It’s not always easy to answer young children’s questions about sexuality! Read our tips on how to answer their questions.
A few tips for answering young children’s questions
- Show openness. Emphasize that the child has come to you to get information, and respect their questions.
“I’m glad you came to see me to ask me your question.”
- Turn the question back to the child to find out what they know about the subject. Then correct or add information as needed. Pay attention to the child’s questions and answers because they’ll tell you about the child’s stage of psychosexual development.
“What about you? How do you think babies are made?”
- Remember: you convey your values to the child through your answers and your silences.
- Allow yourself to say to the child that you want to think about the question before answering.
“That’s a good question! Let me think about it, I will get back to you.”
- If you promise to answer the child, make sure you follow through.
- Tell the child they can trust you and come back to see you if they have other questions about sex.
- Feel free to reframe or refuse to answer questions from the child if they are about your own private life.
- Avoid prejudice about differences
Did you know…
….that not answering, avoiding the question or saying “we don’t talk about that” are attitudes that send a message to the child that they should not talk to you about sex. This can lead the child to find their answers from less reliable sources, such as their friends, or, later, online. It can also lead the child to avoid telling you if they are in a risky situation or are a victim of sexual violence.
Where do babies come from?
Level 1. Babies are made with a seed from the daddy and an egg from the mommy. They meet and form a baby in the mommy’s tummy. The baby is very small at first, like a grain of rice! Then it grows, and grows for a couple of seasons in the mommy’s tummy. We call this “pregnancy.” The mommy’s tummy also grows, to make space for the baby and give it room to move. When the baby is ready, it’s born. The day you are born is your birthday.
Level 2. When a daddy and a mommy love each other, they may want to be very close, to kiss and snuggle with all the parts of their bodies. At that moment, sometimes a seed from the daddy, called a “sperm,” meets up with an egg from the mommy. When the sperm and the egg meet, they form a baby in a bag called the “uterus,” which is inside the mommy’s tummy. At first, the baby is smaller than a grain of rice. It’s called an “embryo.” Then, it grows and grows for several months, and the mommy’s tummy grows too. This is called “pregnancy.” The baby is born when it finally comes out of the mommy’s tummy and can be held in its parents’ arms.
Level 3. When a daddy and mommy love each other very much, they may want to be very close, to kiss and snuggle with all the parts of their bodies. Sometimes, their private parts also snuggle. This is called “making love.” The daddy and mommy feel a lot of pleasure. Sometimes, little seeds called “sperm” come out of the daddy’s penis and go find a little egg in the mommy’s tummy. If a sperm succeeds in finding an egg, a baby is made! At first, the baby is smaller than a grain of rice, and it’s called an “embryo.” Then, it grows and grows for several months, and the mommy’s tummy grows too. This is called “pregnancy.” When the baby is ready, it has to come out of the mommy’s tummy through her private parts, called the “vagina” and the “vulva.” The mommy pushes very hard with the muscles of her tummy, and her vagina opens up to let the baby pass through. The baby is born when it finally comes out of the mommy’s tummy and can be held in its parents’ arms.
Did you know that…
It is more damaging for the child if you don’t answer or if you invent an answer to their question, rather than replying frankly with a short response.