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Talk to children about gender

Cup of Jo has been in operation for 13 years (!) So we decided that, now and again, we will highlight one of the most popular posts of the past. This is one of our favorites, first published Jan. 26, 2015.

One day, I was putting four-year-old Toby in bed, when he turned to me and asked …

“When I get older, won’t I have a chin?”

At first I didn’t know what he was talking about, but then I realized that most of the men he knew had beards, so he thought his chin would disappear. I explained that he may or may not have a beard, and he will have a chin no matter what.

I thought my job there was done, and was about to go into the living room to watch TV with Alex, but his next question was …

“How did Anton get into your stomach?”

Great question, Tobes!

Back when I was five years old my sister and I heard on the school bus coming home shocking Mechanic, we hurried home to ask her, and I remember sitting in my bedroom when she told us about reality, how it all works, and a few days later. We all read “Where do I come from? “The book is very good and funny (” feels like a sneeze! “) But it feels a bit out of date now.

So I was looking for a new book for Toby and here’s what I found …

Talk to children about gender

Seedlings. As for Toby, I read this beautiful, captivating book about a boy, revealed by his parents over breakfast that they were expecting another baby. The boy wondered where the baby would come from, and asked the babysitter, the teacher, the postman, and the grandfather. They all gave him different answers, and in the end when he asked his parents, they told him directly and honestly (and somewhat abstractly :). It’s really sweet, and I like that the last page of the book deals with more in-depth questions – about adoption, same-sex parents, etc.

For older children:

4-8 years old: It is not a stork!
7-10 years old: It is amazing!
10 years and older: It is completely normal

These three books by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley are PERFECT. They talk about body, sex, birth, adoption, different types of family – and for teenagers, puberty, contraception, gay, masturbation, you can name it . It is very open and accepting of children’s questions and feelings, and writes with a warm, direct voice.

Pamela Druckerman wrote one Essay of The New York Times On the Dutch’s inspirational approach to teaching children about sex:

Obviously, the Dutch are at the forefront of sex education, and they have little difficulty discussing this topic. Parents in the Netherlands have a lot of casual, age-appropriate conversations about their children, for many years, starting from a young age. Compulsory sex education begins in elementary school and includes lessons about respect for transgender, bisexual or homosexual people.

Sanderijn van der Doef, a psychologist, said: “If we start with sex education when children are teenagers, or even just before they start to have an interest in sex, then I think you are too late. there is interest, and then they have the right to receive a correct answer. “

Dr. Van der Doef says that parents should give simple, clear answers. If your child has more questions, he will ask. When your baby is 3 or 4 years old, “You can start to explain very simply that Mommy has a small egg in her belly, Dad has very small sperm in his body and when the sperm meets the egg, a baby will grow to the mother’s belly. “Three-year-olds rarely ask how sperm and eggs meet. If they do, “then you have a very smart kid of that age, and that means that kid needs answers,” she added.

How about you? Have your little dudes ask where babies come from? What did you tell them? How did your parents tell you? I wanna listen…

PS How to get your kids talking at dinner, and conversation with a four year old child.

(Illustrated by Sophie Blackall for Seedlings)



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