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08/02/2012 / melgardener

The birds and the bees

As my daughter approaches nine I’m steeling myself to sit down and have the big ‘birds and bees’ conversation. She has begun to show an interest in the topic and has been asking the odd question here and there (which I’ve answered) so I’m beginning to think it’s worthwhile to invest some time to go through a few things with her in private.

I’m a lot more nervous than I thought I would be at the idea of having this talk. I’m normally a pretty open person and talking about this subject doesn’t particularly bother me so I’m not really sure exactly what has got me so jumpy. I rather suspect it’s the idea that she might ask me a question I can’t answer!

In any case, I console myself with the following story – as related to me by a friend many years ago, before my children were even born.

My friend is a conscientious mother – kind, caring and thoughtful. She takes her parenting seriously and reads (as I do) many parenting books. As her eldest son approached the age of eight she was aware that this was a very typical age for interest to be shown in bodies, babies, sex and the like.

Because she prefers to be prepared, my friend had undertaken quite a bit of reading in advance to ensure that she would be in a position to answer any questions that arose when the time came for ‘the talk’.

So, when her son came home from school one day and asked “where did I come from?” she was feeling confident and fully versed.

She sat her son down and went through the basics – male anatomy, female anatomy, how babies are made, how babies get out, the changes likely to happen in puberty and so on. She very carefully used the anatomically correct terms for all the relevant parts, as recommended, and even had diagrams on hand for reference if needed.

Her son listened carefully and with interest. When my friend finally paused for breath (and a congratulatory pat on the back as she felt she had done a great job) she asked the boy if he had any other questions.

“Well, yes,” he said. “My friend Kim comes from Korea. Where do I come from?”

Have you had the birds and bees conversation with your children? How did it go?


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