So my kids asked some big questions recently. It came as the culmination of a few different chats about chickens and eggs. I don’t think our kids are necessarily any more curious than other kids. But we have a very open relationship with our kiddos because we talk about so many things as a family. Sidney and I are quick to answer their questions when they have them and make sure they are getting accurate information.
We have had many talks with the kids – for us, “the sex talk” won’t be a one-time deal, I’m sure. But recently we had the most – what’s the word? – informative conversation we’ve ever had. The one where all their previous questions about babies and mommies and daddies and eggs and everything came together. It went something like this:
“Mom, I have a question. Why do chicken eggs need a rooster for them to hatch, if they are laid by the hen?”
“Because an egg has to be fertilized to make a baby chicken. Babies take a mom and a dad.”
“How does that work?”
“Like plants. Remember the show we watched about plants being fertilized? It’s a similar process for animals, too, except it’s called mating.”
Evan chimed in at this point. “Like Papa’s bull mates with the cows so they can have babies?”
“Yes. Just like that.”
“But they don’t have pollen?”
“No. They have special cells called sperm instead of cells called pollen. When the sperm meets the egg inside the mommy it becomes fertilized and can turn into a baby.”
*pauses as they finish setting the breakfast table.*
Brianna asked, “And that works for humans, too? That’s why a baby needs a mommy and a daddy? To fertilize the egg with the sperm like mating cows need a bull and a mommy cow.”
“Right! That’s exactly right about the physical act of mating being similar – we are both mammals. But there is a difference between humans and cows.
Cows are controlled by their hormones and do not decide who to mate with and they aren’t given a choice. Papa decides which bull the cows get to hang out with, and one bull is the father of many baby calves.
With humans, we have the ability to make WISE decisions and don’t have to be just controlled by our hormones. God gives us the ability to choose our mates carefully so we can give our babies a good family – a good mother or a good father. That’s one of the reasons why it is best to wait until marriage before making babies because that is the most committed relationship. We’re ready for breakfast – let’s pray for God to bring the right people to you, ok?”
So we prayed and included a prayer about their future. Then we were distracted by the food for a bit. Sidney asked if the kids had any other questions and the only question was if all mammals give birth to live young, then are baby zebras wet and slimy like baby goats? We offered to try to find a video of baby zebras after breakfast, and that was that!
You can see more tips for how to handle this important topic, and why I think the sex talk should not wait until Junior High on my column today at Everyday Family.
How have you handled this topic with your kids?