The following query came during a Boston.com readers Q&A with Child Caring writer Barbara Meltz, who takes questions again at 1 p.m. this Monday:
Question: Hi Barbara, I'm wondering what age you think is appropriate to have the "where do babies come from" chat. I have a 10-year-old boy who is asking a lot of questions. Yes, I let him watch PG-13 movies, but that only involves kissing. With all the Viagra commercials on and everything else on TV -- I'm thinking I'd better have a conversation with him before he hears it from someone else.
He has told me that other kids talk about this at school. BUTTT, then I'm worried he'll tell his friends at school what we told him and that will cause a problem. Yes - this has happenend to someone I know. Other parents then wouldn't allow any play dates with the boy who shared the birds and bees story. ANy suggestions you could provide would be great!!!!!!!! Please and THANK YOU!!
Barbara Meltz: Gogreen, youf son is way overdue for this conversation. Your silence on the subject means he's getting his information -- or should I say, misinformation -- from his peers. I suggest you get a book to read together -- my favorite is, "What's Happening to Me? An Illustrated Guide to Puberty" by Peter Mayle. IHe may be too embarassed to read it with you, or to even admit that he's interested; just leave it out where he can have access to it.
I would also have a SHORT conversation with him sometime when the two of you are in the car (so he doesn't have to make eye contact). The first time you bring the subject up, your goal is simply to let him know you are approachable on the subject: "I know you must be having some questions about where babies come from, and boys and girls, and changes in your body. I know we've never talked about anythign like that before, but I just want you to know that if you have any questions, I'm happy to try to answer them." Then let it rest. The first question will come when you least expect it!
Agree with Barbara's advice? Have some of your own? Let Boston.com know in the comments section.