We just had THE TALK with Paulina. She is only six, and this definitely happened with her earlier than it did with me. I remember getting a great book from my parents when I was eight. I read it intently. I asked a lot of questions, but I was two years older than her when it happened to me. Paulina has been asking questions about babies for a long time. I think she was about three when she asked the first serious questions. We were very factual in describing the various systems of the human body. She especially loved the cardio-pulmonary system and, as she termed it, the "baby system." The questions got more and more probing until we simply could not avoid answering them precisely. Hence, we got an age-appropriate book and had the talk.
"The talk" went better than expected. There were a few of the giggles triggered by talking about sex with children and teenagers. There was very little interest on the intercourse section -- which will almost certainly change in a few years. Paulina was fascinated by the fact that the sperm and egg carry the DNA that defines a baby. She has known about DNA for quite some time and that half of the material comes from each parent, but it was a revelation for her that the sperm and the egg are the vessels.
I always wondered when we would have the talk with Paulina. It happened sooner than I expected, but things rarely happen when you want them to. It went better than I imagined it would, but I think things may get a bit more interesting when other kids in her class start talking about sex. In any case, she is the youngest second grader in her school, and it makes sense to help her prepare to handle the situation by teaching her facts and helping her understand what they all mean.
In case somebody is looking for a book appropriate for young kids, we bought
What's the Big Secret by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown.