Sorry for the shy-sounding title…. but if I call this post “How to Talk to Your Kids About S*x” then the Viagra spammers will have a field day attacking this post…..
So- how DO you talk to your kids about where babies come from, explain why boys’ private parts are different from girls’, and everything else that goes along with the “birds and bees” discussion? Even if you take the “you can always ask me anything” route as a parent, call body parts by their correct names since toddlerhood, and regularly talk about private parts and keeping them private…. the day is going to come along when either your kids ask for more details…. or….
You get the note home from school telling you that the middle school health teachers will be visiting the 5th grade classrooms this week to have “The Talk”. (Not that anyone that I know would ever wait that long to make sure their kids had a handle on the whole reproduction and puberty thing…… just sayin’).
But sometimes getting the conversation started can be tricky. And then remembering everything that you need to cover can be even trickier. Because you’re old now and forgot half of what they told you way back in health class all those years ago. And for goodness sakes- you’re a Mom- what do you know about penises and stuff like that? I mean first-hand knowledge of penises….. (what? Oh never mind!)
Anyway- sometimes it helps to have a manual. A guidebook of sorts of what you need to cover, what all the right terms are, not to mention pictures and stuff that are age-appropriate (DON’T Google “vagina” with your kids in the room….. just don’t!) Which is why I am telling you about this book series called “It’s Not the Stork”!
There are three different books that aim to deliver age-appropriate information on the birds and the bees to kids. In a way that they can understand, and that parents can guide them through. The first book is listed as appropriate for ages 4 and up, the second book is for ages 7 and up, and the third book is geared towards ages 10 and up. But I have to say….. those guidelines (in my opinion) were made by some some uber-liberal nudist living in some free-range community somewhere…. because I have to say that I don’t agree with those recommendations. I guess it’s just the small-town Midwestern girl in me…. but I think the 4 year old book is better for 8-9 year olds and the 7 year old book is perfect for say- a 5th grader who is just now learning about reproduction. And the 10 year old book is just perfect for handing to your kid before he/she heads off to college (just kidding…. kind of).
Here- I’ll give you a peek into each book and you can decide for yourself….
It’s Not the Stork! (for ages 4 and up) provides a great understanding of boys vs girls body parts- both internal and external- explaining proper names for everything and the basics of how everything works. It describes baby making as a “special kind of loving where the man and woman get so close to each other than the man’s penis goes inside the woman’s vagina”. It covers the meeting of the sperm and the egg, and the growing baby inside of the womb. It covers childbirth explaining how the muscles of the uterus push the baby out of the mommy’s vagina. And it ends by talking about “okay touches and not okay touches”. Overall this is a great book that explains all of the basics.
It’s So Amazing! (for ages 7 and up) takes all of this information a step further by providing more details on how everything works. When it comes to the section on intercourse it uses the same description as in the first book- but also explains that “grownups also make love when they are not planning to make a baby because it can feel so good to be so close to each other.” And it reminds readers that raising a baby takes a lot of time and work, which is why it makes good sense for people to wait to have a baby until they have had time to grow up first.
This book also spends time explaining love- love among family members and friends, love between grown ups, and even homosexual love. When the book covers pregnancy, it also explains what miscarriage and abortion are. It covers genes and chromosomes and it also does a good job of explaining how families are formed through adoption as well- which is important to me. The end of the book also talks about HIV and AIDS. All in all a very thorough and extremely informative book for kids who are learning about reproduction and puberty.
It’s Perfectly Normal (for ages 10 and up) covers everything in “It’s So Amazing” as well as goes into depth on the topics of sexual desire, puberty, changing bodies and changing feelings, and masturbation. It covers decisions such as abstinence, birth control, and abortion. It talks about sexual abuse, STDs, and staying safe from predators online. In short- it covers everything!
I have found these three books to be very helpful for me to explain the birds and the bees to my kids- and I hope that they can help you too! (Please note that the links to the books above are all Amazon affiliate links). But you have to buy the ones(s) the agree with what you want to share with your kids and that fit into your own personal belief structure.
Do you have any suggestions on talking with your kid about sex? Leave a comment and share!