Teaching the facts of life

Filed under: Big Kids, Your Pregnancy, Development/Milestones: Babies, That's Entertainment

A few days ago, When my friend Jenn told me she was pregnant with her third child, I was really excited and couldn't wait to tell Ellie. Jenn's oldest daughter and Ellie play together almost daily and I knew that she would be excited as well. Before I had the chance to tell her, her friend called to share the news herself. The expression on Ellie's face was one of pure shock. After she hung up, the very first word out of her mouth was "how?".

I should have seen that coming, but I didn't. Ellie is not yet seven and while she does know some basic facts about the female body, she does not know - and had never asked - where exactly babies come from.

I have always felt that if I child is old enough to ask the question, she is old enough to be given age-appropriate, truthful answer. I had already laid the groundwork for this talk by explaining menstruation, so I picked up the story from there. I was surprised at how much I struggled with finding the right words to explain something that, when you break it down, must sound really far-fetched and disgusting to a six-year-old. My version didn't actually involve any body parts entering any other body parts, but judging by the expression on her face, I think she made that connection on her own.

Ellie seemed satisfied with my explanation, but I am not. I honestly don't recall having this talk with my own mother, but I do remember her giving me a book titled What's Happening to Me? that explained puberty. I think a book might be the way to go in furthering this discussion with Ellie, but don't know which one. How - and at what age - did you explain the facts of life to your child? Can you recommend a book appropriate for such a young girl?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.