Friday, December 12, 2014

Dear Poppins... Explaining Pregnancy to Children

First of all, kudos for wanting to be honest with your son. Ignoring your son's requests for answers,lying, or using make believe (such as the stork delivering babies), destroys the trust and communication you need to have a healthy relationship together.

Generally speaking, when children ask a question they are ready for an answer. Therefore, if your son was not asking questions it wouldn't be as prudent to fill him in on the miracle of life just yet. But given his curiosity, now is the ideal time to begin fostering open communication on topics that may be a little uncomfortable for you to divulge in.

The rule of thumb is as follows:

If the discussion involves genitalia always use anatomically correct body terms. (to learn why click here).

The older the child the more likely you will need to divulge more information. Statistically speaking psychologists agree that by the age of 8 children are cognitively ready for a full explanation of the birds and the bees. If they don't get the information from you this is about the age where they will begin to get it from their peers and/or the media.
This makes it all the more important for you to begin these small chats at a young age and to continue to follow up with booster talks throughout their entire adolescence.

So for example, if your son asks you how the baby is going to come out you could calmly state, "The baby gets pushed out of my vagina. That's how all mammals give birth."

If he asks how the baby got in your tummy you could answer by saying, "Daddy has seeds and Mommy has eggs inside her belly. Once the seed is planted in the egg a baby begins to grow."

At the tender of 4 most simple answers should satisfy his curiosity. If it doesn't, and he wants more information I highly recommend the following children's books to help him understand a little better.

Best of luck with the conversation(s) you are about to have with your son. What an exciting time for you to begin fostering mutual trust and open communication! And of course, good luck with your pregnancy!


Now it's your turn to pipe in!
  Readers, how did you discuss this topic with your children? Do you have any suggestions for this Mom?

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