Ever since dear little Sara offered Young One a lesson on the birds and the bees and the waw-waws, we've been exploring our strategy for our own discussion with her. Had Sara been a bit more comprehensive, I may have allowed her to continue to be the font of knowledge for my child...alas, Sara skipped some parts, some important parts.
We did what any educated middle class American couple would do...we turned to books. In order to keep it real, we have committed to reading the chosen book aloud to Young One, always with the three of us present.
A friend recommended an excellent book, and we have begun our "lessons." More on that later.
After school recently Young One told me...
Mamma, today in class we were talking about who is more important, boys or girls. And the girls were saying that the girls are more important because they make babies, and we always need babies in the world.
I told them that we need both boys and girls to make babies.
They didn't believe me. I kept trying to tell them that we need both but they just would not listen to me. Girls make babies, they all said. Finally my teacher said we would learn all about it in fifth grade.
I wanted to whisper to her about the "uova" and the sperm but I decided not to.
I felt very advanced, Mamma, just like in math.
Well, there you go. Rest assured that Young One has the story straight and should she encounter your child on the playground or in the classroom, she will judiciously choose which information is appropriate to share.
Disclaimer: I hate generalizations as much as you do, probably more. This is my limited experience at my fourth grader's tiny primary school lost in Northern Italy. If you have a different experience with this, please share!