Opening lines of communication is the easiest way to give your young person the self-confidence to ask the questions on their mind.
Opening Advice: If they have the question try not to say things like “You aren’t old enough to know”
These types of responses can veil sexuality as something mysterious and shameful.
If you are not ready to handle the question know how to respectfully delay.
*Content Note: I love “Planned Parenthood’s Let’s Be Honest Strategy” for answering questions for young people. Link
Talking About Difficult Topics
Remember you want to be warm and open. If you are embarrassed that’s okay. Think about what amount of information that you are prepared to give in that moment.
Young Person: Mom, how did the baby get inside you?
Step 1: Validate.
Adult: I am glad you asked me that. There is a lot to the answer.
Step 2: Clarify
Adult: Are you curious about how babies are made or how they are able to grow inside of me?
Young Person: How did it get inside of you.
Adult: To make a baby, sperm from a man’s body and an egg from a woman’s body must meet together.
Now, this could be the end of the conversation. If this is sufficient for the young person stop here. If the young person wants more information and you are not sure where to go with the conversation consider delaying. We love Robie Harris for books that explain sexuality in simple terms for young people starting at age 3 or 4. Check out the book “It’s not the stork” by Robie Harris. (page 28)