Kids are curious, which is great. But sometimes (all the time?), they have no filter, which can make for awkward situations in public. Like when they yell about a woman who has pink hair right in front of her or when they point out that man is really old. Fair enough — plus it gives us as parents the opportunity to affirm and explain that these things are great, and everyone is unique (and 50 is not old!). A similar situation happened to one mom at her son’s preschool, who noticed a pregnant woman. The mom seemed to handle it great, but she was later blasted for being “inappropriate.” Like any thoughtful parent, she took to Reddit to dive deeper, and it sparked an interesting conversation about sex education.
“AITA for having a conversation with my son?” the mom asked on the popular “Am I The A—hole?” subreddit. She then goes to explain the conversation that could have been awkward if she didn’t explain it so well.
“I dropped my son off at preschool yesterday morning, and one of the other mothers walked by with her daughter. She is pregnant, how long until azithromycin cures chlamydia ” the mom wrote. “My son asked me why she was ‘so big.’ I said that she’s going to have a baby, and the baby is inside her for now, but we shouldn’t say people are big, because it can hurt their feelings.”
This is great! Maybe explaining that everyone’s bodies are different would be helpful too, but she was put on the spot, so we totally get it.
But of course, he had more questions. “My son asked why the baby was inside and how it eats,” she explained, and we’re cackling. Because of course you would have the questions about the birds and the bees in the middle of preschool drop-off. Why don’t kids every have deeply intimate questions in the privacy of our homes?
The mom thought fast, and answered like a champ. “I said babies grow in mommies until they are big enough to be outside, and that mommies eat food and her body turns it into baby food that the baby gets through a tube. Then I poked his belly button and said that was where his tube used to be.”
Perfect response! Accurate without being graphic, I love it. Her son did, too.
“My son thought this was hilarious,” she continued. “We then put his stuff in his cubby, and I left.”
NBD, right? But another parent was apparently mad about what went down.
“After school that day, I got a message from another mom saying I was gross for talking like that in the classroom,” the mom wrote. “She said my son heard me and was asking her inappropriate questions. She said I shouldn’t be talking about pregnancy with young children, especially boys, and I had no right to expose her son to such topics.”
Wait, what? She shouldn’t be talking about pregnancy? She didn’t even address how the woman got pregnant, just stated that she was pregnant and talked about how the baby eats. Like? How is that possibly a conversation that could be inappropriate? And why would you want to hide about this very natural, very important topic with your own son? Nobody is asking her to explain the ins and outs (pun intended) of sex, but a basic, age-appropriate conversation with kids is definitely a good thing.
The mom continued, “I try to respect everyone’s parenting choices, but is it reasonable to police what I say to my own child because your child might overhear? I don’t think the subject was inappropriate for public.”
“So she’s sexist. Got it,” one person said, referencing the fact that the mom complained about boys hearing the conversation. “You didn’t say anything that was inappropriate for that age level.”
“I guess…boys don’t get anybody pregnant so obviously inappropriate 🤦♀️,” another sarcastically replied. Like, c’mon! This mom’s attitude was a total overreaction.
Others pointed out that this is why many boys grow up not understanding women’s bodies at all.
“Yep, that’s how you end up with dudes who grow up thinking women can hold in their periods and leave the room whenever a pregnant woman enters,” one wrote. Or, you know, dudes who gut our reproductive freedoms.
“Yeah, I thought OPs explanation was cute, informative, and entirely age appropriate,” someone wrote. “Complaining mom’s son is going to grow up to be one of those guys who thinks we can hold our period in like urine, bet on that.”
So true! I had plenty of heartfelt discussions about babies and pregnancies and even periods with my sons (now 5 and 3) when I was pregnant with my now-8-month-old. It’s entirely possible and healthy to open up the discussion, and this mom did a great job with it. Especially after being put on the spot in public! Truly an inspiration.
Even a preschool teacher weighed in about the importance of giving your kids a basic understanding of the reproductive system.
“Plus, as a former pre-k teacher, they come up with things on their own otherwise,” they wrote. “One boy was fully of the belief that his classmate’s mom ate a baby, and thats how you got pregnant. He was terrified of the woman. Girl in my group asked if I was pregnant, because, ‘your boobs are much bigger than mommy’s, and hers got biiiiig with brother!’”
She goes on to say, “Like, if you don’t explain and introduce things with simple truth, they will come up with their own answers. And most of those answers will be wrong.”
Someone else tried to guess what the other mom would have preferred — should the OP have just shut down the kid?
“Your son asked a question and instead of just shoving him to the side, you answered it in a kid-friendly manner,” one person wrote. “Like what if you or a partner were pregnant, what are you going to do, tell your son to shut up and stop asking questions and one day a baby just appears?”
Exactly. Explaining it in a positive, kid friendly way is the best thing that this mom could have done and there should have been nothing wrong with the other kid overhearing it.
“If her child is asking questions, then they ARE age appropriate questions,” someone else wrote. “I hate these parents who get mad something someone else did or said put them in a position of DOING THEIR JOB AS A PARENT. I am sorry you do want to talk to your poor child, but that is a YOU problem.”
Some parents are just awful, and kids suffer for it. Hopefully this mom will continued to stand her ground with other parents and keep speaking the truth to her son!
Here’s how some of our favorite celebs address “the talk” with their kids.
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