Parents Sometimes Struggle With 'Birds And Bees' Talk
"Where do babies come from?"
It is the question that can throw parents out of their comfort zone.
Bobbi Jo Gonzalez was at the zoo when the question first came up.
"We were at the zoo and the rhinos had given birth," she explained. "And that's where the awkward question came up - 'Where do babies come from?'"
Gonzalez says the question was asked so loud, many of the other parents turned to laugh.
Her daughters were in elementary school at the time.
Gonzalez says she answered the question in an appropriate way.
Dr. Elise Berlan of Nationwide Children's Hospital says it is a good move.
The physician practices what she preaches which means answering kid questions when they come up. It also means starting the conversations when the little ones.. are little.
The doctor says when you have evolving talks over time, she says it becomes the stuff of life.
"If you really want to help your kids and family have these discussions later, it's good to have anatomically correct discussions from the very beginning," said Berlan.
Berlan says that being truthful about body parts sets the tone for later discussions about things like puberty and sex. The doctor says the talks should be within the context of your own family's values.
"As they get older and older, give them more and more information. And if they really ask some direct questions, that's the time to be as open as you can be."
Gonzalez uses honesty, mixed with a little humor. The first baby conversation set the tone.
"It was better because she didn't say, 'Oh, they come from the cabbage patch' -- you know a little more trust," said Angela, Gonzalez's daughter.
"We are able to broach topics that would otherwise be difficult to discuss -- in an open manner," said Elise.
"And I go to my mom -- which is really nice, cause I know a lot of people who can't actually do that," said Angela.
There is no standard content or standard age for human sexuality instruction. The doctor says it is important to be able to take the subject matter into your own hands.
She recommended a book called 'It's Not The Stork: A book about girls, boys, babies, bodies, families and friends' by Robie Harris and Michael Emberley.