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Discussing Reproduction

November 15, 2000

(From "Lady With a Lot of Questions" article, Nov/Dec. 2000)
5. “When did you discuss reproduction with your child?”
It is not a subject that we ever attempted to keep secret. They learned about it at the same rate that they learned how a car works or about the sun and moon. We always had animals and were very forth-right about the mama dog being in heat and “Wish those boy dogs would go home.” Although, we always enjoyed a new batch of pups or kittens, and we tried to see the babies being born. I remember getting a book at the library and learning (with my children) that a female dog can carry pups from three different males at one time, so the pups can come out looking like poodles, hounds, and chows. We went looking in the library for this information because we had a litter of puppies that appeared to be from three different male dogs. When life is lived naturally, the natural part of life is understood naturally. Many people on our mailing list that have animals are smiling as they read this. They think the city-slickers are funny in making this an issue. As for how to, or when to, talk to a child who is raised in the city and has not observed animals, I don't know; you figure it out and write me so I can pass on the info.
Debi Pearl

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4 comments on “Discussing Reproduction”

  1. It is funny how many parents are so afraid of talking about this. I don't know how much of an issue this was before the public schools decided to have "sex ed" and tell kids to "use protection". Now we feel like the whole reproduction topic is immoral and to be avoided: period! Well, I agree that it is natural. If you happen to be a "city slicker" (like me), try going to the zoo with your children in the spring time (when many animals tend to be reproducing) and bring up the topic then. Or if that is too awkward for you, find out if there are any pregnant animals at your local zoo and take your children to see them when they are pregnant and then again when the babes have been born. Make it a lesson about God's plan for animals to keep existing. Do it when they are young and keep it low key. Don't over explain everything but don't be embarrassed about it either.

    Many parents might have that hesitation to explain this about animals because they are afraid their children will catch on to them... "Wait mom! If that is how animals make babies, that must mean you and dad had to do THAT to have me! Right!?" Who wants that kind of confrontation? If they are exposed to reproduction cycles with animals, insects, and birds earlier on, it might now be as awkward later on to talk about. I wouldn't tell my child every little detail, but we have to remember that sex is not evil.

  2. We have never avoid calling the body by its proper name, but when our 5 year old came to us and asked how the baby got in there, the first words from my lips before I thought were "Mommy and Daddy prayed and Jesus answered our prayer like he does for all of his children". It was the perfect way truthfully answer a child and to begin a new conversation about the trust we can have in our God to always listen and answer us. It also provided a way to hold off on a conversation we felt was too intimate for such an innocent mind. Now that our children are older they are still satisfied with that knowledge even though they have seen animals in compromising situations and the babies that come later. It is nice that they are not growing up too quickly. Knowing that we are not allowing room for greater curiosity to set in at too young an age between boy/girl siblings as they begin to change and develop is very comforting as well.

  3. I am always scared of giving too many details on this topic. I have a daughter that is almost 10 and I know it right at this time she needs more information and I am thinking how can I go around this? 🙂 Any ideas?

  4. My husband and I have been teaching our not yet two year old about reproduction because of my pregnancy (7 months pregnant.) She knows that I have a baby in my womb and that it is not just my baby but also Daddy's baby. I have explained to her that Daddies have their babies in Mommies. She also knows that Mommies baby is going to come out of her "girl" (our word for her gender area.) She also knows that that is how the baby got into Mommy. I anticipate her being able to witness the birth as well seeing as we will be at home. I started explaining things like this when she first started touching herself around 15 months or so. I figured that if she is curious enough to want to touch herself and explore that are, then she is smart enough to what it is used for.