Sex education for your five year old: what not to say…

My husband and I made a pact to never lie to our kids. We quickly learned this was an idiotic pact as we informed our children that the local soft play was closed. Again. (How they earn a living, I’ll never know *inserts winky face).

We changed the pact to never giving misinformation to our kids. The pact needed to exist because my husband still thought thunder was created by clouds banging together, despite gaining a physics a-level, and we didn’t want our children to feel aggrieved later in life by incorrect facts they had been told, just to shut them up.

Death? No problem. I stick to the facts. We return to the earth and feed the flora and fauna in the same way it feeds us during our lifetimes. “But I don’t want you to die, Mummy,” my five year old says forlornly. “We all die. But hopefully by the time I die, I’ll be really old and you will have spent a good few years wiping my bottom for me as I won’t be able to use a toilet any more…or not even know my own name for that matter.” See? Facts.

Sex education? Easy. Simple facts. No need to go into details of who has to sleep in the damp patch. Just cold, hard facts. But I don’t have to think about this right now. My eldest is five. She won’t ask about the birds and bees for at least another two years.

Five year old: “Mum…when I grow up to be a lady, I’m going to have lots of babies. *Thinks for a moment* How will I get a baby in my tummy?”

Shit. Really? Shit. Ok. Facts….seed. Seed in tummy. That’ll do.

Me: “A seed gets planted inside your tummy and a baby grows.”

Lame. Really lame.

Five year old: “Do I eat the seed?”

Just say yes. Eating the seed is good…Hang on…NO! NO TO EATING THE SEED! 

Me: “No…ummmm…I tell you what…get your pjs on and we’ll have a little chat about how babies are made.”

Good. Stalling. I like it. Load up DisneyCollectorBR on youtube and she’ll forget all about it.

Me: “You know…it’s not inevitable you’ll want children. Lots of people decide not to. Both your uncles have decided not to have children. Your body. You can do what you want with it…and if that means not having children, then fine.”

Female empowerment. I like where you’re going with this…

Five year old: “So, how do I get a baby in my tummy?”

You carried on talking. Why did you do that? The feminist cause could have waited…

Me: “So…you know girls have…”

Use it’s proper name. Use it’s proper name. Say Vagina. Say it.

Me: “…minnerwins…”

It’s ok. Minnerwin is fine.

Me: “…and boys have windles…”

Well, you’ve said minnerwin now so it’s utterly pointless saying penis. You dick.

Me: “…well…the windle goes inside the minnerwin hole…the hole that bleeds…and puts a seed inside the tummy which meets with an egg and grows into a baby.”

What the actual fuck. The hole that bleeds? Why? Why? Why?

Five year old: “Do the seeds already have names on?”

Amazing question. I bloody love her so much. I love her for completely bypassing ‘the hole that bleeds’.

Me: “No, my darling. The seeds are inside…well…you know the…ball bags under the windle? They’re inside them. There’s no names on them. They’re blank.”

Are you fucking out of your mind? Ball bags? Did her question even require this explanation? No. Just stop now. Stop talking. Get DisneyCollector whatever the fuck her name is on youtube and shut the fuck up.

Five year old: “So…does that doctor that looks at babies on the computer see the name?”

Me: “No…the doctor might be able to see whether it is a boy or girl but the baby comes out without a name, unless it’s mummy and daddy decide on a name before the baby is born. We knew you were a girl and named you long before you came out of my minnerwin.”

Five year old: “Babies come out of minnerwins?”

Fuck.

Me: “Goodness…is that the time? I think it’s time for sleep now. Goodnight.”

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26 thoughts on “Sex education for your five year old: what not to say…

  1. I am not trying to sound high and mighty here, but as a mother to three boys, I personally feel that we should just call penises and vaginas as what they are. They are a body part. You don’t call the eye by anything else, do you? So why get uncomfortable talking about penises and vaginas? They are body parts too. Private yes, but still a body part. I work in the marketing department in healthcare and so during lunch they hold courses for us. One of them was how to talk about sex with your children. One of the first tip is to just call a penis as it is. The more uncomfortable you are, the more it shows. The message that you are sending is that private parts are “things that should not be named”. The key is to just face the issue upfront and just be very factual. To keep it natural, keep practising in your head until the day comes when your little one does ask. I did this for my six year old son and it’s all great. To him penis is not a dirty word to use to taunt me. To him, penis is a body part that belongs to boys. And it’s natural. How do babies come about? Because daddy and mommy love each other and want to have a baby together. So daddy puts his penis into mommy’s vagina. From daddy comes sperm which swims to the egg in mummy’s vagina and a baby starts to develop. There. Simple and factual.

      1. Simplicity is the key. I said daddy’s sperm meets in mummy’s vagina. I did not say that they are made there.

  2. Oh it sounds like you teach the birds and the bees the same we do… and we also tell the truth. Mine are slightly older, and go to a Catholic school… Now imagine answering the “why do people have sex” question. Because they like it doesn’t sit well with the school…. Am totally adopting minnerwins though, that’s just an awesome word.

  3. Love your site! Came for this article and have spent the last hour reading … Have laughed out loud and swiped the odd tear. Thanks for the laughs, good advice and most of all sharing with such honesty and humour the reality of family life. I would add, my three are all in their 20’s now, so these problems have been replaced with new ones, but it does get easier. Not carefree (never again!)…but easier.
    Keep up the great work 🙂 xx

  4. Ive just laughed so much both my kids came running to see what was up. They know there are seeds. And eggs, and if there is LOTS of love the seed goes to the egg and plants a baby, but THIS you see, can ONLY happen if mummies and daddies are married and love each other VERY much.

    They are 6 and 8. Ive told nothing but the truth. hahahaha

  5. Nearly had to have this conversation with my 6 year old the other day (and she knows about vaginas and vulvas and penises…. not sure it’s going to make it any less awkward).

    Hilarious post though – love it.

  6. The kids always find a way to get you. I was answering all his questions factually and with age appropriate detail. He asked a question that was just not simple to answer. I thought a moment. He stopped me and said, don’t worry, I’ll ask your cousin. I was confused. If I couldn’t easily answer it, how is my cousin who doesn’t even speak much English going to help? The kid answers: Well you said they tried and tried to have a baby and it didn’t work for a long time, so I thought I’d ask someone who’s had sex more than once. !!! At which point I got flustered and assured my little boy that his parents enjoy a perfectly satisfactory sex life, thank you!! (I desperately wish I could remember what the question was!)

  7. My son asked “what sex is” when he was 5. It was OK, I was a biology teacher, I could handle this. Several minutes later he looked confused and a little distressed, so I questioned what made him ask. “Because you’re always saying you’re going to do things in 2 secs…”.

    “Er…maybe it’s best if we don’t tell your Grandma about this.”

  8. This was excellent, I snorted into my tea.
    When I was wee, my Ma almost broke a dish because suddenly, completely out of the blue, I asked why condoms are flavoured. It took a few minutes of her gasping and grasping for an answer for me to decide that actually, I didn’t want to know.

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