[quote="Litcrit, post:8, topic:215803"]
Why was it too early for you?
I only answered my daughter's questions, and she now knows pretty much everything about reproduction at age 3.5. It was gradual - first she asked about the baby in my belly when I was pregnant, then birth, then how it got there. As she'd known about different organs since she could name body parts, it was all very easy.
This is a hard question to answer. I really could've benefited from some innocence - and just didn't have much. I don't think I asked the questions, I just think I was told. When you give a child information that's beyond their developmental stage, they often don't process the information the way they should. So for a 4yo to not only know the mechanics, but to also know that it feels really good, is just something the child doesn't need floating around in their head. There was a lot about the sex education I received that was wrong (and it came completely from my family - the school was way behind the curve for me) and that led to poor decisions and poor thinking. My parents also didn't understand appropriate boundaries, whether they were regarding these types of discussions, or other things as well. So the knowledge of the mechanics of sex at a young age was one piece of the puzzle.
BTW, my kids know that a baby is made by the mommy the daddy and God, and they have probably also learned that sometimes, even though it shouldn't be that way, this happens when the mom and dad aren't married - but are "acting like they're married." They know where the baby grows, and they know how the baby gets out of my body. I believe in answering the child's questions honestly, but being sure to truly answer the question they're asking and not give out more than they need to know. So when one of my little ones asked how a baby is created, I would say that a mother and a father and God create it, and then it's in my belly. Or now and then (like when I'm talking about the Immaculate Conception to a 6yo), I'll just say "when God created Mary in her mother's belly." My ds reads enough that he may have recently read (in one of his science books) about the action of the sperm and the egg at conception. We'll see what else he's picked up other ways when we discuss it with him next year.
I can see how a child who lives on a farm would know all the details earlier than most. And if a child asks more pointed questions, then the same could be true. Although I would probably make a strong effort to keep the answers vague as long as I wasn't frustrating the child too much. Often when a child asks a question, the adult thinks the child wants more information than they really do. They are often satisfied by more simple answers than we think they will be - which points to the idea that developmentally, they aren't ready for the more complicated answers. Of course my kids haven't been inquisitive enough for this to be a huge issue (although certainly if they asked my mother what they asked me, they'd have gotten the complete education), so I wouldn't judge that there is an exact age that is right, and if they know earlier it's necessarily bad. There are a lot of factors involved in this decision.
To be fair, if we lived in a more pure world, I'd probably be inclined to wait longer than 10. I'd likely wait until closer to puberty (which, at least for boys, would definitely be later). OTOH, I also want to be the one they believe, and not the news, or tv, or some other shady outside influence. In addition, when their hormones start raging, and when their bodies are changing in preparation for future baby-making, I want them to have the information - so that they can see that all of these changes and internal temptations are part of God's plan for marriage and babies, and not meant to be relieved by themselves kwim? If they don't know that their body parts have a beautiful purpose, when they are faced with a temptation, they won't know why they ought to resist temptation and put off certain pleasures so they can fulfill that purpose.