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My kids still don't know where "babies come from"


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I know this sounds ridiculous, but we've never had "the talk" with them.

A new baby is coming soon, and none of them have asked how the baby is going to come out?

 

I don't know if we just take the wait & see approach and then seize the moment when they do finally start asking questions? Or should we be more proactive and sit them down and be more direct?

 

Anyone have an opinion or advice?

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I would definitely be proactive immediately with the 11 yo. That is so old not to know. I definitely hope someone recommends the Christian series for you that has explanations by age. Even if you are not a Christian, reading the descriptions of the books and what they go over by age would be helpful, I believe. OH, I think I found it.

http://www.rainbowresource.com/searchspring.php?q=learning+about+sex#/?filter.category_name=Science%3E%3EHEALTH%20%2F%20NUTRITION%20%2F%20FITNESS%20%2F%20FIRST%20AID&page=1

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What I would do is buy a copy of a book like It's Not the Stork or It's So Amazing and casually use it as a read aloud. Honestly, I think all of them, except maybe the two year old, should know. It's better to come from you than from some other source that may or may not be accurate, and honestly, the younger they are, the easier and more natural it is to have these talks. But the 8 and 11 yr olds really NEED to know, if for no other reason than they will hear from other children and puberty will be coming soon.

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I disagree. My 11 & 9 year old don't know. Don't intend to bring it up right now. They aren't exposed to situations where they are going to be told. However, if they ASKED I'd tell them. They asked when they were far younger, & not at all ready to know.

 

God's Design For S-x I believe is the series someone is speaking of. :)

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What I would do is buy a copy of a book like It's Not the Stork or It's So Amazing and casually use it as a read aloud. Honestly, I think all of them, except maybe the two year old, should know. It's better to come from you than from some other source that may or may not be accurate, and honestly, the younger they are, the easier and more natural it is to have these talks. But the 8 and 11 yr olds really NEED to know, if for no other reason than they will hear from other children and puberty will be coming soon.

 

 

my kids live on a farm and they know (except for my 4 yo) the basics of reproduction and birth. This is just a part of life. I've had my then 9 yo come in the house when we had another family and say, "Hey, mom, that cow is in heat out there!"

 

Very matter of fact around here.

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I disagree. My 11 & 9 year old don't know. Don't intend to bring it up right now. They aren't exposed to situations where they are going to be told. However, if they ASKED I'd tell them. They asked when they were far younger, & not at all ready to know.

 

God's Design For S-x I believe is the series someone is speaking of. :)

 

How have you explained menstruation to your daughters?--I realize I'm assuming you've done so. Menstruation/fertility/sexual reproduction go together, in my mind.

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OK I ordered a few of the books that you all recommended.

Will sit down with them next week and read it with them.

I think I will do separate, private time with each of them so that it doesn't get all silly/giggly & they can feel comfy asking any questions.

 

Thanks ladies - as always, a great source of info!!

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my kids live on a farm and they know (except for my 4 yo) the basics of reproduction and birth. This is just a part of life. I've had my then 9 yo come in the house when we had another family and say, "Hey, mom, that cow is in heat out there!"

 

Very matter of fact around here.

 

:iagree: My kids have asked and it never occurred to me not to answer, I just try to keep it basic. My 2.5 yo knows where babies come out. They all have an idea of reproduction, although I'm sure little understanding. They've seen the rabbits mate. I think it better not to make it a big deal.

 

It has never been a giggly thing at all.

Edited by soror
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Even my 2 year old knows how babies get out. I can't imagine being 11 and NOT knowing how they get out! I'm sure they would have some theory, and who knows how odd it would be. Same with how they get in. I was convinced I knew how babies were made....from kissing while wearing a bathing suit. (no idea where that came from). at some point knowing the truth is important because they otherwise will believe whatever odd thing they can come up with on their own.

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Hmmm.

