What do you say when kids bring up same-sex relationships?

Posted on: November 11th, 2011

Is honesty the best policy? Do you teach your children to accept those who are different than yourself, whether or not you’re gay or straight? How would you approach this subject? L.A. mother, Lee Rose Emery, had to face this big question while driving in the car with her kids.

(CNN) — Deep conversations with my kids seem to always arise in the car. “The most important thing about marriage,” I told my kids when the subject came up, “is that you pick someone who is kind, and who really loves you.”

My son (then 6) replied, “Then I would definitely NOT marry John (his friend who punches.) My older daughter (then eight) said, “Boys can’t marry boys,” to which my son responded, “But Noah has two dads!”

And I had thought this was going to be an uncomplicated ride home.

My son’s preschool friend, Noah, indeed does have two dads, who have become very much a part of our inner circle of friends. Yet, in that moment in the car, my mind immediately jumped to the subject of the birds and the bees, and I started to feel unsure about what the kids’ next questions would be, and how to thoughtfully and appropriately proceed.

I decided to poll a range of parents and ask an expert to see how they would discuss the topic of nontraditional families with small children.

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