Providing a Catholic framework on the truth and meaning of sexuality, love, and family

Biology Questions from Children – How Does a Parent Discuss Breasts?

(Family Honor Editor’s Note: This is the fifth installment in a series on how parents might consider addressing various challenging questions and topics with their kids.  In addressing situations like the one presented below, the important thing is to respond in an honest, age-appropriate way that incorporates a sense of awe and wonder for being made in God’s image and likeness – not just offering a biology lesson.  We as parents must be perceived as askable, credible, warm, and caring for our children to want to seek us out for answers to such questions.  For a much more comprehensive way of approaching these types of issues, please consider attending a full “Leading & Loving” program in your area.  See our program schedule here, or contact us about how to bring a program to your area.)

Parents!  What would you do in THIS situation?

You have friends over for the evening. Your 4 year old is sitting on his mother’s lap and pushes up against her breasts and asks, “Why are these things so big?” What would be your answer? 

If others heard and reacted, I would calmly and lightly tell him that we will talk about it later, then quickly move the conversation along to other things before everyone starts telling stories about embarrassingly inappropriate things their children have done in public – things he does not need to hear and will either make him giggle and egg him on or make him feel bad.  (If he persists, leave the room to discuss his question together and consider the explanation below.)

“So you asked about mommy’s breasts.  You have breasts too (show him where). Mine are bigger because when you were a baby they had milk in them so that I could feed you.  All ladies have big breasts so they could feed a baby. Isn’t that neat that God made moms’ bodies so they could feed their babies!  But boys and daddies don’t feed the baby so their breasts are small.”

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