 

I've had a very similar situation with my kids. They asked long ago how babies got out, and we told them. No questions about how they got IN there. I had taken a 'wait until they ask' approach, but no one has asked me. I even asked THEM once if they wondered. My (then) 8 yo said, "Well, we asked God for a baby and He put it there".

 

Now dd is almost 11 and we've started to broach the subject. I felt a while ago that it was imperative that I tell her soon, but...

 

I didn't start menstruating until I was 15. She's very thin and a gymnast so probably will be a while for her, too. None of her friends know (I asked their moms). I wouldn't have been against her being around animals but we've lived in cities. I'm not in a hurry, but I can see why some people would be. We deal with things other kids say as they come up.

 

Every family and child is different.

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OK I ordered a few of the books that you all recommended.

Will sit down with them next week and read it with them.

I think I will do separate, private time with each of them so that it doesn't get all silly/giggly & they can feel comfy asking any questions.

 

Thanks ladies - as always, a great source of info!!

Good idea.

 

I also agree with others who said that the 11yo probably has some ideas.

 

Since you haven't discussed menstrual cycles with your daughter, I will guess that you haven't discussed puberty with your 11yo either. When you have him alone, maybe you should consider discussing erections, wet dreams, and masturbation so he doesn't think that something is wrong.

 

My youngest is 9yo and we have covered the whole baby thing, but I have not covered the puberty thing. Because I was single at the time, I covered all this with both of my big boys. I thought dh would cover puberty with the little man, but this week I brought up having that discussion and dh was horrified, so I suppose that I will be handling that soon. I want that information in place before puberty actually hits. Before puberty it may be less awkward for the child and he may be more likely to ask questions.

 

HTH-

Mandy

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We love The ABCs of the Birds and Bees: For Parents of Toddlers to Teens by Marilyn Morris. She gives sample talks in there that I was able to use almost verbatim with daughter when she was 10. Her approach is to give the kids the information before other kids are able to give them disinformation. One of my favorite pieces of advice in there was to answer all questions with the preface, "That's a great question. Thank you for asking that." It lets them know that their questions are welcome and gives you an extra second to shake off any discomfort you feel with a particular topic.

 

That said, "The talk" wasn't half as bad as I thought and we were both laughing by the end of it. You'll get through this. :001_smile:

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Even my 2 year old knows how babies get out. I can't imagine being 11 and NOT knowing how they get out! I'm sure they would have some theory, and who knows how odd it would be. Same with how they get in. I was convinced I knew how babies were made....from kissing while wearing a bathing suit. (no idea where that came from). at some point knowing the truth is important because they otherwise will believe whatever odd thing they can come up with on their own.

 

:iagree: and my 6yo knows everything except how the sperm gets to the egg. He asked when he was three and I was pregnant with YDS, but we didn't feel that he was mature enough to not talk about it with inappropriate people or at inappropriate times, so we assured him that we'd let him know when he was ready, which would happen far in advance of when he'd NEED to know. But, he knows where the baby comes out. And I think we'll probably discuss it fully when we get to human anatomy later this year in our biology study.

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When i was pregnant, I bought "where did i come from" and read it to my daughter, and then i kept it and read it to the boys too. The reviews on amazon show that some people find it too graphic, but i believe in being clear and true. My 9 yo, tho, said last year that the pictures were inappropriate:confused:

 

when my son was 11, i got him the AMA's Boys Guide to Becoming a Teen - written for preteens, good basic information, stopped the constant barrage of questions - but for a shyer kid, could be a good approach.

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My older 3 never asked a single question and seemed surprised when I had the talk with them. I told all of them when they were 11 because the topic never came up even when I was pregnant. It did not seem to harm them in any way to not know until then. Every family is different and so is every kid within the family.

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When i was pregnant, I bought "where did i come from" and read it to my daughter, and then i kept it and read it to the boys too. The reviews on amazon show that some people find it too graphic, but i believe in being clear and true. My 9 yo, tho, said last year that the pictures were inappropriate:confused:

 

when my son was 11, i got him the AMA's Boys Guide to Becoming a Teen - written for preteens, good basic information, stopped the constant barrage of questions - but for a shyer kid, could be a good approach.

