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Life Lessons: Let’s Talk About Sex

After all my “preparation” to talk about the Birds and the Bees, Gavin finally asked me where babies came from. I have always made it a point not to make up stuff that isn’t true because I don’t want to have to un-explain things to him when he’s old enough to understand he’s been told the fluffy story. Besides, he was old enough to understand that a baby was growing inside my tummy and that a doctor helped me take the baby out, so I knew he wouldn’t buy the stork story anyway.

So this was what I finally told him:

When a man and a woman love each other very much, sometimes they decide that they want to make a baby. So they take a little bit of the man and a little bit of the woman and they put it inside the woman. The bit from the man is a called the sperm. The bit from the woman is called an ovum, or an egg. When the sperm and the egg join together, it creates a cell that grows and grows until it becomes a baby. When the baby is big enough, the doctor helps the woman to take the baby out of her tummy.

I figured this explanation was factually correct and that it provided sufficient information without being unnecessarily specific for his age. I also thought it would sufficiently satisfy Gavin until he said, “I wish I could have been there when you and Daddy made Didi.” I managed to deflect that one with a vague, “Well, when you’re older, Gavin, you’ll understand how that happens.”

Since Pat Thomas’ book on death went down so well, I decided to get this for him to reinforce the message about where babies come from:

My Amazing Jounrey: A First Look at Where Babies Come From – Pat Thomas.

I’m sure this discussion is far from over, but I think we’ve got it pretty much covered for now. Next up is the big one on religion… Anyone got any tips? I don’t think I’ve seen any book that sufficiently covers that topic.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

8 thoughts on “Life Lessons: Let’s Talk About Sex

  1. I once read a book to V about how baby is made by Scholastic, also a good source, I can’t recall the exact title, but very informative, detail and with interesting illustration, though a little bit technical, only remember borrowed from Tropicana library.

    On death- V used to read history books on pyramids and mummies by Anne Bolton, another book on Explore within An Egyptian Mummy by Lorraine Jean Hopping, both are interesting, I read to her when she was 4, before our visits to a museum overseas. These 2 books are for kids 8 up, why read these book, many reasons, to understand history, certain ancient philosophy, or as a casual reading, etc. Books illustrating actual death, they are many this sort of books in Singapore Public Library, quite interesting thou, not many here.


    1. I got Gavin the book by Pat Thomas. Ordered it online so hopefully it is good. He sort of has the idea already because I talked to him about it but I thought they might give him illustrations and a better overall idea about it.

      I do read books to Gavin that are also “beyond” his reading level. I believe in Charlotte Mason’s theory – do not dumb down books to kids, they do understand a lot more than we give them credit for. I have been reading a wide variety of books to Gavin since he was a baby so he can hear the differences in the language. I do believe it has contributed to his keen interest in books and reading. Just the other day, Gareth picked up a book and was pretending to read to himself making babbling sounds as he flipped through the pages and it reminded me of Gavin when he was very little who also used to do the same thing.


  2. I do teach V religion, not that I have a lot offer, but because moral value in important especially in this kind of material world. I introduce several story books for her to read, mostly with compilation of short stories, value on Christianity, I use, namely ” “Bible Stories For Children” by Publications International, Ltd”, value on Buddhism, I use only ” The Dhammapada”, compiled by Rev. Dr K Sri Dhammananda, ( this print hardly elsewhere, I bought years back in UM’s bookstore.) Most religion books contain myth, legend and exaggeration, nevertheless the moral teachings have remarkable resemblance to that of the sermon of both The Christ and The Buddha. But because I don’t want her to mistakenly think that since she is reading stories so that both Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha were fabricated figures, I then sum up by also reading to her certain small topic talking about the rise of religion in the ancient world, in “Children’s World History Encyclopedia”, only little part of
    it is useful to this topic, further provides immerse historical value.


    1. Religion is one topic I have yet to really touch on with Gavin. He sees the Taoist practices that my MIL does because we live together and when he asks me what is going on, I tell him what my MIL tells me. Although I have to be really honest that I don’t believe in what she does. I respect her beliefs and I help her with all her religious ceremonies but I do not believe in them. I want to teach my sons to be respectful of the beliefs of others but to make their own choices and not to follow things blindly. That is still something I have yet to figure out. The last thing I want is for my son to say something insensitive to my MIL because he is just mimicking my belief.

      I believe moral education and religion are two separate topics. Religious groups do teach morals using their stories, but I also believe you can teach the same lessons without religion. However, I do not want my children to be intolerant of the beliefs of others.


  3. I have these series of books called Quality English Learning, ” The Black Cat Collection,” series of classics to intermediary students ( 12+) in Hong Kong with books, activities and audio CDS to listen to do up questions posed, a terrific collection as I never see books that were so carefully designed to enhance childrens’ literacy skills, I suggest you to google to check. Well I bought through a bookstore here, approximately 50 books all together, level 6 might be not suitable as that consist of romance stories such as Emma, The Scarlet Letter, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Purloined Letter as well as The Problem of Cell 13. I must say the audio CDs is excellent to listen and to keep for future.


  4. Yes, you are right, moral teaching may not be found only in religious book, but bc I don’t think I am greater than The Christ and Buddha and since I have nothing to offer V of her question of where was her share pei dog had gone to after death, so I must also tell her what is in the belief. Her question didn’t stop to the fact of death but further. With careful study, no one would perceive Taoism as the the same as Buddhism or Judaism is Christianity. And more importantly religion is not only ceremony that I am concerned, but the understanding of psychological aspect for the intellectual well endowed, especially when I have a curious child who is so curious about where her dog had gone to and would he come back tonight ?tomorrow ? Why was he still not back ? In heaven ? and to the extent she mourned almost every night shortly after its death for a month, she was only 4 last year. To an adult, it’s unavoidable, but how to teach her to understand the eventuality as
    I know that is attachment and the grief springs from endearment, and endearment springs fear and so on, and the teaching is definitely beyond her understanding, so the offering of stories are the best to
    curb indulgent in sadness.


    1. Gavin has accepted all the things I have told him about death and also what we have read from the books so perhaps that is why I haven’t felt it necessary to dive deeper. Also, although he has experienced the death of a great grandmother, I think he cannot “feel” it quite as much as your daughter and her dog because his great grandmother was always a distant person for him. He did not interact with her on a regular basis and could not really identify with her because she was quite immobile by the time he was old enough to interact with her. I think that the knowledge of knowing their beloved pet is in heaven offers comfort for children rather than always wondering where their pet has gone. I think that knowledge is a comfort for us even as adults!


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