"Alexa Will Tell Me!”: When Your Kid Asks THE Question

Written By: Jessica C. Vann

There I was, driving my 11-year-old son and my 5-year-old daughter to the park, when all of a sudden, my daughter, armed with the curiosity of a cat and the subtlety of a bullhorn, yelled out, “Mommy, how did you get a baby inside you?” My first thought was, “Girl, what?” I wasn’t pregnant, but this question had come up once before, and I promised I would tell her when she was older; I didn’t specify when that was. Now, I’m a sex therapist; I have an answer; however, I’m pretty sure it is not appropriate for her still developing 5-year-old mind. “Baby, mommy and daddy’s have a long conversation before deciding to make a baby, but the process is something you and I will discuss when you are maybe ten or so.”

My baby girl, not the type to be denied, didn’t even argue; She responded, “That’s ok…Alexa will tell me!” Insert classic movie zoom in as my eyes widened, and I mouthed, "Alexa WILL tell her.” My mind began to race as I pondered whether or not I set parental controls that could block this premature sex education lesson.

Welcome, folks, to the age of the internet where your child is one voice command away from Alexa, shattering their innocence. From the weather forecast to the latest dance moves, Alexa is the oracle of our age. But when it comes to
the birds and the bees, I’d rather be the one to explain the intricacies of human reproduction to my pre-kindergartener, and you should, too!

I get it; when we think of sex education, we think of an age group far from 5 years old, and truth be told, many adults shy away from the topic due to their limited knowledge of the subject. I am here to tell you there is an age-appropriate response! I know, I know, at the moment, I froze, but
I did take the opportunity to go back to the conversation. I could have said, “Alexa, tell her!” and watched the chaos unfold. But images of my daughter going to school the next day saying, “Alexa told me how babies are really made,” followed by a parent-teacher conference featuring raised eyebrows, stopped me.

So, I took a deep breath and remembered that if I didn’t step in with the right level of information, Alexa damn sure wouldn’t, and I would have to use much more energy to undo the damage done than if I just shared what I knew in 5-year-old language. Once we pulled up to the park, I sent her brother to the park (he had already had this talk) and went back to, “Well, it  starts with a conversation where a decision is made…” and went on to explain, “Mommy’s have a womb in their tummy, you have one too. You also have all the eggs you will ever have in two lil
sacs called your ovaries. The daddy has seeds. Once they decide to be parents, he gives the mommy a tiny seed, possibly, that swims to the egg. The seed and egg dance in the womb, and baby grows.” Her response was, “I have eggs in me?”

"That’s all ya got, huh?"  I responded.

“Yup!” She said, “I don’t wanna be a mommy,” and hopped out of the car.
I sat there stunned, heart racing and staring off at an imaginary camera, waiting to give my solo interview, and then I laughed. Like many children, she just wanted knowledge and not to be shrugged off! This was a reminder for me, and I hope it serves as a wake-up call to you.

As parents, we are privileged to be our children’s first line of information; it is NOT a responsibility we should take lightly or pass off. If we don’t embrace these teaching moments, our kids might turn to Alexa, Google, or another child who is just as clueless and won’t hesitate to spill the factual or not-so-factual proverbial beans.

The moral of the story? It’s high time we step up our game because, in this digital age, your home’s AI will happily take over if you’re not quick on your parental feet. And trust me; you don’t want to be upstaged by a gadget when it comes to the talk about where babies come from. So, do it before Alexa does—because she will, and she won’t even blush!

Need help? Adult sex education exists and is available to you; reach out if you need assistance responding in an age- appropriate manner. Unsure of what you know, that’s ok. I promise you are not the only one!



Jessica C. Vann is a licensed professional counselor meeting moms at the intersection of parenting and maintaining intimate relationships specializing in sex & relationships. She is a renaissance woman working as clinic director of Ellie Mental Health, founder & Executive Director of Mommy’s Hood Community Wellness Fund, a 501 (C)(3) aimed at bringing awareness to maternal health care disparities, and owner of her newest endeavor Invision Empowerment, educating & motivating others!  Jessica is a wife of 10 years to her loving husband & partner Carl; and mother to her 11 year old son & 5 year old daughter! There’s also a fur baby, Phoenix which means, there’s NEVER a dull moment at the Vann household! 

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