This post is not meant to open a debate since I know that circumcision is a hot button topic. You either do or your don’t. When someone believes one way is right, you are not likely to change their mind. No amount of arguing and persuading will get
your cousin them to think like you. It’s much the same with breastfeeding, co-sleeping, white or dark chocolate. The persuasion to lean one way or the other is built in. And I’m OK with that. I’m not here to try and change your mind to either way. I am only here to share my experience with the topic as it recently came up.
I kinda chuckle sometimes when I see a plea from a desperate parent freaking out over questions their child has started asking. I really don’t understand the need to be cryptic with our kids. They are smart little buggars. If you use tact and common sense, it is quite easy to explain thing to our small humans.
Last night, all three of my boys were peeing before bed.
Yes, they were peeing together.
Yes, they often pee ON each other. It’s gross.
Anyhow, I came around the corner and overheard my six year old explaining to his five year old brothers that “daddy’s penis looks like this.” He was pulling back the foreskin on his uncircumcised penis to demonstrate.
As I mentioned, I don’t generally dismiss or freak out at their natural curiosity and I just took this moment as a chance to explain why they are different. Here is what I said:
When your daddy was born, doctors thought it was a good idea to cut that extra skin off. Today, doctors realize that it’s really not necessary. Since you were just a little baby, I didn’t want you to have a painful procedure for something that wasn’t needed. When you get older, some of your friends may or may not have that extra skin but it won’t change the way your penis works. I also told them that if, when they are grown up, they decided they don’t like that extra skin, then they can have it removed.
The little brothers giggled because mommy said “penis.”
Anthony thought about it for a few minutes. He asked if the doctors would numb it before cutting it off. I told him “sometimes.” I also told him that I “wanted to leave you just the way God made you.”
He tells me, “Thank you, mommy.”
Tips For Talking to Kids
- Stick to the facts. Do not embellish.
- Do not make things up to “soften” it (thinking storks and cabbage patches here)
- Do not answer questions that are not asked (no reason to get into future sex with him. It’s just a piece of skin!)
- DO give your kid credit for being smarter than you think. If you don’t tell them the truth now, someone else will tell them fiction later.
Don’t be afraid to talk to you kids. Especially about important things. Give it to them straight. They can take it.
What difficult things have you talked about lately with your kids? What are your tips?