How to talk to your kids about sexWhen I was in my early 20s, I used to babysit for my neighbor's two daughters. One evening as my boyfriend and I stood talking to their parents, 4-year-old Emily joined in with a conversation stopper.
6. Your 3-year-old wants to know if he can have a baby too. You:
A: Laugh at him.
B: Assure him that if he really wants to when he grows up, he can.
C: Tell him no, only mommies can have babies.
Answer: C. It might seem like an adorably cute statement to you, but to a 3-year-old it's no joke. He won't understand why he can't have babies too unless you tell him why.
"This isn't a sex question at all, it's a reproduction question," says Meg Zweiback, associate clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. "He wants to know where newborns come from. You can tell him they come from mommies and that he can be a daddy and help make a baby when he's grown-up."
If your little boy feels cheated, that's a cue to sit him down and tell him all the ways a father helps take care of an infant.
7. Your 4-year-old recently discovered he can make his penis get bigger, and he wants to show his new trick to Grandma. You:
A. Acknowledge the wonder of his anatomy -- and explain that he should keep his new trick to himself.
B. Ask Grandma to visit when he's sound asleep.
C. Tell your spouse to deal with it.
Answer: A. It is a neat trick, so don't squelch his innocent enthusiasm by shaming him or getting angry.
"What needs to be said to both boys and girls is 'I know that's fun and feels good, but it's private and should be done in your room by yourself. It isn't okay to share that with others,'" says Sylvia Hacker, associate professor emerita at the Schools of Nursing and Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Any self-respecting 4-year-old will then promptly ask, "Why not?" You can tell him it's not polite to do it around other people, or invoke collective behavior ("The rule is you don't touch your penis in front of others"). After all, part of the discussion about sex is teaching young children about what's socially appropriate -- ideally, without conferring any sense of shame along with it.
News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads
Transform the fall vegetable into cool decor pieces.
Put together these creative, but simple, Halloween looks for your youngsters.
We know you’re documenting just about every move baby makes. (Do you even have any memory left on your phone? We didn’t think so.) These tips from professional photographers can help you perfect your pics.
These six on-trend ideas will make baby’s room your new favorite place to hang out.
Baby probably won’t remember his first birthday party, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go all out (after all, parents need to celebrate making it through this first year, right?). These fun, colorful themes take planning to the next level.
See what celebrities who had problems conceiving have to say.
You’ll be hearing a lot of advice and opinions. Some of it will be really helpful and some will be just plain wrong. Here are the most common things people say about babies that aren’t true.
A new dad finds an Epcot Center's worth of innovation after expecting none at all.
The dog days of summer may be well behind us, but that doesn't mean it's time to pack in the outdoor adventures quite yet.
Protect yourself and your family with these ingenious gizmos and smartphone apps.
Make sure your go-to gadgets are as cute as your style, with these trendy tech finds!
Oh, how the times have changed...