When Toddlers Ask about Sex


‘Mom, how did that baby get in your tummy?’ Suddenly, you stumble and begin to stutter—the stork seems like a great answer. What will you say?
One of the easiest ways to regain your footing and your ability to speak is by using a stalling technique. These come in handy when dealing with parenting questions, from toddlerhood to University. They give us time to gather our wits, seek out information, and teach our child that adults don’t know everything but are happy to do some research.

  1. Begin your stall with encouragement for asking a good question:
    • That’s a great question
    • I’m really glad that you asked that
  2. Follow that with a clarification to determine what is really being asked:
    • What do you think?
    • So you’re asking me…
    • Where did you hear that?
    • What else did Suzy say?
  3. Finally, buy yourself some time:
    • Hmm, now what is the best way for me to explain that?
    • I don’t know—I can check into it for you though
    • Sounds important—why don’t I check with Mom/Dad and see when we can talk about this as a family

Having landed yourself an opportunity to discuss these questions with your co-parent (or anyone else for that matter), you can develop a plan to answer these questions honestly and with information relevant to your child’s level of development.

Discussing confusing issues with honesty and some sense of comfort early on can set a model for honest communication in the future. If you’re looking for answers, we offer courses in what to say and how to say it. We can also recommend a list of great books to read on your own or with your child. Just email us at [email protected].


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