" or steer away from the conversation. Either way your child may feel that the questions are taboo and not feel comfortable asking questions.
- Use everyday opportunities- Don't wait until your child starts asking questions. Children's books and movies provide opportunities for talking about babies and how they are born.
- Teach privacy- your kindergartner understands the occasional need for "private time", and they should know that they need to knock before coming in when the door is closed. Be sure to follow the same rule yourself when your child has the door shut. They may not really need privacy at this age, but they will better understand the household rule if you follow it, too. They should also know that their private parts are private, and that no one should touch them but their parents or the doctor, and then only for help using the toilet or for a checkup. Let them know that if anyone tries to touch them there, they can and should say no, and to tell their parent or another trusted adult nearby.
I would have thought that this conversation would not come up any time soon. But I'd rather educate my child correctly rather than them hearing it wrong from somewhere else. Children will do and understand only what you allow them to.
Michelle Macon, Parent, Program Coordinator