Sunday Snippet: The Facts of Life…

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 un-turned. I would suggest you read this book before your child’s 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:

  1. The books are age appropriate.
  2. I love the gentleness of the first two books and the factualness of the second pair of books.
  3. These books present a normal christian family life as the basis for their discussion.
  4. The books don’t shy away from the truth, they state the facts without being preachy.
  5. They open up lots of opportunities for discussion.
  6. These books have raised topics that I may have forgotten to raise.
  7. 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.

8 Replies to “Sunday Snippet: The Facts of Life…”

  1. These really are brilliant. What a great idea. Thanks for pointing them out to us. I have the book: A Child Is Born…which is just amazing with all the pictures in the womb and details…but it also shows the baby being birthed…which is fine, of course, but our girls are 3 and 1 and too young for that just now…so I paper clip those pages closed for the time being and keep it on a higher shelf. These would be a nice addition to our home.

  2. Hi se7en – Thank you for all the work you put into this rich website. Truly it is a mine of useful hints to me, and since discovering it I have put you on my list of mothers to take advice from.
    The only part that does not resonate with me personally is the “Unreached people of the day” block, since I am one of them, and I do get a lot of “I’ll pray for your poor soul”, which always seems so strange.
    But actually the main thing I want to say is Thanks! You help a lot of struggling mothers with your earthy wisdom.

  3. Hi S, The book you have is the second in the series and marked 5 to 8 year olds! I only keep the first one (age 3 to 5 year olds) within everyday reach (no images of well anything you might not want your younger ones to see!)… Once the books get more detailed I keep them out of reach and read them one on one with my kids, just so that I can answer specific questions from each of them as they arise. I never thought of paper clipping pages together – aren’t mother’s ingenious!!! Have a great week!!!

  4. Hi student mother, Thanks for your comments… As I always say: Take what you need and leave the rest! You have a good week!!!

  5. I’m expecting soon too – and my 4 year old son loves to spend time with his soon to arrive sibling. He is convinced that my belly button is a microphone, and asks to “see the baby” to talk to her. He loves the skin contact as he sings and talks to her – and giggles when she moves around and kicks his cheek and hand.

    The other day he was quiet and scrutinizing my tummy with great enthusiasm. I asked him what he was doing…. “I’m looking for the zipper to see if I can get my sister yet.”

    We are out in the country on a small farm – discussing the birds and bees just happens around here. We don’t spend huge amounts of time on the subject – but answer the questions that come up with openness and frankness.

  6. Hi R, Thanks for commenting… Love the micro-phone!!! It is so true that the topic is not central to every occasion, but I like to have thought of the answers, ever so slightly(!), before I am knocked off my feet with a question, especially if it arises in public! I hope it all goes well with your new addition!!! Have a good weekend!

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