Teaching the Facts of Life to Children
Doctors are frequently asked how to teach the facts of life to children. This is a very important matter for parents to understand. They should be able to teach their boys and girls these things before they learn them from companions in the street. If the instruction is imparted in the right way, the child can be spared the vulgar and offensive slant that is too often given and can be helped to form the basis for chastity and purity in later life.
To begin with, take your child for a walk by himself. Go out to a garden or park where there is much in nature to see and tell him or her about the things of nature. Point out the beauties of the trees, the birds, the hills and the sky. Point him to the good God above and how all these things are an expression of his love for us. The more you can tell of the things of nature the more interesting this will be to .the child. Prepare yourself beforehand by doing some reading and research.
This kind of activity will increase your child’s love for the out of doors, which is always good. On the next trip talk to him of the flowers. Show him the stamen and the pistil and explain the part the bees and other insects play in pollinating. Tell him of the way the pollen goes down into the heart of the flower and makes possible the development of the seed. .See how many flowers you can find and have him point out the various’ types and shapes of stamen and pistil. Some are large and some small but all are most interesting. Then point out cases such as the papaya tree in which the pollen is produced in one tree and the pistil in the other. One is the father and the other the mother.
You may not be where the water is clear and the fish are spawning, but you can tell how the mother fans away the sediment from the bottom of the stream or lake and lays her eggs there. Then proceed with how the father fish swims over and spreads something on the eggs like the pollen of the flower and they begin to develop. From there you can go to the frog. You may actually be able to find some frog’s eggs and to observe through the transparent membrane that serves as a shell how the young develop. In this case, explain that the father frog does not spray the seminal material on the eggs like the fish but puts it into the mother’s body before she lays the eggs. About this time you may notice a pair of dogs having intercourse. Use this opportunity to point out that this is the way animals, as contrasted with flowers, “pollinate.” The father injects the pollinating material into the mother before the egg is laid. Then the way is open for you to explain how in the case of dogs and other animals the mother develops her baby inside her body. The mother eats: food for the baby as well as for herself and the baby is nourished through the mother’s blood stream. It is kept nice and warm inside the mother’s body till it is large enough to come out in the open air where it can learn to live independently. God has given the mother milk so that she will have just the right kind of food to give her babies till they get big enough to eat like their mothers and fathers. This is the method the Creator has chosen for all animals and human beings to have babies and He has given the parents the task of protecting the little ones till they can take care of themselves.
All this instruction should be imparted to children before they go to school. Thus they will then be protected from vulgar stories and distorted information about sex which they will be sure to hear from their playmates. Girls should be told of menses before they reach the age of puberty. If they do not, know about them, they will be frightened. Tell them that somewhere between the ages of 9 and 14 they will begin to develop into young ladies. Their breasts will become larger and other parts of their bodies will take on the appearance of a growing lady. Also their maternal organs will begin to prepare for the time when they will have a baby of their own. To do this the uterus will grow and in this process of development there will be some bleeding. This will come every month after the cycle becomes established, but at first the periods may be very irregular.
The menstrual period will generally begin about the same time for the daughter as it did for the mother. Thus the growing girl may be given a fairly accurate idea when to expect it.
Filed under: Family Life