Q: My six-year-old daughter asked how babies are made, and I told her. My problem is that my neighbours are not as comfortable with this information and my daughter is very open about her new-found knowledge with their kids. How do I explain to my daughter to not talk about such things, while not making her feel ashamed?
A: What a wonderful opportunity to talk about respecting different comfort levels. Explain to your daughter that some of the things you talk about in your home are private and not everybody is as comfortable as you are with talking about where babies come from. Pick a good time to chat, perhaps before bed. Be relaxed and celebrate her knowledge by saying something like “I’m so proud of you for learning something about where babies come from. I think it’s great you want to share what you know. Sally’s mom told me you shared what you learned with Sally. Sally’s mom feels she needs to be the one to tell Sally about where babies come from and this should be a private conversation between her and Sally. I think we should respect this. What do you think?” You can then turn this into a conversation about respecting how others feel. Sexuality is a complex topic that parents often have strong feelings about, so be respectful of your neighbours’ concerns.