I have always known I wanted my children to have more information than less. I want them to learn the really important lessons from their father and me, but I kept waiting for the kids to bring it up to tell me they were ready for the big "sex talk." And just because I wanted them to know about sex, did not mean I had the slightest idea HOW I wanted to tell them. It was very obvious who was going to do the telling, though -- My husband was not going to to do it.
While watching Marley and Me, my youngest noticed that everytime a couple kissed, the film showed them pregnant in the next scene. He then jumped to the conclusion that when a boy and girl kiss, they will have a baby. This was my clue that it was time to have "the talk".
I turned to books, as I always do, and asked our friend Pam The Librarian for suggestions. She led us to a few books and I brought them home. I just started reading and waited for the kids to ask their big, scary questions.
To my surprise they didn't ask any questions! But they wanted me to read the book, "It's Not The Stork" by Robie H. Harris over and over and over to them. (Yes, this book is part of the children's collection at the Wayland Library). I ended up buying the book and it is one of their favorites. They call it the "growing up book" because they like the pictures where you see how a person changes from being a baby to an adult. They also like the cartoon characters (a bird and a bee) that help ask the questions.
This book is for young children (mine were 5 and 6) and the same author wrote another book for slightly older children called "It's So Amazing!" (again, shelved at Wayland Library). He also wrote one for preadolescents called "It's Perfectly Normal" (Find it at the Wayland Library). My children did not seem scared or overwhelmed with the information. It actually seemed to be a very painless and natural discussion.
However, this discussion does not come without an embarrassing story! I'm guessing this is true for many families. Not long after we had started talking about this subject in our house my youngest, who was still in preschool, had a special visitor come to his class. Their class was learning about the skeleton so Dr. Bones (a doctor friend of the preschool director) came to talk to the kids ... about bones. At one point he asked the children if they had any questions.
My son stands up and, with great hand gestures, asked "When the seed from the Daddy meets the egg from the Mommy does the seed become the body and the egg become the head of the baby?"
The doctor's response? "I'm not that kind of doctor."