It seems my six year old son can no longer be appeased with my explanation of where babies come from. That whole “Mummy and Daddy had a special cuddle” speech just doesn’t wash anymore. So tonight, I went a little further. “Well, the Daddy puts a special seed inside the Mummy’s tummy and that’s how the baby grows.” Surely, that’s enough? Please God, let it be enough!!
“But how does the seed get in there Mummy?”
“Isn’t Kick Buttowski on yet son?”
Yes, having a 16 year old son means I’ve been through this awkward process once before – I’m just a little out of practice.
Is there ever an ideal time to explain the Birds and the Bees? I think all kids and all parents are different in their approach so, like with so many things, there’s no ‘right’ answer. I just knew that as a parent, I wanted the whole experience of imparting this information to be more successful than it was when I was their age.
I remember at ten years old being given a book called, ‘Where Do Babies Come From?’ That was my sex education. I would go and sit in the airing cupboard with my best friend and we’d read the book from cover to cover, hoping to learn the secret to life. That, and laugh at pictures of boobies and ninnies!
Mum always said if I had any questions to ask her, but it still felt like a taboo subject and just, well, so embarrassing. Other ‘stuff’ I just learnt along the way; giggling in the playground with friends about things I knew nothing about and then just figuring things out as I went. Not ideal.
We’ve always had a much more open policy to sex education at home than I had growing up. I wanted my sons to feel, as cringey as it would be, like they could ask me anything and I’d give them an honest answer. My teen has tried his best to embarrass the hell out of me by asking some really dodgy questions but I always do my best not to blush or burst out laughing and answer as best as I can. If I know the answer!
Obviously, there being ten years between my boys, we’re at a different stage with our youngest. But the principles remain the same. I want them to be safe, happy and not to become Dads whilst still in their teens (or younger!) So those lines of communication need to be open from a very early age.
Which means not reading a book in an airing cupboard and likewise, me turning Kick Buttowski off and explaining what happens to that damned seed!