'Mom, where do babies come from?'
I heard a long time ago that the car is a great place to talk about awkward or serious matters with your children. I've also heard that if you don't tell your child about the facts of life, someone else will before you think your kid is ready.
So three summers ago when my girls were both asking questions that could only be answered by telling them how babies are made, I decided to seize the moment. Besides, we were on a long, empty stretch of highway with no stoplights or fast food joints to use as a distraction.
My oldest, then 8, had heard me talking about a friend who kept trying to get pregnant but wasn't. My daughter asked me point blank how someone tries to get pregnant. That prompted my younger daughter, then 6, to ask: "Why do people say Wade (my youngest child) looks just like Daddy when he came out of your tummy? How can he have any part of Daddy in him?"
So, with no place to hide and plenty of time, I told them how the sperm makes the journey to fertilize the egg. "So you've done that three times," one asked in a slow, sad voice. "Yes. Just three times," I said without running off the road. Since then, they've gleaned more information about relationships between men and women -- and boys and girls -- from me as well as their friends, books and, I admit, television. But at least I got to have that initial talk.
I don't think there is a "right" age or "right" way to tell kids. It's just what works for you and your family. But what do you think? How and when did you tell your children about the birds and the bees? Or are you waiting for them to reach a certain age? We may use some of your responses in a future issue of Go Momma magazine, which will be in mailboxes by the end of the week. And you also can find it at these places.
-- Katherine Snow Smith, editor, Go Momma magazine