How To Talk With Preschool-Age Children (3-5 years)
Children aged three to five ask a ton of questions. You should give them simple and concrete answers. They are looking for basic information - not complete or graphic explanations.
For example, after seeing two women neighbors holding their new baby, your three-year-old might ask, "Who is the mommy and who is the daddy?" You may simply explain that "Both are mommies," perhaps adding that two moms are a family and can make a home for a baby.
Preschoolers not only use words to express themselves, but they are also beginning to play and pretend. It’s a wonderful time to use picture books to communicate ideas and feelings.
The early years are a time when children like to pretend to be the opposite sex, or do things that are mostly associated with being a boy or a girl. You might be surprised when your five-year-old son wants to wear a dress to school or that your daughter prefers roughhousing and playing with trucks.
Dress-up is a normal part of childhood, even when a child is pretending to be the opposite sex. And playing at things that normally are done by kids of the opposite sex is perfectly normal and healthy.
"I came to this country thirty years ago from a small town in Mexico. Gays and lesbians were never mentioned. Homosexuality was top secret. In the Chicano-American community, being gay is still largely frowned upon… I want my children to be more open than my family has been. That starts with communication. Kids learn what parents teach them."
mother of two,
grandmother of one,
Redwood City, CA