The Tough Chats You’ll Have With Your Children

They’ll ask you difficult questions. Be ready.

René F. Najera, MPH, DrPH

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A father and daughter sit on stools under a lamp and have a discussion.
Image via DALL-E artificial intelligence from OpenAI.

Making a peanut butter sandwich for my kid the other evening, I was caught off guard by a profound question she asked. It’s funny how these deep queries don’t wait for the right moment; they just spring up, even during the most ordinary tasks like sandwich-making.

In my life, I’ve navigated a sea of tough questions and explained intricate concepts to people of varying understandings. I remember being about ten and calmly explaining menstruation to my cousin, who was baffled after finding a used feminine hygiene product. I wasn’t fazed; biology always fascinated me, and I viewed menstruation as a natural, biological process, not tied to cultural or gender identity stigmas.

However, when it comes to discussing these topics with my own child, I think my wife might be better suited for some of them. There’s a unique perspective that often makes these explanations more relatable when shared woman-to-woman. That said, I believe it’s crucial for single dads and male caretakers to be informed and comfortable discussing biological processes like menstruation.

A while back, my child and I had an insightful conversation about Santa Claus. She expressed doubts about his existence, suspecting that the Christmas gifts were…

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René F. Najera, MPH, DrPH

DrPH in Epidemiology. Associate/JHBSPH. Adjunct/GMU. Epidemiologist. Father. Husband. (He/Him/His/El)