Elizabeth - posted on 02/23/2010 ( 211 moms have responded )
I've had 2 recent incidents where other moms have made comments like, "Your daughter certainly knows a lot about 'that kind of thing'..." (complete with raised eyebrow and frown) and "You tell her too much."
The first comment was in response to the fact that my daughter... (who has since been sternly warned that she is NOT to talk about ANYTHING having to do with "private parts" with anyone but me or her father)...shared with an 8yo the fact that babies come out of a mother's body via their vagina or a c-section. The second was in response to my mentioning to a friend the funny way that my daughter had asked me to remind her what a speculum was called.
With regard to the first situation, it never occurred to me that anyone would find it problematic for a 9yo to know that babies are born either via C-section or vaginally...I was actually a little surprised that an 8yo didn't already know that. But my daughter asked about how babies get out of their mom's bellies when she was about 7 and I refuse to lie to my child. We use anatomically correct vocabulary for body parts and if she asks a question, I answer it truthfully.
As for the "speculum" thing...I had gone to the Ob/Gyn for my annual check-up and my husband asked how it went afterwards. My daughter asked, "What's an OB/Gyn?" and I told her that it was a special doctor for women. And the questions continued..."Why do you have to go to a special doctor for women?" (Ans.=Because, as women, our female private parts are on the inside and there can be problems without our even knowing it.) "What kind of problems?" (Ans=I'm not a doctor so I don't know all of the things that can be a problem, that's why I go to this special doctor to make sure eveything's working OK.) "How do they look at your insides? Do they cut you open?" (Ans.=Nope. They have a special instrument that lets them look into our inside female parts through our vagina.) "What does it look like?" (Ans=The instrument or our insides?) "Both!" (Ans=Well the instrument is called a speculum and I know it's metal, but I've never really gotten a good look at it. As for my insides...pretty much the same story. I've never seen my own insides, but I imagine they look a lot like the ones in the pictures in your "My Body" book.) "Am I going to have to go to a women's doctor?" (Ans.=One of these days, but probably not until you're ready to go to college or unless you have any health issues with your female parts before then.) "Hunh. Ok. Can I watch Kim Possible?" Typical kids, eh? Curiosity satisfied and onto the next thing, LOL.
Look, I'm comfortable with how we talk about "privates" and the issues surrounding them. I have to do what I feel is right and if she's old enough to ask, she's old enough to hear an honest answer.
But the two incidents did make me curious about how other moms handle these discussions...how old were your kids when they started asking about reproduction/private parts, etc? Did you tell them the truth when they first asked or did you sort of dodge the subject until they were older?