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LostInParadise's avatar

Why don't young children ask about the facts of life?

Asked by LostInParadise (32034points) December 31st, 2023

It seems like it should be such a natural question to ask. Why are these two people my parents and not anyone else? How come my brothers and sisters share the same parents? I never wondered about such things or discussed them with friends until I approached my teens. Was I unusual in that way?

I don’t recall noticing when my mother was pregnant with my younger brother, but I would imagine that it is not unusual for a child to be told that their mother is carrying a baby, who will be a new brother or sister. Wouldn’t it be the most natural thing to ask how this happened? I have a vague recollection of being told at age 6 that I had a new brother and of initially being disappointed that it would be a while before we could play games together.

In the age of the Internet, children now have access to more information than when I was young. I have seen sites posted on the Web advocating starting sexual education in kindergarten. It seems like a good idea. It might be easier to teach the facts of life before puberty, and also how to behave properly.

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12 Answers

SnipSnip's avatar

You must not be a parent. Kids ask about anything; they are curious creatures. Thank goodness. Adults could use a bit more of that.

LostInParadise's avatar

Did your children ask about the facts of life?

smudges's avatar

Children just naturally accept the way things are – like there being Santa, et.al., and vegetables are good for you. They don’t know enough to question many things.

snowberry's avatar

They do. But it’s best to answer simply, rather than dragging out an anatomy book. I always go with a “need to know” approach to children’s questions, and I stick with simple rather than complex.

kritiper's avatar

Kids have too many other things on their young minds to consider something so mature in nature.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I had lots of questions when I was 4 and found my fathers porn stash.

canidmajor's avatar

@snowberry has it right, they are endlessly curious about it, just not on the level of melding the DNA. “Where do babies come from?” Is a good standard.

“Why do kids have daddies?” (mine didn’t) and “Are daddies there to hold the babies while mommies go to the bathroom?” (A logic nicely worked out, I thought.)
“If you can’t have more babies, can you have puppies, instead?”
Helping me garden: “Did I grow leaves when I was in your tummy?”
On watching my pregnant friend something with Brussels sprouts: “How does she know that the baby likes those??? Ewww!!! Poor baby!”

They ask, we answer, it starts as soon as they can talk.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

I don’t know. When I was young, and even now I guess, I was very curious and always asked a lot of questions about many things. I was an avid reader from the age of four on and I always wanted to understand the whys and wherefores of things. But I simply do not remember being curious about that. Of course my next youngest sibling is 8 years younger than me so maybe that had something to do with it? I don’t know, but I don’t ever remember being all that curious about that at such an early age.

LadyMarissa's avatar

Children don’t care about the WHY. They have bigger problems like how they are going to get their next desired favorite toy!!! My brother is 3 years younger than me & I don’t remember my mother being pregnant. She got fat, then she got skinny, & then this blob showed up that made a lot of noise. There’s NO real concept of time as a child. Five minutes feels like 5 years!!! As a 3 y/o, I wouldn’t have understood the specifics of how my brother got there. I never thought to ask how he got there…he was there & I didn’t think to ask WHY!!!

With my step daughter, I ALWAYS answered any question she asked with complete honesty. I feel that some parents go overboard trying to give their child knowledge that they aren’t capable of understanding which confuses them even more!!! I NEVER explained the facts of life to my step daughter. I just answered EVERY question that she asked until she was married & having babies. As an adult, she would occasionally call to ask a question. I guess I gave her enough of a foundation to figure out the rest for herself. She doesn’t ask questions anymore.

JLeslie's avatar

I was about 5 or 6 years old when I asked where babies come from.

smudges's avatar

Based on some of the answers here, I guess I was very innocent and not very curious. I remember riding with my mom down a rural road. I saw two ‘cows playing’. I said, “Look! They’re playing piggy back!” My mom said, “They’re not playing.” I understood that it was something we didn’t talk about and didn’t say anything else.

I was 10 or 11.

raum's avatar

You must not hang out with lots of young kids! It’s an endless onslaught of questions. And where they and babies came from are definitely fair game.

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