When my children were little it was my practice to be ready with answers to awkward questions. I gave them out on a need to know basis and never fobbed my sons off with the easy and tempting ‘ask dad’ or ‘I’ll tell you when you are older.’ I tailored my responses to their age and level of understanding. ‘Where to babies come from’ would not have got as complex an answer at five as at ten when they seemed to have the terminology down pat but didn’t understand what it meant.
My three year old grandson tucks a balloon under his jumper and says he’s having a baby. He saw his mum grow fat then thin and worked it out with a little help from mum and dad. We’re all hoping he’ll keep on asking us the questions. There’s no hiding information from him so we’re going to have to give him our own honest opinions on issues as he gets older.
Of course these days children don’t have to wait until they are older, they can get their education off the internet. I am glad that I no longer have to deal with parenting (grand parenting being one removed and not as stressful). Children five and even younger have all sorts of access to electronic information that can be misleading or even culturally inappropriate.
My advice is that if parents want to be one step ahead of their children, they should also look things up on the internet. I’m big on encouraging constant real time communication; children can always talk to their friends at school and to talk to you at home. Limit texting and internet time; keep the computer in the kitchen or family room or wherever you can keep an eye on what your child is doing. That last, I thought was my own tip but it turns out that it is also a ‘top tip’ on an Australian Government website. It has all sorts of information and I include it because I think it is a good start on your journey even if you live elsewhere: