I have been very open with my two daughters, 5 and 7, when they have asked me question about pregnancy and childbirth, but have not gone into details of the mechanics of sex since they haven't asked me this specifically. I know that some of their classmates have a more detailed understanding and I'm afraid that unless I start talking about sexuality to them more specifically they are going to get an incomplete picture from their friends. I've seen books in the past that are geared toward young children explaining not only about pregnancy and childbirth but also the concepts of relationships and pleasure. Does anyone know of any good ones? Starting the Conversation
My recommendation is that old standby, through which many of our generation learned the birds'n'bees stuff: Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle (he of ''A Year in Provence'' fame, oddly enough), illustrated by Arthur Robbins. My husband and I, who both had this book as seventies kids, still get a giggle out of the description of orgasm (I don't think that word is actually used): ''It's like being tickled, only much better.'' Anyway, the book is still in print, it has great cartoon illustrations which are frank but not overly explicit, and best of all, it's funny. After all, if you can't find the humor in sex, you probably can't find much humor in anything. Still chuckling twenty-five years later
There is an Usborne book that I gave my son when he was around 4 - I can't remember the name, but something like ''how babies are made''. It had details about how babies are made, including the stuff about chromosomes and development (which kids that age are fascinated by), and touched lightly on the mechanical aspect of sexual intercourse. It seemed good enough for him at that age. Check out Cody's in Berkeley and look through the books to see what you're comfortable with. Pam
I like the book ''Isn't It Amazing!'' R.K.
I've seen some children's books explaining sexuality at Good Vibrations on San Pablo. Even if you choose not to buy they might give you some new ideas on how to proceed. My bet is that they have a wider selection for varying ages than what you might find at a bookstore not specializing in sexuality. I have seen some books about changing bodies and reproduction at Cody's, but they seem to include limited information on sexuality. Susan
Check out the following two books and decide which goes into the amount of detail that you prefer. They are by the same author and are excellent! In my opinion, the first book I list would probably be about the age right level.
It's so amazing! a book about eggs, sperm, birth, babies and families. Author: Robie Harris.
It's perfectly normal: changing bodies, growing up, sex and sexual health. (I think that this book would work for upper elementary and middle schoolers)
The casual, chatty style of the author and the absolutely charming illustrations by Michael Emberley make these books appealing to adults and kids. The frank, no-nonsense coverage of sex is also right on.
I'm sure your local library would have them. denise
I really liked the book ''It's So Amazing'' by Robie Harris. My 7 year old son seemed to really enjoy it as well. I thought it balanced its description of sexuality, love, families, HIV, ''OK touches'', adoption, etc. in a very appropriate way. Sima
I had this very same question recently and asked a couple of my friends who have kids in the 4-8 range, like I do, and they recommended ''It's So Amazing,'' a book that adresses this subject in some detail, in a cartoon format with info delivered at a child's level, I'd say around age 6-12, though everyone's opinion differs. I got it, and although I haven't been through the whole thing, it was just what I was looking for, how to ''start the conversation.'' My 8 year old son was fascinated the first night and wouldn't put it down. That's another nice thing, readers can read it themselves, because it's written for a child to understand. I don't remember the author right now, but the illustrator is Michael Emberley. It's available at Amazon, and probably elsewhere. Mid-size paperback. raissa
It's great you want to educate your kids!
I find the Public Libraries are a great resource and children's librarians have good ideas. Berkeley Public Library has a handout with book suggestions about sex and growing up. For elementary age it includes: Asking about sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole and It's so amazing! A book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families by R Harris.
I work with kids and have taught about sex using How Babies Are Made by A.Andry and S.Schepp. I like it though it is kind of old-fashioned in the illustrations, which look like paper cut-outs. It first talks about animals' reproduction and then gets to humans; it explains about sex with correct anatomical terms but no explicit illustrations.
A good resource is SEICUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S). They have a bibliography at http://www.siecus.org/pubs/biblio/bibs0011.html Remember the key is being an askable parent! Peggy