Birds and Bees for a 3 year-old. Why not just be straight about it?

I know that some people would be shocked by this exchange, but I honestly don’t see why:

Me - There’s a baby in her tummy.
3 y/o - In her tummy?
Me - Yep.
3 y/o - Why?
Me - That’s where it grows until it’s big enough to be born.
3 y/o - How does it come out?
Me - It comes out of her vagina.
3 y/o - Does it?
Me - Yep.
3 y/o - Oh. Can I watch Mighty Machines?
Me - Yep.

Possibly later:

3 y/o - How did the baby get in her tummy?
Me - The daddy put his penis in her vagina and it made a tiny baby.
3 y/o - …

This is hypothetical, since it hasn’t come up yet…but when it does, I really don’t see the exchange going too much differently. Why should it?

I think it’s inappropriate for a 3 year old to hear about the actual process involved. That’s why we have the old “when a mommy and daddy love each other very much…”

I wouldn’t want to be the parent finding out my 3 year old son was trying out the mechanics with some female classmates at nursery school. I’m the farthest thing in the world from a prude, but 3 years old? Too young.

One thing. It’s a uterus not a tummy. Otherwise he’ll ask how it gets in her tummy and you talk about swallowing and maybe you don’t want to go there yet. :smiley:

I always tried my best, whenever my kids asked me a serious question, to answer it to the best of my ability. And that covered everything from “where babies came from”, to “why is the sky blue” and “is there a God”. Today they are aged 21-25, and I’m pretty confident this policy was by far the best for us. Actually, I consider my willingness to honestly and openly answer any question they pose to me to be perhaps the greatest gift I could offer them.

I admit I fudged a bit on issues such as Santa, the tooth fairy, etc when they were very young. :stuck_out_tongue:

At times I might have gone into a tad more detail than my kids desired. I remember a few years back they all mentioned on incident when I went far further into the specifics of fertilization than their question required. And I remember my attempted explanations regularly bumping up against nuclear physics and molecular biology.

And, to do my best imitation of a 3 y/o: Why?

Children engage in degrees of that ‘play’ anyway, even without being told about the specifics.

This is really where I’m coming from, thank you for chiming in so early. Edit: Sometimes when he asks a question, I’ll answer to the best of my ability even though I know he’s not going to ‘get it’. Then I’ll sum it up in simple terms that he still may not get. But I like to think that he appreciates the effort.

I agree. There are just some things that are inappropriate to tell a three-year-old. The nuts and bolts of sexual intercourse is one of them.

It has been a long time, but the kids were bathing together and I’m sure they saw their mom and me nekkid, so I didn’t see any problem acknowledging that they had different equipment. Hell, millions of folk feel toddlerhood is not too young to inculcate their kids into religious mythology. I see no reason to protect them from such basic biological truth.

When they see 2 dogs fucking, do you tell them they are “playing” or “hugging”? :rolleyes: What natural processes IS a 3-year old old enough to hear about?

Same goes for you as Leaffan. Why? All I’m hearing so far is “It’s bad, don’t tell them!”

It’s up to you to tell your kids whatever you want. I offered an opinion, that’s all. And do 3 ear old kids routinely see 2 dogs fucking? Does this come up often enough in your part of the world, or what? And yes, I would chuckle and tell them the dogs were playing.

Because kids like me will explain the process to birds n bees kids on the playground. It never occurred to me to preserve the innocence (ignorance?) of my playmates, so whenever topics like the story or cabbage patch came up, I explained the process in detail. Not sure how that worked out for the other kids in the long run, but most didn’t seem to believe me anyway.

I’d have felt disappointed and betrayed if my parents had fed me a baby making myth, but I imagine the other kids had a little trouble digesting biology as I reported it. I’m interested in employing a better tactic for my child. Glad you started the thread.

I’d also like to know why I wasn’t allowed to take my 3 year-old in to see Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D.

That’s bullshit, man!

Maybe this should be its own thread, but yeah. Every year around Easter my Facebook feed is cluttered with parents proclaiming their pride in a child’s sympathy or real life tears over the persecution of Jesus. Subjecting a child to a reenactment of a barbaric and bloody crucifixion scene seems equivalent to exposing a child to an R rated horror movie, and explaining the mechanics of procreation seems mild by comparison.

So does your three year old already understand both the words “vagina” and “penis” (whichever they have not got)? How do you plan on explaining those (or how did you)?

“Do these jeans make me look fat?”

There’s a LOT a 3-year old should be learning about, but there does come a point where ‘need to know’ comes in handy. General info = good. Specific info they can’t use, understand, or even remember for longer than 5 minutes = pointless waste of time. FFS, I had sex ed in 5th grade; by the time I got around to using it, I didn’t remember shit. Of course it didn’t help that none of it was specifics; perhaps if my folks had told me at 3 I’d have had more of a clue. :smiley:

If you find procreation to be equal to a bloody and violent horror movie then your romantic life must be…interesting.

You might be surprised to learn that not all representations of the events resulting in Jesus’ death are directed by Mel Gibson.

He’s known them for a while. He knows he has a penis, daddy has a penis, other boys have one. He knows the word and refers to it properly.

He knows mommy doesn’t have a penis, she has a vagina and so do other girls. He’ll state the fact, but he’s of course fuzzy on the details. I suspect that to him ‘vagina’ may just be a good word for ‘absence of penis’.

A bloody and violent horror movie is appropriate to be viewed by what age-group, if you please?

Is there a representation of the crucifixion that entails Jesus being tortured by declawed kittens?