 

I still have the one my mom gave to me when I was a kid. When DS was 2yo, he found it and brought it to me shrieking "what is this? What does it MEAN?!?!"

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Everything my ds5.5 knows about baby making he got from Minecraft. :001_rolleyes:There all you have to do is feed two animals wheat and POOF a baby animal. The other week he told me you needed two girl camels to make a baby girl camel. :lol:

 

It is possible your older child knows more than you think and just isn't talking about it. Congrats on the new baby!

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My ds(8) is obsessed with animals. He talks about them mating in the same way he would talk about them eating. The other day, he was mentioning animals mating and I asked him if he understands what that means. He responded, "Of course I do! The male has the sperm and puts it inside the female." I about died. :lol:

 

I'm thinking dh will have it pretty easy when he sits down with ds to have "the talk". :D

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When i was pregnant, I bought "where did i come from" and read it to my daughter, and then i kept it and read it to the boys too. The reviews on amazon show that some people find it too graphic, but i believe in being clear and true. My 9 yo, tho, said last year that the pictures were inappropriate:confused:

 

when my son was 11, i got him the AMA's Boys Guide to Becoming a Teen - written for preteens, good basic information, stopped the constant barrage of questions - but for a shyer kid, could be a good approach.

 

I find the pictures in Where Did I Come From rather creepy. That said, I left it on the shelf, and DS read it and went around for a few days talking in an ever-so-knowledgeable voice about how HE knows how people make babies.

 

We've also had discussions during animals births - it's much more natural and easy to talk about such things when it's directly relevant like that, as opposed to sitting down and having The Talk.

 

(I think I like the book strewing approach to sex ed, just as long as you make sure they actually read them.)

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my daughter will be 11 next month & we've had the "talk". my son will be 9 in march and he has no idea. he hasn't brought it up & shows no interest in that at all - so i've not pursued it.

 

if i were pregnant though, i think i would make sure the two oldest had a basic understanding of how their new sister came to be & i'd allow time to freely let them ask questions, etc.

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We started talking about this earlier this year with DS. Before then, he knew it takes a man and woman to get a baby, he knew how the baby got out, he knew that women have something called a period... nothing about actual reproduction though. We got "It's Not the Stork" and read through it as a family. It has just enough information about how a baby is made, then a fair amount about physical differences in boys and girls, plus how a baby develops and is born. It was just right for him at the time... the book is labeled ages 4 and up, and I can't imagine *him* having been ready for it at age 4!!

 

OP, glad you found some resources. I agree that at least your oldest two should probably start having some idea of how things work. Good luck with the discussions!!

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Are you sure your dc know nothing? You have no encyclopedias in the house. They've never seen anything at a cousin's or friend's. They have no friend's in any activities that talk to them out of your earshot?

 

My oldest was an advanced reader and read way more that I would have told him at age 6. It was all in a very big (and thorough) middle school science encyclopedia which he read cover to cover. He read it right along with the sections on earthquakes, electricity and chemistry. I hadn't pre read that 1000 page tome.

 

My middle dc asks questions and I answer them. When she was little I gave simple truthful explanations, if she asked more I gave more. I believe the open dialog from a very young age (3?) contributed to the fact that my now teen dd talks to me about all kinds of issues. I am greatful. My mother refused to talk to me when I had questions at a young age. Guess what? I never ever talked to my mother about anything slightly meaningful. Closing up on this uncomfortable topic may mean closing up altogether. Also, remember if your dc is mature enough to form a question then he's mature enough to comprehend a simple truthful answer.

 

My youngest has special needs. At 11 we are still working on the basics of privacy with him.

 

My suggestion would be to start talking about it, so your dc know you are available to talk about it. You want your dc to think of you as a good source of information on this topic. Right now you may rank behind Suzy from soccer or Tom from scouts or Jaimie from sunday school.

