“Where do babies come from?”  Why does this simple question turn lawyers, engineers, accountants and even doctors into bumbling dunces in front of their kids?  Well, if you are a parent, it’s a foregone conclusion.  The time will come when your child will ask you about sex.   Here are some tips.

Rather than fear this question, the best way to face this inevitability is to prepare for it.  In fact, prepare for it well in advance so that you won’t be as flustered when they ask.  Remember, your child will learn from what you say, as much as from how you say it.  

 

Look around you.  Sexual influences are everywhere:  TV, billboards, magazines.  Your child’s friends must be talking about it too.  Would you rather have your child learn about sex from those influences or from you?

The first question about where babies come from can turn up in the preschool years.  Don’t be alarmed!  This isn’t even about intimacy yet.  Your child’s curiosity about this is as natural as his curiosity about where the sun goes at night.  At this age, you can satisfy the question with a simple explanation.  Because daddies and mommies have so much love for each other, they want to share their love with a baby of their own.  Then be creative about the biological part .  Remember, your child is young and all s/he needs is a story.  However simple, keep it as accurate as possible though, because you’ll build on this story as your child gets older.  The concept of a seed is a good analogy for kids of this age to understand.

In a couple of years, the question may come up again.  Only you as the parent can decide if your child is emotionally ready for more proper terms.  (If you are describing anatomical parts be sure to use the real words like penis and vagina otherwise it can create a lot of confusion for the child. ) If he/she is ready for the proper terms, then build on your earlier story and incorporate the concept of sperm from daddy meeting up with the egg in mommy (the “seed” from before) to help it grow into a baby.   That straight-forward answer is enough for now.  Then, add the story of how the baby grows for nine months in the mommy’s tummy.  Your child’s fascination with the different growth stages of the baby in-utero should keep him sated for now.

 

Soon, your child will be in that interesting stage called the preteen years.   From the ages of nine through 12, you’ll notice that your child has some added dimensions to their reasoning and logic skills.  With their burgeoning independence, they’ll also be more exposed to the world around them.  Whether s/he tells you or not, you can be sure that s/he’s absorbing many of the influences around.  Be it in school, through the media or because of technology, they’re learning much more than just what you teach them at home.

This time it may be your turn to initiate the subject of sex.  Time may come when they’ll ask you questions again, but your instinct will tell you if you need to wait for that time or not.  Your child is entering puberty.  If you have a daughter, she could get her first period anytime.  You can assume that your child is hearing about sex elsewhere, so take the initiative to provide correct information.   

Again it is your discretion as parent as to what to say exactly, and how much to explain.  This may be a more serious talk than those in the past.  I will not attempt to dictate a spiel, because your family history, your family values and your child’s environment all factor into the content of your talk.  In any case, set an open atmosphere where they’ll feel safe to ask you questions.  It’s important to find out what s/he knows and how much they know.  You need not tell them more than they are asking but it may be time to explain more.  Especially important, straighten out any incorrect assumptions s/he may have.

 

In the end, there will not be just one ‘sex talk’.  As your preteen gets older, new questions will crop up.  With each new dialog, be sure to underline the values you’d like your child to uphold.  

If you prepare well and keep all this in mind, the dreaded ‘sex talk’ won’t be as dreaded anymore.  Instead it will be a golden opportunity to build a stronger and healthier relationship with your child and a stronger chance of your child acting within the ethics you teach him or her.

 

Here are some more pages for you to learn even more.

http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/talking-to-your-kids-about-sex

Books for talking to your kids about sex.

 

“The arts provide a more comprehensive and insightful education because they invite students to explore the emotional, intuituve, and irrational aspects of life that science is hard pressed to explain. ”   – Charles Fowler

There is a good article from the A R Valley Arts Center about the importance of arts in education with references to research that backs it up.  It starts out with…

One of the most important aspects of art shows in the results of extensive studies that have proven that students who participate in the arts score higher on SAT tests regardless of socio-economic status. (1)  

Art programs targeted toward very young children help prevent negative choices later on. Young children who participate in after-school arts programs have shown a decrease in negative behaviors and increases in attention span, commitment and tolerance. (4)

Check out the rest of the article here. http://www.arvartscenter.org/education.htm

More and more evidence is being found that for children (and consequently adults) to increase their academic success as well as a whole range of other good skills, it is vital for them to learn and participate in arts and music.  

Does your child learn and practice art and music?  What can you and your local schools and politicians do about that?

Here are some videos talking about the importance of art and music in education.  Make sure your government reps are taking steps to truly educate your children in public school.

 

Have some fun on the web with art.  This blog post lists several fun sites for exploring art.
http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/kbosch/2009/04/06/eight-great-interactive-sites-that-let-you-paint-like-a-famous-artist/

 

“Art doesn’t transform. It just plain forms.”
Roy Lichtenstein