I’ve always wanted to be honest with N, and ready to answer any questions he has. There have been a lot of questions about babies and bodies over the years, and there’s been a lot more recently too. I’m not looking forward to the puberty questions about the male aspect – I’m definitely going to need some book help with that, not having personal experience myself. I can’t see the OH giving a particularly informed or in depth factual reason behind all the changes. So it’ll probably fall to me.
We’ve done the ‘how babies are made’ from a seed and egg point of view back when he was 4. The basics of a natural vs a csection – he likes that he was cut out.
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Age 4, we had questions on how babies are made if they have 2 mums because there wouldn’t be a seed. So he knows about all the different options for that. He’s never asked about 2 dads having babies, but I’m sure he’ll ask when he wants to know, and it’ll be a case of reminding him of the previous conversation.
He has an understanding of bits of puberty having watched an episode about it on Operation Ouch, and has asked why key stage 2 girls have their own cloakroom and toilets. And he knows that girls growing up to women have periods each month (although if he’s like his dad, he’ll have switched off at that point).
The latest conversation about the birds and the bees was at bedtime, as so many of our deep conversations are.
He wanted to know about tummy buttons again, innies and outies and how they’re made.
With so many of our chats, they tend to merge into other discussions, and this was no exception.
Discussion around placentas being tied after birth, feeding babies in the womb, how babies stay in and then come out with contractions. How you know a baby is coming, waters breaking, meconium and dilation. Including the timeline of his birth.
It was all kept very factual. Although he was a bit mind blown when it clicked that women had 3 holes for their privates rather than the 2 that men have. He wanted to know what that looks like so I definitely need to find a puberty book that shows a diagram. I’m not sure
he I really want to google and end up seeing real ones!
While it’s a challenge giving enough information in language that is age appropriate, I like that he’s interested in finding out the facts. It means that once they start doing sex education at school next year he’ll already understand most of it.
The next step was to find age suitable puberty books. It was challenging because N’s at the inbetween age where books for younger children (age 4-8) are a bit young but the next stage books (usually age 9-12) seem too old. He’s unlikely to read chapter books, and I thought a mix of diagrams and words would work better. But I struggled to find books that included everything about growing up, and not just the puberty changes.
I’ve found a couple of Usbourne books which looked suitable, and asked some friends. We bought the Growing Up book which was a throw back to my childhood – although it’s been updated since then – to include more about consent, avoiding bullying about people developing at different stages, and non-heterosexual relationships.
We’ll see how N takes it when the information is in book form rather than relying on the easy ‘Just ask mum’. So far, he’s had a quick flick which always seems to land on the bra and breast section (which admittedly is quite large)! I think we’ll definitely have to read it together.
Have you been through puberty stage with your children? What books or resources would you recommend to answer puberty questions?
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