Friday, January 28, 2011

Delving Into The "Uncomfortable" Questions

My husband and I have always agreed that when the kids started asking the "uncomfortable" questions about their bodies, where babies come from, sex etc. We would always answer them truthfully and age appropriately, of course. We also agree that we want them to feel comfortable enough to come to us when they have those types of questions. This is one of many subjects, where we differ from our parents who were a bit more "old school".

Another thing we have always agreed to do is teach our children the proper, technical names for their body parts, including their sex organs. The boys all know they have a Penis and girls have a Vagina. So will Annabella when she's old enough to understand. (This even helps make your child less likely to be sexually abused.) This is something that I have always felt is important to do.

Last night Alex, my 8 1/2 year old son, had an interesting question for me. "Mom, what are the balls for on a boys private parts?" I was a little taken back because he sort of asked out of the blue. I told him "The outside is your scrotum and the balls are called testicles." His reply was "Yeah, but what are they for?" I answered "They are part of what is needed to make a baby when you grow up." He was satisfied with that answer. A little later he asked if I could get him a book that explained all of that stuff or find something online. I have no problem doing that, so I started searching for an anatomy book that wasn't too old for him and didn't go into too much detail for him. I'm sure for many, what I don't find to be too much detail, would be way too much for them. We're all different of course.

Alex is a pretty average 8 - 9 year old boy, but he is relatively mature when it comes to matters such as this. He doesn't get squirmy or uncomfortable when he asks or is given the answers. In fact, at 5 years old he asked me how babies get out of the mommy's belly. I told him honestly. I explained there are 2 ways out and what they were. That is also when and how I explained to him why girls have different private parts than boys (Since he already knew that they are different). Well, the explanation was in regards to them coming out. He has yet to have the conversation as to how they get in lol. I'm sure that's coming soon enough.

I had a few different anatomy books suggested to me by friends. After looking at those suggested, I ultimately I chose the book The Way We Work by David Macaulay. It doesn't look to be too far over his head, but it can also grow with him. The reproductive stuff aside, Alex and his brothers are very curious and inquisitive about many aspects of the human body and how things work. This is right up their alley. My friend who suggested this particular book has her Masters in Biology, so this is sort of her area and she really loves this book. I imagine if she loves it that much, it has to be worth a look! From what I have seen of the book online, it really looks great and I'm excited about the different Science lessons I'll be able to get out of it over the next several years.

This is just the beginning of the tougher questions my husband and I will be asked and we are both on the same page as far as how we'll handle each subject. I think we're ready for it. As ready as we can be anyway!

1 comment:

rosie said...

We have always taught our children the correct name for body parts too.
Funny story my son was having his 5 year checkup and the doc asks Isaac to pull down his pants. Isaac asked me "why do I have to pull down my pants?" The doctor says "because I need to make sure your private parts are healthy." Isaac asked "what are private parts." So the doctor asked me "well what do you call his private part? I said well it is a penis so that is what we call it"