The next time you’re at the beach or the pool with your child, take a look at the bodies all around. You might be able to start a conversation with your kid simply by commenting on that. “It’s so interesting, all the different shapes and sizes people’s bodies have.”
That may be the end of it. But maybe it’ll get your child thinking. Or asking questions, today or later, some of which may open a conversation about sex and gender.
“Why do women’s bathing suits cover their chests and men’s don’t?”
“Because women have breasts and men don’t.”
“Why do women have breasts?”
“So they can feed their babies with something special called breast milk that is really good for helping babies grow.”
“Why do we have to wear bathing suits? Can’t we just swim naked?”
“Because the parts that swimsuits cover are important, special parts, and we like to keep them private.”
You get the idea. Any questions along these lines give you an opportunity to practice using words like “breast” so it feels less awkward, and lets your child know that you won’t shut down or get weird when he asks about bodies. Simple steps toward a long-term goal of open communication.