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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Facts of Life

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Sue Ellen Jackson

Parents Corner


Dear Sue Ellen,

My parents never taught me the facts of life so I learned it in the sex education class at school.  I grew up believing sex was something that shouldn’t be talked about.  My daughter is starting to ask me questions about where babies come from.   She’s four years old.  I think that is too young to start talking about anything sexual.  Should I just ignore her or tell her the stork brings babies?


Dear TJ,

When I a little girl I was pretty sure a stork didn’t drop me off at my parent’s house, but my older brother tried to convince me that an alien did.  It worried me.  It would have been a good thing if my parents had done a little clarification.

I can’t support telling little kids lies, even though it is easier for us to explain things that way.  So, how does one answer their four-year-old child’s question about where babies come from?  Or how do we deal with their curiosity when they start noticing that your body parts don’t look exactly like theirs?

The best thing to do is be honest and use age-appropriate words.  This may feel awkward, but try to keep an open mind.  There are books out there that can help you, but here is the reason why it is important to work through your discomfort with the sex talks and educate your child.  Not only are you teaching your children accurate information about the human body, but you are also teaching your child this is something you can talk about with them.  Hopefully they will bring their weird sex question to you and not the creepy kids on the school bus.

If you give your daughter the stork story and ignore her questions, she will grow up like you did, believing sex is something that shouldn’t be talked about with her family.  Would you prefer that she learn about sex at school through other kids or a teacher?  I don’t think any normal parent wants to think about their child becoming a sexual person when they grow up.   Gross!   Right?  But as parents, we must prepare our kids for life.

Did you know that a lot of med school students believe in abstaining from sex until marriage?  How do I know that?  I’ve talked to them about it.  When people have casual sex, a lot of really bad things can happen.  Horrible, nasty, stinky, oozing infections, unwanted pregnancies and emotional turmoil that could bring about a lifetime of bad consequences.  It’s our job as parents to begin teaching our children to avoid risky behaviors as soon as they start asking questions, or see something inappropriate on TV and ask you about it.

Sit down with your little girl and explain to her that boys and girls are made differently for a very beautiful reason.  Assure her that when she gets a little older you will be happy to go into more detail about how the different body parts work. Explain to her that anything under her bathing suit is her private areas and that she can always talk to you, but encourage her to avoid these kinds of chats with other little kids.  Mommy knows best…right?

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