Every day in April, I’ll be posting a video about one of the questions in my guide, (Over) 100 Questions to ask your Kids About Sexuality. The guide is free and if you don’t have it, you can get it by clicking here. The first video is about the first question in the guide. It’s one for the preschoolers in your family: "How do you think babies are made?"
There are a couple of reasons you might choose to start a conversation with your little person about babies and where they come from. First, preschoolers are often around pregnant people. Parents often have their second, third or fourth pregnancy when their elder children are two, three, four and five years old. And even if you or your partner(s) aren’t pregnant, your preschooler may know a relative, family friend or neighbour who is.
Another reason to take the lead on this talk is so your preschooler doesn’t spring it on you. Adults are constantly blindsided by children randomly asking “where do babies come from?” If you ask first, you get to choose where, when and how this first birds and bees chat takes place. One more reason you might choose to start this conversation now is because conception and birth are complex subjects. I cannot tell you how many teenagers and even adults I’ve met, who still weren’t entirely clear on how baby-making happens. And it wasn’t their fault. A lot of people only get one “where do babies come from talk” in their entire life...and some don’t even get that. Meanwhile, there are a lot of details to grasp - anatomy, biology, relationships, family structures...it’s too much information to cover all at once.
So my recommendation is to start talking about how babies are made early in your kids’ lives and come back to it several times as they grow up.
When you first ask the question, be prepared for some interesting theories about how babies are made. I’ve heard all kinds of cool theories from the preschoolers in my life, including:
“The baby comes from inside the butt!”
“The doctor uses a needle to put the baby inside the belly button
“It hatches from an egg!
“My mom laid the egg and my dad peed on it!”
“You get the baby from Amazon.com”
It’s normal for kids to have wild theories about conception, because, well...it’s unlikely they’ve been reading up on the subject. As the grown up, this is a great time to gently correct any misinformation.
Tell Them A Story
Once you’ve done your mythbusting, you can ask your child if they want to hear the story of how they were made and born. I really like making early lessons about conception personal and specific to the child. First of all, little kids tend to be concrete thinkers and they tend to be very self-focused. At this age, they’re usually less concerned with “the general process by which humans are conceived and birthed into the world,” and more with “how did me and my fabulousness arrive on this planet. If you need help crafting an age-appropriate, yet factual story about your child’s conception and birth, I have a video on that very subject right here.
You might also choose to use a preschool-appropriate book as a jumping-off point for this discussion. Two books I highly recommend for young kids and their families are What Makes A Baby by Cory Silverberg and It’s Not The Stork by Robie Harris. If you have any comments or further questions about the topic, leave me a comment below. If you’re interested in booking a workshop or a personal coaching session, please get in touch here. See you tomorrow!