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I think the 11 year old needs to know, as part of the talk about puberty and the changes that will be occuring soon. You could hold off on a wait and see with the youngers, but I think you owe it to your 11 year old to have a private chat about that stuff.

 

We've kinda talked puberty with DS11. We gave him the "Care & Keeping of You" book quite a while ago. We've talked a little about it but he doesn't seem interested/concerned and he said he doesn't have any questions.

 

That particular book doesn't talk much about reproduction - it is more puberty focussed.

 

We also got the girl version of that book for our daughter but I remember looking through it and thinking it was WAY too much info for her at this age.

 

As for what they currently know......I have no idea what they have heard. They have never said anything. I do know that DS11 has friends in school who covered pretty much everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) last year in grade 5 but from talking to their moms, those boys were pretty grossed out by all of it. Not sure it would be a topic they would discuss outside of school??

 

I don't want to shelter them (maybe I already have too much) but I also don't want to overwhelm them either.

 

Arrgghhhh - why couldn't they just have been curious and then I would have just followed their lead :D

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As for what they currently know......I have no idea what they have heard. They have never said anything. I do know that DS11 has friends in school who covered pretty much everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) last year in grade 5 but from talking to their moms, those boys were pretty grossed out by all of it. Not sure it would be a topic they would discuss outside of school??

 

It will be a continual topic of horrified conversation.

 

Laura

Edited by Laura Corin
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I would talk to all of them, but that is just me. We started having talks about this with DS when he was 3y/o. We started out by buying him age appropriate books on the subject, and he was free to read them whenever he wanted to. Periodically we would talk to him about it and ask him if he had any questions.

 

I totally agree that at the very least your 11y/o needs to have the talk due to puberty. There is a really good book out there called "What's Happening to Me" that describes what happens in puberty in age appropriate terms, but gets the point across very well. I think they go into how babies are made also, but the book "Where did I come from" by the same author goes into better detail.

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I disagree. My 11 & 9 year old don't know. Don't intend to bring it up right now. They aren't exposed to situations where they are going to be told. However, if they ASKED I'd tell them. They asked when they were far younger, & not at all ready to know.

 

I can't imagine any situation in which this lack of information for their age is beneficial.

 

Informing children about biology, reproduction, and age apporpriate sexuality issues informs, empowers, protects them. There is nothing inherently beneficial to not telling them; and many reasons to be proactive and the people to tell them from birth on.

 

I tell me kids stuff all the time that they don't ask; from how to use a taxi to doing laundry to the fact that oral sex is still sex.

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11 is very old to not know anything. Both girls know where babies come from. Rebecca has been through the first two God's Design books and Sylvia has done the first. I definitely don't use that series right at the recommended ages though. I got Rebecca The Care and Keeping of You when she turned 8.

 

Both girls know that they were born in different ways. They know what placenta previa is and the story of Sylvia's birth. I've been frank with them about tampons too as they're both gymnasts and will pretty much need to use them right away. Rebecca is far away from anything, but the last thing I wanted was for her to get her period and freak out, because she would have.

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I asked Hobbes whether the facts of life are a subject of conversation amongst 11yo children. He said that 'the processes' are not discussed, but various related terms are thrown around. A child who had not had sex education at home or at school might not understand the terms and might just be mystified.

 

I still think that telling your children yourself is the best way, and better before puberty, when the feelings evoked are much more complex.

 

Laura

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I know this sounds ridiculous, but we've never had "the talk" with them.

A new baby is coming soon, and none of them have asked how the baby is going to come out?

 

I don't know if we just take the wait & see approach and then seize the moment when they do finally start asking questions? Or should we be more proactive and sit them down and be more direct?

 

Anyone have an opinion or advice?

 

Hmmm... Idk.

In general I'm always for the 'wait and see if they ask' thing. I'm not particularly proactive on these things because I don't want to give them more information than they can handle.

