Twice this week folk have asked me how to get this dialogue going with their kids. When and how do we do “The Talk”? Well, when it comes to the facts of life I was given a LadyBird book on the Human Body when I was twelve and along with the lung and the kidney their was a vague half page: “During the teenage years a boy becomes a man and a girl becomes a woman.” That was it!!! Let’s just say if I was relying on that I wouldn’t be too well equipped to teach my kids anything at all!!!
Right now there is a lot of talk of babies in our house and a lot of questions about how this little one is going to get out of that huge tummy!!! I am not one for beating about the bush and airy euphemisms. I want my kids to know the truth but I don’t want them to know too much too soon or too little too late.
Luckily I found this series of books: “God’s Design for Sex by Stan and Brenna Jones” and they have been invaluable in teaching my kids all about where they come from in a very normal and non-threatening way.
Book 1: Is designed for fairly young children and is beautifully illustrated. It tells the story of a little boy whose mom is going to have a baby. The story follows the conversation between the boy and his parents in a normal loving christian family: His questions are answered in a matter of fact manner, without over-sharing. I love the guide for parents at the beginning of the book, it has been a great help to me.
Book 2: Is for slightly older children and explains the differences between boys and girls and how God created each of them to be special and beautiful. There is a lot more “plumbing” in this book but it still doesn’t reveal “all” in more than a precursory way.
Book 3: This book is for preteens and the format changes from a story to a question and answer session between a young girl and boy and their mom and dad. This book explains the basic facts and raises bigger questions about topics from a biblical perspective, hopefully before they hear about them in a confused manner from the playground or from friends. Rather than sheltering your child they advocate communicating the facts to them, this book starts to discuss social issues for instance “What is Aids?” and “What is abuse?” and so on.
Book 4: For early teens. This book talks about all the changes that occur within your child’s body when they reach puberty. It is a very positive book and while it doesn’t beat about the bush, it certainly lets them know that their body, and all its rearranging, are part of God’s perfect plan. This book really talks about everything and leaves no stone unturned. I would suggest you read this book before your childs body begins to develop, simply because it is a great way for them to know where they are headed and what is coming their way in an honest and factual way.
Se7en things I like about these books:
- The books are age appropriate.
- I love the gentleness of the first two books and the factualness of the second pair of books.
- These books present a normal christian family life as the basis for their discussion.
- The books don’t shy away from the truth, they state the facts without being preachy.
- They open up lots of opportunities for discussion.
- These books have raised topics that I may have forgotten to raise.
- The books are positive and don’t dramatize the topic as the media does.
I love the way these books make the whole topic just a normal part of conversation. We won’t need to build up to THE TALK because, thanks to these books, we have actually been having an ongoing conversation with our kids for years. I highly recommend them.