Teaching Kids About Sex (Part 2)

Teaching Kids About SexThere are few situations that fill parents with more dread, confusion, and anxiety than talking to kids about sex. Thankfully, Sharon Maxwell, Ph.D., author of The Talk: What Your Kids Need to Hear from You About Sex (Penguin), offered to give us a hand and answered questions about the issues that have Cookie staff members freaking out.

My 5-year-old daughter recently said to me, "I know that the baby comes out of the mommy, but can you show me where exactly? How does it come out?" What do I tell her?

Remember that your daughter does not have any of the sexually charged associations with her body that you do with yours. She simply wants to understand the biology of this amazing thing we call birth. This is a fantastic opportunity to solidify your role as the one she can always go to with private questions. Since she wants to know "exactly," tell her.

You might get her a book that shows all the parts of a woman's body and gives the real names for all the body parts. Let her know that she can find those same parts on her own body. Tell her that your body and her body have all the same parts, but that grown-up bodies are made to have babies and little-girl bodies are not. At the same time, put a boundary around this information. This is private information. Tell her that different families have different ways of talking about private things, and that you expect she will not discuss this with her friends. Remember you are sharing something truly miraculous. Don't treat it like a burden or an embarrassment, and you will set the stage for your daughter to establish a healthy relationship with her body and with you.

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