Backed Into A Parenting Corner

 When it comes to sexual conversations I don’t really feel awkward. It used to be an issue I shied away from but with age it became something that was a natural activity between “people”. It’s also something we learn about in school and is something that allows us to connect with someone in the most intimate of ways!


As a parent I’ve always said and thought that I would have a somewhat open relationship with my kids. Meaning that they can come to me with anything and not worry about being judged or scolded! While I may end up disappointed sometimes, I want to be able to use my experiences in life as a means of teaching them valuable lessons. As a “boy” I’ve been through things growing up that I had to figure out on my own, as I lived with my mother and two sisters most of my tween years.

I’ve had it played out in my head that I would be there for my son during these “strange” occurrences taking place with his growing body and be able to give him just as good if not better information than what I learned. Boy was I dreaming!


Our son was at the sink “washing” dishes when he turned and asked my wife and I why his privates grow bigger? Omg! Here’s my chance to put my knowledge and experience as a male to work. And what happens? My mind goes blank and I’m left standing there speechless! I was so not expecting a question like this from my son this early on in his life!

Feeling like I’m backed into a parenting corner! 

My question to you (Parents) is:

How do you explain sexual bodily functions and how to deal with them to avoid embarrassment to a child? Keep in mind he’s 4!

Comments (14)

  • This probably isn’t helpful, but i probably would have laughed!
    These are the conversations that I’m dreading having with my kids, i have no idea what Im going to say when the time comes!

  • I was shocked and could only think of the “it’s not appropriate” to grab yourself answers! I’m dreading the next set of questions, lol!

  • We try to use all of the “correct” terms for body parts. It grows when you do too, or are we talking the other “growing”??? Hard to say – guess you have to ask more questions.

  • Unfortunately we’re talking about the other growing! It’s not a question we were expecting and now I’m wondering how to go about explaining what’s going on to him.
    We try to use the proper terms as well. I’m actually told to use small words he understands sometimes.

  • My Answer: You know how you have to practice a lot before you can get good at riding a bike or throwing a baseball? Well, your penis has to practice before it is ready to do it’s “Daddy Job”.

    …..if there are no further questions….RUN from the room. At 4, that probably will be enough to make him happy. If he does ask “what daddy jobs”, simply reply “making a baby”, and if he asks “how”, there is nothing wrong with saying “that is something we will talk about when you are older and can understand better”.

    On a sidenote: BUAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, better YOU than ME my friend!

  • Bahaha! I love your advice and I’m seriously in tears right now! You totally made my night and answered my question to a tee 🙂 Much love!

  • My recommendation is a straightforward conversation. It is a natural part of growing up. We just read a great book with our daughters (5 and 7) called It’s So Amazing: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families. It is written by Robie Harris and she has written others for younger kids and for adolescents so depending on your son’s age you can find the one that is the best fit.
    The book was quite detailed and we just read through it and answered questions as they came up. Now they know more about how their bodies work and it has build a foundation for future conversations.

    There are also many great resources online to help engage in this ongoing conversation. I think we as parents need to normalize discussions about sex and sexual health so that we can have honest conversations with our kids that help them make choices in their lives based on information instead of fear.

  • Thanks for the great advice Chris 🙂 I’ll definitely be checking out those books!

  • My Husband would always say Great question and your Mother is an expert and ready to answer that and any other question you have. Grr LOL Once they hit the pretween age my husband took over these chats with our 2 boys.

    Cathy Canton
  • My daughter is almost 4. She knows the proper names of her parts and boy parts. She has a general understanding of how babies are made.

    She asked, I went to the library and got a couple of age appropriate books and we read them a few times. It was not a big deal. To her. Seriously.

    But I get it, I do. I wasn’t quite ready for the questions yet but she started asking and my own parent’s told me NOTHING. I mean ZERO. Knowledge is power 🙂

    Mommy Outside
  • Lol! I’m more prepared for that age. Definitely not the case now! I tend to talk to him like he’s older, more sophisticated words, trying to get my brain to put it into childrens terms is impossible!

  • That’s exactly it, my parents were of no assistance in the learning department there either! I’m on the hunt for the books Chris had mentioned above as they seem like they’d be a huge help 🙂

  • I think a scientific answer would work, but it might lead to more questions~ I would tell him it’s an erection and that boys get them sometimes. I would also mention that playing with private parts is normal but something that is best done in private. My little guy is almost 4 and just to hear the word erection out of his mouth is pretty darn funny as it doesn’t sound like that at all.

    Sometimes these questions take me off guard too.

    Janelle Heath
  • I can just imagine, lol! I was explaining to my wife how we should be more upfront and proper about things with him, after reading all the amazing comments. Thank you for your straight forward answers, they’re exactly what I was looking for 🙂

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