When Tim and Katie McNeil of Portland, OR, invited some new friends for dinner, the first thing their 3-year-old son, Dillon, told the guests was that his Dad had an ouchie on his penis. ¿ Fortunately, that was not the case, but McNeil was recovering from a hernia operation.
What to do when your talkative child innocently shares too much:
* Make light of it. Whether or not what he says is true, deflect it with Wow! That was probably more than you wanted to hear about us! ¿
* Keep it simple. If you want to explain, don't offer too much detail. The McNeils, for instance, said, Well, that's not exactly where the ouchie is, ¿ adding just enough to set the record straight.
* Talk to your child later. When his audience is gone, say, without sounding angry or upset, I don't want you to talk about bathroom habits (or whatever the topic) to people who aren't in our family. It makes me feel embarrassed, ¿ suggests Yvonne Anselmi, a preschool teacher in Portland, OR, who says she's heard it all in her 20 years on the job.
* Then change the subject. If you overreact or overexplain, your child will know he's hit on a topic that bugs you, ¿ says Anselmi. He may bring it up again another time just for attention.
* Don't stress about it. Keep in mind that most people -- especially those with kids of their own -- won't be too shocked by anything your child says. They'll either relate or have a funny story of their own.