One of those tough decisions every parent has to make is how they ultimately will explain sex, reproductive organs and childbirth to their children.
How many details will they share? Will be they use biologically correct terms?
How old should their children be when they tell them? When is the best time?
The questions are virtually endless.
But one mother decided it was the right time with her four-year-old son. But then Redditor sprinkle862910’s boyfriend was resistant to the idea of sharing facts with such a young child.
Confused, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if maybe she had spoken too soon so she turned to the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for getting upset when [my] boyfriend said info I gave my son is ‘inappropriate’?”
The OP recently had a conversation with her son about her expected baby.
“I have a 4.5-year-old son. His father and I are divorced.”
“I am pregnant with my boyfriend’s baby and I just told my son tonight that he’s going to be a big brother.”
“My son asked how the baby will come out, so I told him one of two ways, either from the mother’s vagina or they have to cut the mommy’s belly open and take the baby out, sewing it back shut after. I said either way mommy will be fine.”
“My son responded fine to it and just said ‘okay’ and moved on.”
The OP’s boyfriend didn’t love what she had done.
“When I told my boyfriend tonight that I was so happy that my son was so excited about being a big brother, I was mentioning what we talked about and I told him about the above discussion.”
“Bf said he thought it was weird and inappropriate to give a child this information.”
“I asked what he would have said and he said he would have placated him and gotten out of answering it.”
The OP wasn’t sure how to feel after that.
“I left the convo feeling upset that he had to pick on what I was doing as a mother, when I was trying to tell him how positive the whole thing was.”
“He said that he doesn’t think it’s wrong to tell me his opinion and if I’d rather, he just won’t tell me his opinions.”
“I feel it was insensitive and unnecessary to criticize me for just trying to give my son legitimate information.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out how important it is to educate children when they are young.
“The earlier and more matter-of-factly you talk about sex/birth/body functions, the easier it is for them to not be embarrassed when talking about body functions. You go girl. You did the right thing.”
“There are too many teens out there who were ‘placated’ when they were young that have no idea how sex works, because their parents are embarrassed or think they’re too young. What you said was very age-appropriate. Get your guy one of those children’s books on sex so he can see how it’s done.”
“NTA” – Ambitious-Writer-825
“This is one of my soapbox issues. As a Peds [pediatrician] nurse, please teach your kids how their bodies work and what the correct medical terms are.”
“You can teach slang too, but at least make sure kids know what their penis is so they don’t pass out when I have to say the word. And no, I am not calling your kid’s penis a ‘d**k.'” mydahlin
“NTA, we need more of this, not less.”
“Children are capable of dealing with basic biology. The truth won’t harm them, but lies will.”
“In countries with poor sex education, there are grown adults who don’t know the difference between the vagina and urethra. Speaking to your kid in honest, age-appropriate terms should be commended.”
“Perhaps have a conversation with your partner to sus out if he’s hanging onto any unhealthy beliefs on the topic of sex education for kids.” – HoleToad
“I’m in the U.S. When I got to college, my guy friends tried explaining the female anatomy [and] reproductive system… It was terrifying to say the very least.”
“Apparently, a comprehensive sex education is not mandated for certain private all-boys high schools.”
“One kid thought women only had ‘one hole down there that did everything’. Another kid thought women menstruated for a whole month at a time.”
“Bottom line, we NEED to normalize conversations like the one OP is describing. EVERYONE needs to know the basic functions of the human body. By making these topics ‘age-appropriate,’ we are putting this notion forward that there is something to be ashamed of or that there is something abnormal about these functions. Kids are WAY more adaptable than we give them credit for.” – thatssallfolkss
Others agreed and said the OP needed to discuss parenting tactics with her boyfriend.
“I mean, what have you guys discussed about parenting? You’re about to have a child together. What kind of parenting talks have you had?”
“It sounds like you don’t really know much about him as a parent (or what he would want to be like as a parent) or that he doesn’t know your parenting style?”
“I think the bigger issue here is that you guys have a child together on the way, and you guys need to get on board together and communicate on how you’re going to raise them.” – pink_gem
“Exactly. Myself and my partner are hoping to start trying for a baby in a year or so (we’re hoping to get in another international holiday after Pandemic but before Pregnancy) and one of our favorite conversation topics is on baby-raising decisions.”
“With regards to gendered stuff, we’re pretty much planning to theme on Dinosaurs and let them figure it out from there.”
“With regards to sex-ed… actually, I don’t think we’ve covered that, so ammo for later.” – Ruadhan2300
A few pointed out the boyfriend’s behavior wasn’t helping anyone.
“You see this exact behavior on this sub all the time.”
“You take a situation, reduce it to such an over-simplified version, then get angry at the version you made up in your head.”
“‘OH, so I’m not allowed to HAVE AN OPINION!? I guess I’ll just NEVER TALK AGAIN!'”
“Yeah, dude… because that was the issue here. She has a problem with ALL your opinions, not just this one. [ends sarcasm]”
“It’s way easier to just be reductive and then lash out in anger or hurt than understand the situation and admit you did something wrong.” – Theshutupguy
“NTA. The kind of people like your boyfriend are the ones that pass shame of our bodies on to the next generation” – BlorpBlarp
“Does the boyfriend get grossed out by periods? Does he want you to hide the tampons and pads? (Guess I should say ‘did he’ seeing as how OP is preggers.)”
“Can he actually use the word ‘vagina’ without it being a joke or stammering? Cause that’s the kind of dudebro he sounds like.”
“I have a rule that I made a while back. If you can’t have a conversation about said parts, you don’t get to enjoy them.”
“OP, sounds like you have your son exactly enough factual information to satisfy his curiosity, it’s not like you went into detail about the procedures.” – MidnytStorme
It can be hard to decide where to draw the line with children on the tougher subjects, like what’s appropriate to tell them, how many details to give them, and more.
But in the end, the subReddit agreed, it should absolutely be up to the mother in how she raises her son and what she chooses to tell him about her body.