Children often ask funny and sometimes inappropriate questions. However, if yours asks you where babies come from or how they are made, you should try to give them an honest answer that they can understand. This will help you get ready for the future as you grow older and explore the world. When asked, you will need to assess the situation and formulate an age-appropriate response.
Part 1 of 3: Assess the situation
Step 1. Stay calm and relaxed when the topic comes up
It is totally normal and natural for children of any age to ask questions about babies. It will help if you are ready for the conversation, but even if you are not, try to stay calm and not jump to conclusions. Take a deep breath and talk to him just as you would bring up any other topic.
Your first reaction might be to laugh or change the subject. However, ignoring him will only make him more curious about it. It is best to address the question when it is asked
Step 2. If someone else's child asks you, you should tell them to talk to their parents
If you are a babysitter, the children you care for may ask you questions about babies or sex at some point. Stay calm and use your judgment to approach the situation. If it is a question about the body, you will need to answer it from a scientific perspective. If it is a question that you think you cannot or should not answer, let him know that he can ask his parents.
- For example, you could say something like, "Let's ask your mom when she gets home, maybe she'll know!" They will likely forget, and you can point out to their parents that their child was curious about babies or sex.
- If he continues to challenge your limits and ask more personal questions, you should remain calm and treat him just as you would if he was misbehaving in another way. If he says insults, you will need to remind him not to repeat bad words and that you will call his parents if he continues to do so.
Step 3. Consider why your child might be curious about babies
Children are naturally curious, but there may be a reason they ask certain questions. For example, your school teacher might be pregnant or she might have seen a baby on television or in a public place.
If you are pregnant, your older son might be curious about his new sibling. It is very common for children to start asking questions about babies and pregnancy if they know that one will soon be born in the family
Step 4. Ask her where she thinks the babies might come from
Your child might ask you about them to confirm what they already know. If they've never talked about it before, you can say something like, “This is a good question! Where do you think babies come from? In this way, you can find out what he knows about the subject.
- If you've talked about babies and pregnancy before, you'll need to start by confirming what you've already discussed. Say something like, "Well, babies are created when a man and a woman have sex, remember what I told you?" By confirming that you know this information, you should proceed to answer your new question.
- If they tell you they don't know, tell them that there is no problem with it. Then you will have to answer their question to the best of your ability.
Part 2 of 3: Answer the question
Step 1. Answer the question your child asks you
Many parents are nervous because they think they will have to explain the whole process to their children. Instead, you will need to focus on answering the question they asked you. If she asks you specifically how babies come out of their mothers, you can say "Babies are born when the mother pushes them out through the birth canal, which is a part of the vagina."
After answering the initial question, the child may ask you more or be satisfied. If it seems that your answer has not satisfied his curiosity, you will have to ask him "Is there anything else you want to know about babies?" Or do you have another question?"
Step 2. Approach the situation taking into account the age of the child
A young child will not have to know all the specifics about pregnancy and how babies are made. If it is a child under 6 years old, you should speak to him in a general and simple way. As he grows, you can draw on his previous conversations to answer the more specific questions.
Also, young children are likely to forget some of the information you give them as they get older. You may have to converse with him several times about this topic so that he can assimilate and understand the information
Step 3. Don't use colloquial language or euphemisms when talking about sex or the sexual organs
When you talk to your child, you should mention the genitals just as you would when talking about other parts of the body. Use the words penis, vagina, uterus, sex, sperm, and egg to talk about the process of creating a baby. This will ensure that you don't get confused as you get older and learn more about topics like sex.
- You can say something like, “Men have a penis and women have a vagina. The penis produces sperm, and the vagina houses the ovum”. This will teach him about reproductive anatomy in general.
- To start with, you can teach him about his genitals when he is learning about the other parts of his body. When you are 2 or 3 years old, you should know that, in general, women have a vagina and men have a penis.
- It's okay to mention sex as "making love" when answering your questions about babies, as long as you know that this phrase means having sex. This can help you associate babies with something positive, rather than something scary or negative.
Step 4. Give simple but honest answers to children under 5 years old
Younger children tend to focus more on pregnancy and the way babies come into the world, rather than on the sexual act itself. Explain that a man and a woman can create a baby if they have sex, and that the baby develops in the woman's womb.
