Having a really good memory can be both a blessing and a curse, whether each of these at different times or both at the very same time! It was indeed this realisation which led me to sit the kids down with my partner and have the infamous birds and bees talk after convincing my partner that it’s never too soon to have it.
Before I get into the discussion of just how one can go about this very sensitive topic, however, I feel it pertinent to explain just why I strongly believe it’s never too early. The truth is children are extremely receptive and they often know a lot more than what they let on, particularly when it comes to issues surrounding what is then considered to be the very “naughty” topic of sex and reproduction. My oh so good memory set my heart racing at 100 kilometres an hour when my cousin and I were going through her photo album, one of which photos set off a memory of her telling me all about “something called sex” which is apparently meant only for adults, back when we were really small.
And so that was my first ever lesson on the birds and the bees, as a five-year-old, coming from a fellow five-year-old…
Is that how you’d want your kids to learn about the birds and bees? I highly doubt that, which is why I feel you should have “the talk” with them as early as you possibly can and even then, it shouldn’t just be a one-off thing.
This memory of mine served to highlight two things – one being that of kids getting “the talk” in any case while they’re still very young, be it from their equally ill-informed cousin as was the case with me or from their peers. These days it makes for even more of an unfortunate situation because kids are just as savvy with technology such as the internet as they are with anything else, so there’s just more to worry about by way of misinformation which can be really harmful.
The other point it highlighted was indeed that of the fact that kids get exposed to this information regarding the birds and the bees very early on their lives, some even earlier than with me at what is a rather late five years of age, relatively speaking!
So it’s not a matter of if or when to plan for the birds and the bees talk, but rather a question of how you’re going to plan for it because I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell you that it’s just not easy.
Fortunately, there are some aids you can use in the form of age-appropriate videos which you can watch together with your kids and discuss what you both see with them, so too some books. The important part of proceedings, however, is that of your engagement with your children to make sure they fully understand how everything “really works,” which should perhaps start with you asking them what they already think they know so that you can correct them where they’ve been misinformed.