A friend of mine recently emailed that she is teaching a seminar for parents about talking to kids about sex. She asked for a book recommendations for parents. I thought you guys might want to know of them as well!
Here’s the first. Hopefully you’ve seen this advertised on social media already! Written by a married duo, this book is geared toward 2-8 year-old children. It’s fantastic! Three things I loved about it:
- It starts with dignity. It begins with the question, “Who Made You?”, and the answer, “God.” And it discusses that God made ALL THINGS GOOD. Yes. Perspective. Little ones (and big ones), you are the magnum opus of God’s creation. I hope that makes you cry a little.
- It teaches boundaries in both child-friendly language AND in a way that legitimizes a child’s voice. One example they give in the book is that a child can choose not to hug or kiss a relative goodbye. And that is ok! Children don’t owe adults physical affection.
- It clarifies the difference between secrets and surprises. I wholeheartedly agree with the authors on this and LOVE how they talk about the two. Children (or adults, for that matter) are not meant to bear secrets. They facilitate shame and guilt.
The second set is a series I have not read, but heard good things about. It’s called God’s Design for Sex Series. It is also written by a married duo. He is a psychology professor and she has training in biblical and theological studies. It seems that different books from the set appeal to different ages. The first book, The Story of Me, is aimed for 3-5 year olds. However, Facing the Facts, is written for children 11-14. You can order them separately or together. They are meant to be read by both child and parent.
Girlology is a book I used with a middle school girls’ group way back when I was a counselor in Florida. It isn’t Christian or faith-based. However, it maintains boundaries that I agree with and encourages girls to talk to their mothers throughout puberty. Written by two female doctors, it is quite frank about body parts, romantic relationships and friendship. I’d recommend reading this along with your daughter. It is good fodder for conversations!
You guys know the author from our community retreat last year. It’s Sharon Hersh and she’s wonderful! This book is one in a three book series about mother-daughter relationships. It is geared toward parents. She gives snippets of practical advice in a book that’s really about hope and longing in the soul of a teenage girl. I think it gives honor to both mother and adolescent.
Lastly, how about a book for the boys? Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys is written by two male Christian counselors out of Nashville. This book is for parents and addresses development in boys from birth to adulthood. It is not primarily about sex, but includes discussions about subjects that contribute to healthy views of sexuality such as pornography, puberty and masturbation. I love their discussion about rituals and rites of passage for boys. This might have been the book I recommended most to parents during my days as a counselor.
This list is not all-inclusive. There are many, MANY books out there. These are just a few suggestions for your parenting tool belt.
This list is also not meant to be a conversation stopper from RMC’s end. Talking about sexuality can muddle the waters of dignity and depravity in us like no other subjects, especially when we adults broach the topic with children. It causes us to have to turn the mirror in our direction; that has potential for great shame. Please know you are always welcome to talk about this. We want to pray for, support and encourage you as you talk with your children. And we think you can do it.