At 11 though, it might be ok to go ahead. Wait, I forget, is the 11yo a boy or a girl? Idk if that would make a difference, but for me personally I'm more comfortable with such things with a girl. :D :lol: (ETA: I see it's a boy. In which case, I guess DH could talk to him, at my house. DH will handle most of that stuff for the boys, the puberty issues and stuff. Honestly, I know nothing about it, so what on earth could I have to add? :) And middle school is the normal age for s*x ed, so I'd probably go over that at that time.)

(FWIW, my kids don't know anything yet either. I had all c-sections, thankfully, so I always just tell them that they came out via surgery - cut out of my belly! :D )

Edited by PeacefulChaos
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I would prep them for childbirth at the very least! I'd go so far as to show them childbirth videos! The last thing you want is an unplanned homebirth with your kids unprepared. My girls were planned to be at their brothers births, but it would have happened anyway with my youngest! I'd prepare them for the baby coming and go from there. During my pregnancies we would read pregnancy books for bedtime stories. They loved learning what the baby was doing and developing every week! It was a very natural process.

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Many kids know but will not mention that they know to their parents. We had a friend that had a baby about two years ago, and my then 7 yr old who had never had a conversation with me about any of that piped up about how she would enter the world. That was lovely dinner conversation. :lol:

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And middle school is the normal age for s*x ed, so I'd probably go over that at that time.)

 

I had sex ed in school in 5th grade, so did DS. Middle school is too late, IMO. There are middle schoolers having sex and some having babies. It needs to be done before they are able to reproduce, IMO. My sister and one of my friends started their periods in 5th grade. If you are physically able to create a baby, then you should know how it is done.

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I had sex ed in school in 5th grade, so did DS. Middle school is too late, IMO. There are middle schoolers having sex and some having babies. It needs to be done before they are able to reproduce, IMO. My sister and one of my friends started their periods in 5th grade. If you are physically able to create a baby, then you should know how it is done.

 

My cousin's kindergarten class had the kids bring in plastic spoons to represent sperm. :blink:

 

In my 6th grade class our teacher had our groups each learn a part of the information and then present it to the rest of the class. (The school was trying something different with that class, groups and rotating stations, so I don't know if that was true for the rest of the school.) I don't think we got all the right details that way.

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I'd also start talking to the 8yo. I have so many friends whose daughters have started their periods at 9 and 10 it's ridiculous. Might as well start there!

 

:iagree: I'd definitely start revealing the facts of life to an 8 year old girl as well as your 11 year old. My 11 year old son has had the facts for quite a while, and my 8 year daughter has the general idea anyway. It would be sad for a little girl to hit puberty without knowing what is coming.

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I had sex ed in school in 5th grade, so did DS. Middle school is too late, IMO. There are middle schoolers having sex and some having babies. It needs to be done before they are able to reproduce, IMO. My sister and one of my friends started their periods in 5th grade. If you are physically able to create a baby, then you should know how it is done.

 

I'm planning on having a basic section on the reproduction part when we study biology again, unless the boys ask.

Puberty issues are different. They will be gone over sooner, by the appropriate parent.

I had my first sex Ed class in 7th.

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I disagree. My 11 & 9 year old don't know. Don't intend to bring it up right now. They aren't exposed to situations where they are going to be told. However, if they ASKED I'd tell them. They asked when they were far younger, & not at all ready to know.

 

God's Design For S-x I believe is the series someone is speaking of. :)

 

Well, you might want to do that soon. Even in the strictest Christian environment, you would be surprised. Even if your kids hang out with the most sheltered kids, they know kids who are not sheltered and will tell them things. I wouldn't wait much longer.

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:iagree: I'd definitely start revealing the facts of life to an 8 year old girl as well as your 11 year old. My 11 year old son has had the facts for quite a while, and my 8 year daughter has the general idea anyway. It would be sad for a little girl to hit puberty without knowing what is coming.

 

I know (sigh)

It is just hard to wrap my brain around giving her all this info when she is still happy to play tea party with her dolls, play store with her younger brothers, and thinks boys are icky.

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