Monday, May 11, 2009

Answering "Where Do Babies Come From?"

I just heard from the dad of a 6 year old daughter who was interested in knowing where babies come from. He says that his wife decided that, since her parents never told her anything, she would be honest with the girl:
Mom did not give her the mechanics of how a baby is created. Instead, when my daughter asked how a baby was made, she said that she is too young to know and that she would tell her later. So, what is the big deal?
Well, my neighbor had to break up an incident where my daughter was telling his daughter where babies come from. He said that his daughter was on her back with her legs spread (clothes on) and my daughter was kinda in the position of being a doctor. There was no touching, just pretending to give birth with a baby doll.
I was and still am not sure how to really handle this. I told my daughter that "Some parents do not want their children to know where babies come from and that it is not your job to tell them. The only person you can pretend with and discuss babies is your mother."

My daughter is such a sweet girl and doesn't appear to be "sick" in the least. I think she is fascinated by knowing that babies are in the bellies of the mom. I am concerned that she will do it again as she is passively hardheaded.

Did I say the right thing? Should I have said something else? What if it happens again?
Any thoughts?
My thoughts are that he responded very wisely to his daughter. Her behavior, as described, indicates normal, healthy curiosity. He told her that other families have different ways of handling things like this--just as they do with stuff like how much TV or ice cream their kids can have.

What are your thoughts?


that's me - Nandini said...

I am so so glad someone has written about this and this way. I have a lovely daughter...who will be five in June. I have told her all the same details as early as when she was 2 and a half years. Many people find it hard to believe or accept, but that is the truth. She calls it her 'birth story'and it is one of her favourite stories. I started from the two pink lines on the HPT. And she listed with interest and loved it till the end, when I explained how I put my legs up and how she came out and also spiced it up with details of our emotions soon after.
Then came the question but how did I get into ur stomach. Your dad put you in, I said.
Only recently I conceived again and thought it would be possible to show my daughter what I had been explaining all along. Unfortunately I could only show her the pink lines and a sonogaphy report. I had a missed abortion. This time she was worried if the doctor was taking away our baby. I told her baby had not been formed fully. She even understood my pain all through and the emoional state I was in. She did exactly what was needed at the moment and wept with me as we accepted the loss of our baby.
But what I want to say here is, it is never too early to explain anything. Instead of brushing it aside or giving false replies, it is better to tread on the honest path adn attempt to explain. Friends had raised the issue of the child saying what she is told, to someone else, embarras them. I never understood what is embarrasing about it. If my child misbehaved or spoke rudely, it would embarras me. Not if my child shares her knowledge.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to comment on the above poster's remarks. I think it's beautiful the way your relationship with your daughter is developing. Honesty does seem to be the best policy. Your reward is the your daughter knows you do not keep secrets from her and she understands why you've been sad about the baby. It's not a dark mystery that she'll worry about and wonder what is wrong. I'm sorry for your loss. Best wishes to you and your family.

that's me - Nandini said...

Thank you so much...i just hope the relation stays so good and gets better..

Danny in WV said...

I was raised 'don't ask-don't tell' about so many subjects--sex, money, hatred, grave illness, race, drugs, and on and on. I became a father at 43, so I had time to reflect on this, and I've tried to answer every question honestly. Still, I was constantly amazed that my girl (now 13) had so often learned or figured out more than I had told her! I think she often asked questions to confirm or consolidate her knowledge, but also to test my honesty and openness. Understand: This is my own observation, and it works for me. I don't preach or even prescribe. Children raised in all kinds of ways turn out great (or not, sadly), so I'm just offering my own experience for anyone pondering how to handle this. Think long and hard, do it your way, and do it with love, and it's all good.

generic viagra said...

I think that there is a time for everything and when our kids start asking "where babies come from" is better to explain them in their own words for them to understand.
Thanks for this article it will be very useful for many parents.

Elliott Broidy said...

such a touchy subject!