Birds, Bees, 3 Yr Old

Lounge By mellormom Updated 28 Jul 2008 , 8:41pm by Texas_Rose

mellormom Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 4:53pm
post #1 of 16

What did you tell your 3 year old about the birds and the bees?
I'm just looking for some creative ideas that will answer his questions but not give to much away. icon_wink.gif
Thanks!
Jen...

15 replies
mbelgard Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 5:16pm
post #2 of 16

Exactly what questions is he asking? With very little kids I'm of the only answering the questions they ask and giving just basic information.

Sex ed with very small children can lead to problems. When my niece was three my sister told her proper terms and let her watch a birth video in response to questions regardign pregnancy. It wasn't an issue until she started informing all the kids at preschool about the facts of life, some parents don't take kindly to their children being told about vaginas. There was also a problem with my neice lifting her shirt to nurse the baby dolls at school.

My SIL recently made a comment about not knowing what to tell her boys their private parts were called, they've been using the term "little boy parts" but she worries about other parents getting upset when their children hear a term they don't approve.

mellormom Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 5:25pm
post #3 of 16

He just wants to know where babies come from. And because he is in the why stage the questions don't end.
Jen...

funcakes Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:05pm
post #4 of 16

When I studied early childhood education and child psychology a few decades ago we were told to encourage children to call their body parts by the correct name, after so much time with little ones I don't think it matters one bit what the call it or what words they use to describe their need to use the bathroom, but logic should rule to teach them a word or phrase that all adults will understand. Several of my students learned cutsey little words for needing to use the bathroom that no one knew what they were talking about! OOPS!
When my own kids were 3 I simply told them that babies grew in a special place in a mommy's body right under her heart. That seemed to work for them.
Sometimes little ones seem to get into the "Why?" loop and can't seem to stop asking even after they are no longer interested in the answer to their questions. What a hoot they are!
This is 2008-I can't believe that parents get upset when little girls play with baby dolls and pretend to feed them by lifting their little shirts. I thought we all got over that Victorian idea in the 70's. Live and Learn. The more things change the more they actually stay the same I guess. Personally I don't see anything shameful, or embarrassing about the act of nursing. I do think we should find it shameful and embarrassing to allow our children to view violence on TV, movies and video games, but that's just me.

mbelgard Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:29pm
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by funcakes


This is 2008-I can't believe that parents get upset when little girls play with baby dolls and pretend to feed them by lifting their little shirts. I thought we all got over that Victorian idea in the 70's. Live and Learn. The more things change the more they actually stay the same I guess. Personally I don't see anything shameful, or embarrassing about the act of nursing. I do think we should find it shameful and embarrassing to allow our children to view violence on TV, movies and video games, but that's just me.




I don't see what the big deal was either, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have gotten so worked up about a boy showing his chest for some reason. My sister and I got a big laugh out of it because we thought it was cute.



When my SIL expressed concern about what names to use I told her I don't think it matters much because no matter what some parent will be unhappy with the terms she teaches.

mkerton Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 8:15pm
post #6 of 16

My son is 3 and I was just pregnant and he just said the baby was in mommy's tummy and that was it....as for what we call things, when my niece was 3 1/2 and my son was born she screamed at the sight of me changing his diaper, while it was hilarious she worried about why he was born differently, we just explained that boys and girls have different parts, he has boy parts and she has girl parts. I dont feel the need to get technical with a 3 year old.

Mike1394 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 8:22pm
post #7 of 16

Tell him they come from walmart.

Mike

mkerton Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 8:28pm
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Tell him they come from walmart.

Mike




that cracks me up, when i was just shy of 4 my youngest sister was born, so apparently I told my Mom to go to Revco (which was like an osco) and get my other sister (who was 2 at the time) her own baby because my baby sister was mine! LOL Mom said I never asked where they came from but I must have assumed they came from the store!

cakesbycathy Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 10:10pm
post #9 of 16

Also, kids at that age often ask "why?" not because they really want to know something. Sometimes they just want to continue talking in conversation, but don't have the verbal skills.

When my sister was pregnant, my then 3 1/2 year old twin boys were very curious about how the baby was going to get out of Aunt Ellen's belly. We told them "the doctor will help the baby come out." That answer worked just fine icon_smile.gif

shooterstrigger Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:21am
post #10 of 16

We use proper terms because I don't like slang and i want to know if someone else is talking to my kids about private things. We have a 3 year old boy. So far "girls don't have a penis" has been enough answer. I believe in answering their questions but find out what the real question is and answer no more than that. Adults just get to flustered when they think kids are asking about sex and many times they aren't really.

As far as where babies come from....we were at the store the other day and DS wanted me to buy this "baby" toy. He really likes to play with toys that are too immature for him. I told him no we weren't buying baby toys because we do not have any babies. He throws up his hands and says well lets just buy a baby to go along with it.

barbaranoel Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 2:27am
post #11 of 16

My oldest son was 5 when my youngest was born. He asked how the baby got in mommy's tummy, we just told him daddy put it there. Thank fully he didn't ask for any more questions. But with him we found that if we take the simplest answer first - the most vague, and if he asked more questions, we can always add more information.

