“When should I tell my kids about sex?” The twenty-four-dollar question with the ten-cent answer.
Most certainly when they ask. Most certainly when you observe their curiosity.
The nonsense about the stork can’t still be an answer when the cat has kittens or the dog has puppies.
Our pet’s procreation provides an excellent opportunity to go beyond the birds and bees – that old-time theoretical perspective – the silly evasive lip unservice confusions for kids.
Here’s the funny one and, as yet, I haven’t heard from any parenting class participants what they did about this: when it’s late at night and cats are having sex and lot a howling is going on.
One mom laughed almost uncontrollably when I threw this “action” out for discussion. When mom got control of herself, she shared what happened in her home.
“First, I just told my son our cat was hurt but then he wanted to go out in the dark to bring it in so I had to think of something else.”
Mom said she then explained that sometime when cats are hurt they want to take care of themselves. But her smart kid, and most of our kids are pretty smart, wanted to know why, then, had they spent the little money they have in the household taking “Kitsey,” the cat, to the vet other times.
Mom was laughing again, and through bursts of guffaws she admitted it would have been so much easier just to have told things as they are.
“But, Ms Shirlee,” she said, “Of course, I knew the truth but I didn’t know how to tell it!”
Hands went up throughout the group of 35 parenting class participants. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, had a story equally as crazy, including the mom with the 4-year-old who had witnessed a couple having sex.
In this age of instant access via the internet, the kids probably KNOW, including the 4 year-old.
So what is the smart and age-appropriate conversation we should be having with our kids?
Give me some feedback. And I’ll be back with what the “experts” advise and what my take is on the subject, including how I answer the folks in my classes.
I’m waiting to hear from YOU!