6 Books to Teach Your Kids About Sex and Reproduction

6 Books to Teach Your Kids About Sex and ReproductionThere, I did it. I put sex in the title of my blog post. How and when to teach our children about reproduction is a highly personal decision. Our philosophy over here is pretty simple: answer their questions and if they don’t ask any give them the information anyway. Having a baby a year (like I did 1996-2005) really helps to get the ball rolling. If you can’t do that, here is a list of my favorite books about sex and  reproduction.

But before I get to that, I need to share a funny incident with you. My children ask for a new baby on a regular basis (nevermind that they have 13 siblings). When Apollo was younger it was easy to point out how sick he was and how I wouldn’t be able to care for him if I had a new baby. The day (yes the DAY) I returned from Texas and Apollo’s second heart surgery I was ambushed by children saying, “Apollo is fixed…Now can we have a new baby?

I have recently gotten into the habit of telling them “I’m too old” when they begin their campaign for a new sibling. That worked quite well until a certain child of mine read the book: Growing Up: It’s a Girl Thing. She then approached me and explained in a whisper that I wasn’t actually too old to have a baby…My jig was up, it seemed. So I told her I felt too old to have another baby.

Just  this week while driving in the van I had a certain child say to me: “Mom, can’t you please have a new baby? Can’t you try just one more time and see if it happens?” This child seems to have the biology down, if not the social and interpersonal aspect of reproduction.

So, without further ado, my favorite books to teach kids about sex and reproduction:

The Care and Keeping of You

This is a popular, well-written book put out by the American Girl company. It sticks to the facts of menstruation, puberty and common growing up questions. It is written in a very conversational style; guaranteed to draw your daughter in and not embarrass her.

Growing Up: It’s a Girl Thing

This book is great. It  covers: breasts, body changes, menstrual cycles and reproduction. It has a chapter called: It’s My Body, and talks about how it is never okay for: “…an adult, teen or older child to intentionally (on purpose) to try to touch or rub up against any private places on a child’s body for sexual reasons”. It goes on to give a very straight forward, but non-graphic, description of inappropriate touching.

As far as reproduction, it has a very good description of the biology of sex. It includes proper names for everything. This book does not describe relationships or when/where sex is appropriate. It states simply: When a grown-up couple unites in the mating process it is called having sexual intercourse. Then goes on to explain what this means.

I really like this approach. I am a firm believer that Chuck and I are the best people to discuss the when sex is appropriate in the context of our faith, not a book or school.

The Wonderful Way that Babies are Made

This is a well-written beautifully illustrated book talking about the biological process of making babies from a Christian perspective. The cool thing about this book is it has large text to be read aloud to 3-8 year olds and smaller text to be read to older kids. This book also covers adoption, which makes me love it even more! The only thing I don’t like is one illustration of a mom and dad snuggling in bed together. It makes me uncomfortable in the context of the text, but then again I’m a bit of a prude, so it may not bother you at all.

How Are Babies Made? (Flip Flaps Series)

How Are Babies Made is a lift the flap book by Usborne. It is geared at children ages four and up (but the illustrations will certainly draw in younger children). This book uses kid-friendly words like: womb and belly button. I am a firm believer in teaching proper anatomical words, but also have no issue with words in the common vernacular. This book does not describe intercourse, but does have cartoonish pictures of eggs and sperm. I personally like to have this book along side one such as The Wonderful Way that Babies are Made. I feel like this book compliments the more serious books very well.

The Miracle of Birth

I love this book for the anatomical approach to pregnancy and childbirth. This book has lovely transparent pages that illustrate what a woman’s womb looks like with and without a baby in it. This book focuses on the growth of a baby from sperm and egg to infant and less of the mechanics of sex. This book is a wonderful companion to the ones above. The Miracle of Birth is an older book (I believe it is out of print) but it is well worth finding a used copy.

A Child is Born

A Child is Born is the classic book full of photographs of unborn babies at every stage of developement, especially helpful if you are pregnant. I know when I was pregnant with Apollo the kids loved to check each week and see what he looked like developmentally!

These are just a few books that I have personal experience with and that I love. I didn’t want to share any I hadn’t actually read. If you have books to recommend, please leave them in the comments, I’d love to hear about them…especially books written for boys!

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Kylie Drinks Coffee (and Other Adventures)

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The last few days have been busy. Friends from Australia (aka Kylie and kids) visiting, trips to the ER for said friend (no emergency, but her traveler’s insurance requires her to go to the hospital rather than doctor). Avi broke her fifth metatarsal. Similar to Mordecai, but in the joint this time. She is on crutches which she loves and hates with equal passion.

