Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Talkin' Tuesdays-Toddler Edition

My son will be three this November, and boy is he inquisitive. But, as I have been taught by my colleagues, I am not shying away from any conversation Lucas initiates, and I am taking advantage of teachable moments as they occur. Take a simple Easter egg for example. He found one in the house the other day and was pretending there was a baby alligator inside that was soon going to hatch. We even had to take it on a walk with us in case it hatched before we got back to the house.

Once we started talking about alligators, I was telling him all of the other animals that are born via hatching. Dinosaurs (he knew this one because of one of his favorite shows Dinosaur Train), chickens (which he thought was funny for some reason), birds, turtles, etc. He then said, “When I was a baby, I was born in a BIG egg.” To which, I then replied, “No Lucas, people aren’t born in eggs; babies live in their mommies for 9 months and then they are born.” I thought that was all he needed to know for now; and I was right, he didn’t ask any other questions about the birth part. Whew…

I have heard from many of my colleagues that adults often want to over-complicate conversations about love, sex and relationships, especially with younger children. When, in fact, they just want simple answers to their questions, and then they want to move on – on to their train tracks or super hero figurines or tricycles. That is why I am trying to teach Lucas as life happens and on a need-to-know-basis. At three, there are certain things he needs to know and certain things I don’t need to talk about yet. Luckily, the SC Campaign does a great job of laying these out for us parents. Take a look at the Parent Portal and pay particular attention to the Age-Appropriate Guidelines section. It helped me, and I am sure it will help you too!

by Cayci Banks, Director of Communications, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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