Mum, how are babies made?

The words you have been dreading since you gave birth finally came out and slapped you on the face!

So how should you respond?

Change the subject? Go into great detail? Or simply just laugh and cry at the same time?

We spoke with Clinical Psychologist and Author Sally-Anne McCormack to discover exactly how carefully we should tread with this subject. And just a tip mamas, this is not the time to be shy!

What age is a good age to start the ‘sex chat’?
Parents should definitely start from birth. Luckily there are lots of different ways you can talk to them. You could start at a young age with private parts.

Is it true kids know so much more about this subject than we think they do?
Absolutely! Sometimes they learn from older kids which can be quite scary for them. Especially if they are misinformed. You never know if other parents explain things the same way that you would! Make sure you educate them correctly. Use proper names for body parts, but also tell them the nicknames too so they won’t be surprised when someone says it in the playground.

Should we speak to our 4-year- old differently to our 7-year- old?
Yes. My advice is to answer only what they ask and no more. If they want to know more, they will ask. Just take it step-by- step. Don’t shut it down if you are feeling embarrassed.

Does talking about sex make them more curious?
No. Kids are already curious, even babies, they are born curious. They will alway look or touch if it’s available to them. Just watch any little boy without a nappy on!

Should we speak to girls and boys differently?
I would suggest that parents just share the same information whether they have a son or a daughter. It is also a great time to talk about your family values, but try not to be too narrow minded. Don’t say things like “sex before marriage is stupid”.

What could happen if parents are too shy to talk?
It is really important that parents get past that because it can make it difficult for children to have conversations with all adults in the future. They could also become embarrassed to speak themselves. Misinformation can also cause fear in children.

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Katy Ferguson

Katy Ferguson  

Katy began her career as a journalist in Coffs Harbour in 2006. Her work has since taken her to Canberra, Melbourne and the Gold Coast where she now lives with her husband, two daughters and crazy American Staffy. Since having kids, Katy now enjoys life as a freelance journalist for Seven News on the Gold Coast and River 949 in Ipswich. She also writes for haven and scout magazines. In her spare time you'll find her learning to surf at Currumbin Alley, walking her dog around Emerald Lakes and being a part-time taxi driver to her kids!