7 must-have sex education books for children
Has your child started asking questions about sex? If so, it's time to grab one of these sex education books and enlighten him
Jayesh: Mom, what is sex?
Me: Ummm, where did you hear that word?
Jayesh: From Maya di.
Me: Well, it’s a sport that mommies and daddies play. Only mommies and daddies! Are you hungry? I’ll just make your favourite pasta.
Does Jayesh’s conversation with his mother remind you of something? Has your child also started asking questions about the ‘birds and the bees?’ Well then, it’s probably time you sat them down to give them some much needed gyaan on sex education before they head out to find the answers elsewhere.
Like most of our generation who is now a parent, sex education was probably taught by the sixth grade biology teacher. But with greater accessibility of visual media, younger kids are just three clicks away from an explicit video that’ll put you in the spot.
When to start sex education?
Let’s categorise children based on their ages to gather what they understand at certain ages.
Ages 2 to 3: You can use the words ‘penis’ and vagina’ in front of your children to help them better understand private body parts.
Ages 3 to 4: By this time the child gets inquisitive about where they’ve come from. Of course, they will not understand the reproductive system but just saying ‘Mommy has a uterus and you lived there till you were big enough to be born’ is also fine.
Ages 5 to 6: Again, your children could ask you more about the private body parts, what they are for and how mom and dad made him. That’s because they are exposed to many mediums of information including peers. You can tell them how ‘when dad gave his sperm, it joined with mum’s cell, and a tiny egg was formed and that become you.’ You could show them pictures of the ultrasound to be more specific.
Ages 6 to 7: By this time your children can probably understand a little bit about sex. You can also speak to them about emotions attached to the act. For instance, saying ‘Sex is how mum and dad express their love for each other,’ can also work. Alternatively, you could tell them how the bodies of mum and dad fit like pieces of a puzzle and how the egg is formed.
Ages 8 to 12: During these formative years, the child can understand much more about sex and it’s a good idea to introduce them to books or videos that animatedly explain the concept.
If you are however, stuck on which sex education books to buy, we might have just the right mix for your children aged between 3 and 8. You can read these books yourself and understand how to start the conversation or have them read it when you think they are ready.
Continue to read about the 7 must have books on sex education for you children
Book: The Yellow Book and The Orange Book (Zubaan Publications)
Why: Written for the South-East Asian parent, this book guides them through the ‘why, when, where, what, who and how’ of sex education. The books also highlight the ways to speak to children about sex and also talks about peer behaviour.
Cost: ₹ 230
Book: Just for Boys and Just for Girls (Parragon Books)
Why: These two books are good reads to dispell myths about growing up and good for children above the age of 11. The easy to understand and straightforward literature is packed with advice tips and fact boxes for reaching puberty.
Cost: Just for Boys: ₹ 295 | Just for Girls: ₹ 251
Book: What is happening to my body (William Morrow Paperbacks), Let’s talk about sex (Walker Books) and Asking about sex and growing up (HarperCollins)
Why: Written by health educator Lynda Madaras, What is happening to my body gives sensitive straight talk on the body’s changing size and shape; diet and exercise; the growth spurt; the reproductive organs; body hair; voice changes; romantic and sexual feelings; and puberty in the opposite sex.
Let’s talk about sex is written by award-winning author Robie H. Harris and provides accurate and up-to-date answers to nearly every imaginable question, from conception and puberty to birth control and AIDS.
Author Joanna Cole uses a question-and-answer format in Asking about sex and growing up to offer straightforward information on subjects related to sex and puberty.
Cost:What is happening to my body: ₹ 1,026 | Let’s talk about sex: ₹ 13,914
Asking about sex and growing up: ₹ 896
As a parent you could have a hard time dealing with discussions on issues of sex and puberty. But if you take the help of visual media and some well-written and informative books, you could crack the code for how to talk to your child about sex.
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