Handling Questions About Bodies with Your Young Children

I think every parent dreads certain questions and discussions with their children. There are a thousand difficult things that we will need to discuss with them as they grow up, and no matter how well-prepared we think we are, they are bound to ask a question or make an observation we are unprepared for. In order to help us feel better about approaching the discussion about body differences, changes, and babies I put together a few book lists to help all of us.

In this post I will offer suggestions for parents in deciding what to say and when, and how to broach the body discussion with the youngest children that need to know why boys and girls are different, and why certain actions or questions might be inappropriate. I followed up that list with some book suggestions that you can share with even the youngest children to help explain matters.

There is another book list coming with suggestions for books intended for middle graders as well as preteens and teens.

Books for Parents:

1. What your Child Needs to Know about Sex (and when): a Straight-Talking Guide for Parents by Fred Kaeser

2. What’s the Big Secret?: Talking about Sex with Girls and Boys by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

3. Everything you Never Wanted your Kids to Know about Sex, (but were afraid they’d ask): the Secrets to Surviving your Child’s Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens by Justin Richardson and Mark A. Schuster

4. It’s Perfectly Normal: a Book about Changing Bodies, Growing up, Sex and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris; illustrated by Michael Emberley

5. Talking to Your Kids about Sex: from Toddlers to Preteens by Lauri Berkenkamp and Steven C. Atkins

6. Ten Talks Parents Must have with their Children about Sex and Character by Pepper Schwartz and Dominic Cappello

7. The Big Talk: Talking to your Child about Sex and Dating by Laurie Langford

Books for the Youngest Kids:

1. It’s Not the Stork!: a Book about Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends by Robie H. Harris; illustrated by Michael Emberley

2. Amazing You: Getting Smart about your Private Parts by Gail Saltz; illustrated by Lynn Cravath

3. Who Has What?: All about Girls’ Bodies and Boys’ Bodies by Robie H. Harris; illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

4. Human Body by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

5. My Body by Andrea Pinnington and Penny Lamprell

6. Human Body by Margaret Hynes; illustrations, Andy Crisp

Need more suggestions? Just stop by the Children’s Room and the librarian on duty can point you in the right direction!

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