It might have taken him days or weeks to process the information, but he would come back with the next logical question.

BTW - we always called the boy's privates - "Willies" I don't know where it came from but it works. My youngest always says "Boys have willies and girls don't" Every once in awhile he will say "Mommy, you don't have a willy and I do!" A couple of years ago he wanted to get his friend Katherine a willy for Christmas. Evidently he thinks that they are so awesome everyone should have one!

Just today my 10yr old was saying how he was going to Willis Intermediate school next year and of course the little one asks "Willis, is that anything like a Willie?"

Can you tell my little one keeps me in stitches?

Barb

4Gifts4Lisa Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 3:19pm
post #12 of 16

Barb...willies ARE awesome icon_biggrin.gif They get to pee standing up!!!

We teach proper terms here, b/c I don't want my kid growing up not knowing what her body parts are called, OR thinking there is something so horribly shameful about the part that we think of a make-up word for it. We don't do it for elbows, why for her labia? <snicker> When my older kids were younger I think I told them something along the lines of "Mommy has an egg and it grows in her tummy". When they got older I was able to upgrade to "uterus". I have always told the truth.

When my DD (5) had a UTI she was able to tell the doctor "my labia hurts when I pee". Not "my neener hurts when I tinkle"...HUH?!?!

My two year old just recently told me, "MOM! My labia burped!" I think it took me two days to stop laughing and pick myself up off the floor...

Mike...I am DYING at your answer!!! I think I spit my coffee out!!!

margaretb Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 4:37pm
post #13 of 16

There is an EXCELLENT book called "More Speaking of Sex: What Your Children Need to Know and When They Need to Know It" by Meg Hickling. I had read an article about this topic in a parenting magazine, and they quoted Meg Hickling as the expert advice, so I got her book from the library. She is a public health nurse in BC and has done tons of sex ed stuff in schools etc. She calls all the sex ed stuff body science, and she just answers things factually using proper science names (penis, labia, etc). One thing that really stuck with me from the book was a section where she says she had either spoken to or worked with (I forget which) convicted pedophiles, and they told her that one way they screen for the victims is whether the child knows the proper names for body parts. If he/she does, then obviously there is a concerned parent/guardian who speaks to the child about these things regularly. I use proper names, eg penis, but to be honest, I don't think I would have even known the correct names for the female parts, can you believe it (I only have boys). I was actually pregnant when I read the book, and three days after I finished, my four year old asked how the baby would come out. I was flustered, but I was sure relieved I had read the book so I could answer reasonably well. (I told him that there was an opening between my legs where the baby would come out, compared it to how there is an opening where poop can come out and also to how calves are born, since we live on a farm -- I just tried to be all sciency about it). Now that I am reminded about it, I think I am going to have to buy that book.

I taught for a couple years before I had kids, and during parent teacher interviews, a grade two parent came in all upset because her daugher now knew what a dink was. I didn't know what to say -- obviously this was something she learned on the playground, and reallly, I thought it was weird that she wouldn't have known it already.

michellenj Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 5:24pm
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Gifts4Lisa


My two year old just recently told me, "MOM! My labia burped!" I think it took me two days to stop laughing and pick myself up off the floor...




That is hilarious. They say the darndest things!

margaretb Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 6:59pm
post #15 of 16

On the topic of funny things -- playhouse disney channel has the mickey mouse gang holding peanuts singing "shake shake shake, shake your peanut". I didn't know about that little ditty until after we had gone swimming. We were in the locker room and the boys were naked and they started doing a little wiggle dance singing the song. Now, my three year old doesn't always ennunciate, so you can imagine how that looked, little naked boys shaking their booty singing "shake shake shake, shake your peanu...".

Texas_Rose Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 8:41pm
post #16 of 16

I taught my girls the scientific terms for the body parts. I did it because when my oldest was two months old I noticed she had a hernia, and I took her to the doctor and when I was describing the problem, I referred to the problem area as her girl parts, and the doctor stood there and lectured me on the proper names of everything. I decided then that we would use the real names for things so that my kids would be able to tell a doctor what was wrong better than I was able to.

My oldest wanted to know all of the facts of life at age four. She kept asking question after question until she understood everything. We had to go and get a book at the library...I don't remember the name of it, but it shows the chickens doing it, then dogs, then shows people in bed with feet sticking out. And then she used to tell people, "Do you know how mom and dad made my little sister?"

My younger daughter knows that babies grow in tummies, but that's all she knows. She's not at all interested in how they get there, gets upset if anyone changes clothes in front of her, won't sleep in just a t-shirt and panties no matter how hot it is in the house...I always thought modesty was learned but I guess not.

One thing about learning the proper names for the parts is that it gives the kids the words to tell someone if something happens...even something minor. My daughter Valerie seems to be the kind of kid who inspires little boys to whip it out, and there were two times at school when she had to tell her teacher that some boy had showed her his penis (and three times other ones showed her their underpants, she actually came home talking about tighty-whities and I went to talk to the teacher, who told me about the penis sightings). Anyhow, our school likes to ignore everything, but the p-word got the teacher's attention icon_biggrin.gif

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