Thursday, July 10, 2014

I Know Why Boys Like Girls

"I think I finally figured out why boys like girls," my five year old announced as I tucked him into bed.  This idea has been puzzling him greatly.  What is the fascination that boys have with girls?  Why do people want to be married?  Why is it a big deal to cover up privates?  The last one, especially, has plagued him.  It just doesn't make any sense to him.  He would be just fine walking through life naked and doesn't see why anyone else has an issue with it.  He thinks every one else should be just as open.  

I have struggled with these questions - How much information is too much?  What is age appropriate?  He has sensed my discomfort and it has only increased his curiosity.  We answered questions in this vein for months as he tried to figure out how I got a baby in my belly and how, exactly, that baby was going to make her exit.  This time was a bit different.  He was bringing me a conclusion rather than a question.  I was intrigued to find out what he had discovered.
"Eyes up, buddy.  Now tell me what you've figured out.  Why do boys like girls?" I asked.  I have had to talk to him a few times about staring at my chest.  This was one of those times.  He dutifully lifted his big brown eyes and said earnestly, "It's because their privates are so interesting.  They just want to see them."

Uh...yeah...that's about right.  I took that in for a second and said, "That's true, buddy.  And when you are married you will be able to see your wife's body," I explained.  I'm not exactly that conservative in my views but I figured this was the easiest way to get my point across.
"But I'm not going to get married.  I'm going to live with Granny, remember?" he said as his brain went into overdrive processing the implications of this decision.  
"Oh that's right.  Well, that's up to you," I told him.
"I might have to think about this some more," he said.

As a parent, it can be so hard to know how to answer their questions without either giggling or telling them way too much.  The topics they bring up can be so incredibly uncomfortable!  And yet, they will figure things out whether we tell them or not.  They will reach conclusions about a whole myriad of touchy subjects, even at the tender age of five.  Our children should be able to come to us with those conclusions.  They need a safe place to wonder about things and get their facts straight, even if it makes us squirm.

Are there any topics that you tend to skirt when your children bring them up?  The next time it happens, try asking what they think.  You just might be surprised at their answers.

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