Books That Will Help You Talk to Your Kids About Sex
Many parents live in fear of the question, "where do babies come from?" The
idea of talking about birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, peer pressure
or oral sex can fluster the most competent of parents. But parents need to
be their children’s first and most accurate source of information about "the
birds and the bees" because the alternative- their peers- is often rife
with misinformation that can be down right dangerous. With a topic like sex,
books can be a parent’s greatest ally. They can be used to impart information,
start discussions and can serve as a reference guides when you don’t know the
Sex education should be an ongoing talk with your child from day one. It starts
by calling genitals by their proper names. This teaches children that these
body parts are not shameful, helps children communicate their needs with other
caregivers (such as “I have a rash on my penis”), and even makes it less likely
for your child to become the victim of a sexual predator. Most kids start asking
questions in preschool but if a child has not asked about how babies are made
by the time they are eight, a parent needs to initiate the conversation.
You should honor your child’s curiosity by answering questions honestly. If
a child is old enough to ask, they are old enough to have the question answered.
In the beginning you should just answer the specific question they are asking.
As they get older and their questions get more complex and detailed, your answers
should as well.
The following books will make the task of being your child’s educator a little
This is often when sex education starts to become more specific. Typically
it is at this age that children start asking where babies come from or how
they "get out."
Are Babies Made? Usborne Flip-Flaps
This is a wonderful starter book. Sperm and eggs are discussed without mention
of how they come together. Some of the terms used, like "pee," are
not technical but are child friendly. Kids will love to lift the flap to
see the baby growing inside the mommy’s womb.
You Were Inside Mommy
This very sweet book is filled with illustrations of a loving mom and dad.
This book gets into some detail without discussing gentalia.
Was Your Tummy Big?
This book explains the basics of a donor egg in the simplest and sweetest terms
using an elephant couple to explain the situation from the parents’ perspective.
the Big Secret? Talking About Sex with Girls and Boys
This short but detailed book uses all the proper terms for genitals, shares
detailed information about anatomy and touches on topics like good/bad touch
and masturbation. Best for age five and up.
Not the Stork! A Book about Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends
This book covers it all! Using cartoon drawings it discusses gender differences,
anatomy, the difference between circumcised and uncircumcised penises, erections,
puberty, sex, sperm, eggs, pregnancy, multiple births, good touch/bad touch,
different types of families (adoption, single parents, gay parents, step parents,
etc.). While recommended for age four and up, I would recommend it for five
Trespassing: This Is My Body!
Written by one of my favorite child safety experts, Patti Fitzgerald, this
book does a great job educating children about good touch and bad touch without
scaring children. She helps empower children to listen to their "uh
oh" feelings and teaches them to make boundaries with adults. The parents
guide in the back is priceless.
So Amazing: A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families
Geared towards the seven and up set, this book explains the mechanics of making
a baby, "okay touches" and "not okay touches," HIV and
AIDS, and more. It has lots of drawings to keep kids’ attention and illustrate
the information provided.
Said No! A kid-to-Kid Guide to Keeping Your Private Parts Private
This is a terrific book for abuse prevention for children six and older. It
is told from the perspective of Zack, who had a bad experience at a sleep
over with another child. The book does an excellent job giving clear examples
of the tools typically used in such cases- bribes and threats. The authors
give examples of situations that might come up with great suggestions for
children how to handle them.
Babies and Families are Made (There is More Than One Way!)
This unique book explain how familes are made. It goes beyond the typical birds
and bees explanation of sex and provides in depth understanding of fertility
treatments, donor insemination, miscarriage, labor and delivery, cesarean
sections, preemies, disabilities, blended families, and adoption.
Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health
This informative book covers a lot of ground: gender, sexual orientation, sexual
intercourse, reproduction, puberty, masturbation, pregnancy, child birth, abstinence,
abortion, sexual abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, and more. The book has
lots of illustrations and cartoons to make heavy subjects lighter.
A Girl’s Guide
A great guide to menstruation, this simple book explains all the changes girls
go through. It provides information, tips, and supports a healthy attitudes
about the female body.
Going on Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask
Written with the help of an eleven year old boy and a thirteen year old boy,
this book addresses boys most embarrassing questions about their bodies,
puberty, sex, girls, baby making, what’s "normal," masturbation,
sexual orientation, birth control and STDs.
This newly revised and updated classic leaves no sexual stone unturned. It
is an encyclopedia of information covering everything from puberty to menopause
and then some. The authors go into detail about sexual health, body image,
gender identity sexual orientation, relationships, sexual pleasure, consent,
birth control, safe sex, STIs, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, pregnancy,
miscarriages, fertility treatment, violence against women, and more.
Bodies, Changing Lives
A comprehensive book for teens that addresses the physical, medical and emotional
aspects of sex and other related subjects. With the help of experts, this
book tackles sex, relationships, eating disorders, substance abuse, violence,
STDs, birth control, abortion, gynecological exams,