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We threw a ninth birthday party for Tucker (LEGO themed, of course, and pictures will be posted soon). gingerbread-house

We’ve made two trips to Walmart. One sans children, the other with so many children walking through the store was like parting the Red Sea as people saw us approach and fled. The barista at Starbucks warned me against shopping there because of how badly they treat their employees. I told her I was truly sorry about that, but I have 14 kids, and would she prefer me to shop there and pay my own bills, or go on Welfare and shop at GAP? The conversation was pleasant and ended with smiles on both ends.

I am more than happy to buy clothes at GAP (when I find them on sale) and don’t actually buy clothes at Walmart (aside from socks and undergarments), but we do buy our toiletries there. Sorry Starbucks employee…10710641_837995686251569_4085665777853207050_nI got Kylie to try a cup of coffee (Cinnamon Dulce Latte) about which she said, “It’s not bad”. Kylie won’t let me take her picture or post it online, which makes me assume she is part of some Australian Witness Protection Program. A program where coffee is forbidden and fostering adorable children strongly encouraged. In this program there is obviously plenty of time to stalk American bloggers and plan long adventures in foreign countries.

Sounds kind of fun, actually.

 

 

Twelve

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Mordecai turned twelve last month. He is in sixth grade, his last year of elementary school. I shared a bit last year about his struggles in school and with his teacher…well this year, his teacher is absolutely fabulous. She was handpicked by Mordecai’s special ed teacher, and it was clearly the right choice. She is great not just with Mordecai, but with all of her students. She seems to have a genuine affection for Mordecai, which makes him want to please her.african-american-boy-fedora

But having a good teacher and fabulous support doesn’t erase his struggles anymore than his great singing voice, creativity or mad LEGO skillz cancel out the damage caused by prenatal drug and alcohol exposure. Those are things Mordecai has to work against each and every day. Things he will always have to work against.african-american-boy-fedora

 

Mordecai is having struggles. Struggles that are not really unexpected at all. Being twelve is hard, and so much more when you have special needs. When you have to work so much harder than your fellow students. When you don’t always understand what’s going on around you.african-american-boy-fedora

So, we are trying some new things. Working with doctors and mental health professionals. Trying to help Mordecai become the best, most successful young man he can be.african-american-boy-fedora

And while we’re at it, I’m taking GQ-worthy photos. Mordecai has taken a new interest in his physical appearance. He likes to look good. Sharp. african-american-boy-fedora

He’s developing a real sense of style, I think he pulls it off really well.

Family Maternity Photos {Little Earthling Photography}

Tami is one of the best friends someone could have. I often feel that our relationship is skewed a bit. I feel like Tami is always helping me, supporting me and often lending a hand and that I rarely get to return the favor. So when she asked for a few maternity photos, I was happy I could finally do something for her.
family maternity photos12-year-old Everett was just adorable, hamming it up with his mama’s belly. I love this image. No awkwardness, just love and goofiness. Everett was Mordecai’s first friend. He is growing into  a handsome, responsible young man. So fun to see him grow up.family maternity photos

I made Tami drag her family out for a few shots. She was worried that they weren’t dressed for family photos. Who cares? Tami looked cute, her kids were clean, and I even managed a shot with all of them looking at the camera. I think they’re adorable.family maternity photosfamily maternity photosfamily maternity photos

Sweet Abigail. I photographed her loooong but successful VBAC in 2011. And I’ll certainly be capturing this little one’s arrival as well.family maternity photosfamily maternity photos

And lest you think I’m the best friend ever because when you come over for my son’s birthday party I might just whip out my camera and take maternity pictures, I have a confession to make.

Tami asked me to do maternity photos when she was pregnant with Abigail. And what else could I say, but yes? So I took the photos. But I had no idea what I was doing. I had never taken maternity photos. I still felt awkward about posing people, especially pregnant women. So I took the photos, but they have been sitting, unedited, on my hard drive all this time. Yes, I’m embarrassed about it. But this was a confession, after all. I have now pulled them off my hard drive and am editing them for Tami.

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Here is one of the shots from  her pregnancy with Abigail. And I promise, Tami, you’ll get the rest.family maternity photosThis picture pretty much sums up Tami. Strong, beautiful, goofy.  I can’t wait to get the call that she is in labor with this new little babe!