Parenting tip of the day
Where do babies comes from?
If you haven't got this question yet, you will. Maybe not later this afternoon after daycare pickup, but perhaps sooner than you expect.
It may not be phrased exactly as above. The first iteration I ever got was when we told Cameron, then age 3.5, that we were expecting another baby. With one inhale of happy surprise, he blurted out, "How did the baby get in there? Was it in there when I was in your tummy, too?"
Luckily for us, it was easy to answer question number two and leave question number one for another day. But when Cameron began to have a lot more to ask around age five, it was time to explain some of what goes on with sperm and egg.
Years ago I remember an expert telling me that when it came to the mechanics of sex, little kids could simply be told that when they wanted to make a baby, a mommy and a daddy do "a special kind of hug." I filed away that little phrase and it came in handy, striking the right sort of balance between total mystery and potential gross-out.
This is the beginning of a conversation that sets the tone for openness about sexuality down the road. At least I hope so.
Andrea Gordon's feature today, What teens are thinking about sex, tells the tale of 24-year-old author Shannon Boodram raw and real collection of essays on early sexual experiences. It's called Laid: Young people's experiences with sex in an easy-access culture. It's worth a read whether your child is anywhere near their teens or just out of the womb.
Whether you start with words like "a special kind of hug" or something else, let's hope you're starting a discussion that will be revisited and built-upon for years.