- For example, if he asks you about the way babies are made, you could say something like, “Babies are created when a man and a woman have sex, and the man's sperm fertilizes the woman's egg. Then the baby will grow inside the woman's uterus for 9 months, until it is big enough to be born. "
- If she asks how babies come out, you will have to explain that they come out through the vagina, which stretches when the baby is born. You might also have to tell her that some mothers choose to have surgery to remove the baby from the uterus, or they have to do it for health reasons.
- You will have to explain that the uterus is a part of the vagina, and different from the stomach. Babies appear to be inside the mother's stomach, so this can be a very confusing idea for children.
Step 5. Use picture books to explain the topic to a younger child
There are many books on the market that explain in simple terms the process of creating and giving birth to a baby. These often include illustrations that are appropriate for children and with as little sexual content as possible.
- If you can't get a children's book that explains the process effectively, find one on anatomy. This may be more detailed than necessary, but you can use it to show where the baby grows and what the genitals look like.
- Anatomy books are also great for learning the answer to the toughest questions, like "Where does the egg come from?" or "How is sperm produced?"
Step 6. Start talking about puberty when the child is between 6 and 12 years old
In the case of girls, puberty can start as early as 8 or 9 years old. On the other hand, in boys, it can begin at approximately 9 or 10 years of age. Talk to him about the changes puberty will cause in his body shape, mood, and everyday life. Point out that the menstrual period is the sign that a girl can have babies, and tell her that ejaculation from the penis can fertilize the egg if you have sex.
- For example, if your daughter asks you when she will have her first period, you can say something like, “Most girls have their first period between the ages of 9 and 16. Some have it before and others after. Your first period is a sign that your body is beginning to mature sexually, and that you could get pregnant if you have sex. "
- Try to talk about puberty as normal and natural - it is! Build on the conversations you had when she was younger and point out that puberty might make her think about sex more often.
Step 7. Tell the older children that you will be there to answer their questions
Older children may think they know everything about sex, but this will not always be the case. If they consider you someone they can talk to about sensitive topics, you should be prepared to listen to more specific questions. A teenager might ask you something like "Could I get pregnant from having oral sex?"
- You can remind your teenager that they can continue to express their doubts to you. To do this, say something like, "I know growing up can be confusing, but you can always talk to me if you have any questions about relationships or your body."
- Take advantage of his questions to remind him of the risks of having sex, but do so without lecturing him. In the example of oral sex, you can say, "You can't get pregnant from oral sex, but you can get an STD."
- Do not assume that your child asks you about sex because he is having it. It is very likely that he is just asking you why he was talking to his friends about it or has seen it in a movie.
Part 3 of 3: Continue the conversation
Step 1. Include information about reproduction in everyday examples
It will be important to let children know that questions about babies and sex are normal. Find ways you can teach your child about the process of creating a baby before they ask about it.
If you are in a zoo and you see a pregnant animal, you could say something like “Do you see that tiger that is bigger than the others? She is a pregnant female and she is going to have babies!”
Step 2. Talk about positive, healthy relationships
For children over the age of 6, this will also be a good opportunity to start talking about relationships. Explain that some people are straight, while others may be gay or bisexual. Tell him what happens when people are in a relationship and what it means to be respectful of your partner.
- At this point, your child may feel "grossed out" by what you say about relationships and sex. Still, it will be important for you to talk about it and point out that once she is sexually mature, she could have a baby if she has sex.
- During the conversation, you should provide information about birth control, STDs, and peer pressure whenever appropriate.
Step 3. Let him know that he has the right to privacy and personal space
Reassure her that her genitals are private parts and that sex is a personal experience. Make it clear to young children that only their parents or the doctor should see these parts when helping them clean up or performing a medical exam. Remind them that no one should ask them to allow them to touch them or to touch them to another person.
- You can explain this to younger children by saying something like, “The vagina and penis are private parts, and no one should ask you to let them touch you or to touch theirs. If someone asks you, you can tell me and I assure you that I will not bother”.
- Teach her that she can walk away from awkward or scary situations if she says "No" or "I have to go." Let them know that it is okay to say no to an adult if they are scared or uncomfortable.
- Reassure him that he will never be in trouble for telling you a "secret" related to his body or private parts.