Let’s talk books and resources to start discussing sexual health and reproduction with kids. I break it down by target groups but there is overlap.
MUSLIM YOUTH: I had the incredible opportunity to attend a study group hosted by Sameera Qureshi, the Director of Sexuality Education & Training for a trailblazing group called HEART Women and Girls. HEART (health education, advocacy, research + training) promotes sexual health and sexual violence awareness in Muslim communities. This is SUCH a critical undertaking and these incredible women are changing lives. Their publications are evidence-based, priceless resources for Muslim parents.
ELEMENTARY AGE: With their limited attention span and concrete thinking picture books are useful. You may opt to review some of the pictures based on your comfort and work up to reading the entirety as your child grows.
These books were recommended by my brilliant colleague/sexual health educator Dr. Carolyn Gorman (who was also my work-roommate/bestie AND Obstetrician…love her!):
Amazing You!: Getting Smart About Your Private Parts by Gail Saltz
“…a picture book designed especially for young children who are becoming aware of their bodies, but aren’t ready to learn about sexual intercourse.”
What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg
“…a book for every kind of family and every kind of kid…about conception, gestation, and birth, which reflects the reality of our modern time by being inclusive of all kinds of kids, adults, and families…”
Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU by Cory Silverberg
“A resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers.”
AGES 10+: the focus shifts into more adult topics such as responsibility, peer pressure, confidence and dispelling myths.
It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris
“Providing accurate and up-to-date answers to nearly every imaginable question, from conception and puberty to birth control and STDs, It’s Perfectly Normal offers young people the information they need—now more than ever—to make responsible decisions and stay healthy.”
The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls by Cara Natterson “This book covers new questions about periods, your growing body, peer pressure, personal care, and more!”
Using these books in conjunction with open communication will help guide conversations with children.
Please share any books or resources that you recommend!