This post is brought to you by Anatomy for Kids. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Growing up, we didn’t call our private parts by their real names. Since I am one of 3 girls, I don’t even remember what we called a penis because it just wasn’t talked about. But, what we called a vagina is a word that I can’t even bring myself to say today…it’s THAT embarrassing of a word. We weren’t taught the word vagina at all (at least not that I can remember). Sex was also not something that was talked about in our family and any “knowledge” I had as a child came from my friends at school. It wasn’t until 5th grade when we had the dreaded movie with the girls in one room and the boys in the other room, that I remember learning more about anatomy, periods and more.
I always wished that my Mom would have sat me down and talked to me about these things or at least gotten me a book so I could read about what was happening with me and my body. I decided that no matter how embarrassing, I would try to talk to my kids more about their bodies and about sex. Having three kids that are spaced out in age (15, 11 & almost 6) you’d think I have all the answers by now and know what to say, but that isn’t always the case. Early on with my older two, I checked out books from the library and sort of let them read them on their own and told them to come to me or their dad with any questions. But, the thing about the books we have seen before is that there is A LOT of info in one book and what might be appropriate for a 15 year old boy to read about is NOT appropriate for my 11 year daughter to read about yet.
When I was asked to check out Anatomy for Kids books, I was really intrigued and couldn’t wait. The first thing I liked was that each book was geared towards either a boy or girl and then also geared towards a certain subject, instead of everything being lumped into one book. I also liked that each book is written like a story book with Dr. M. (Dr. Shelley Metten, the founder of Anatomy for Kids) as a character in the book, guiding the kids and talking to them in a way that they can understand.
For the girls, you can choose from these books:
- I’m a Girl: Special Me (Ages 5-7) – Introduces where babies come from
- I’m a Girl: My Changing Body (Ages 8-9) – Describes the early signs of puberty
- I’m a Girl: Hormones! (Ages 10-11) – Describes the monthly hormone cycle & menstruation
- I’m a Girl: Sexual Maturity (Ages 12-14) – Answers questions about sex, conception & reproductive help
For the boys, you can choose from these books:
- I’m a Boy: Special Me (Ages 5-7) – Introduces boy anatomy & the concept of where babies come from
- I’m a Boy: My Changing Body (Ages 8-10) – Describes the early signs of puberty (coming out the end of April)
- I’m a Boy: Hormones! (Ages 11-13) – Describes puberty & hormone signaling
- I’m a Boy: Sexual Maturity (Ages 12-14) – Answers questions about sex, conception & reproductive health
Having a website and book series like this teaches kids that it’s ok to ask these questions & teaches them the knowledge that they need about their own bodies and how they are changing. Plus, it helps us as parents have a starting point to talk to our kids and know what might be age appropriate for our own kids. I always remember the advice I read that when a child asks “Where do babies come from?”, you give them a simple answer as a base and then see if they have more questions or want to talk more. Sometimes, that simple answer is all they need or want at a young age.
Once you’re over at the Anatomy for Kids website, check out the Anatomy for Kids community. There you can read questions from other parents and see how Dr. Shelley Metten, the founder of Anatomy for Kids, answers these questions. For everyone that joins between April 2nd and April 9th will be entered into a random giveaway for a $50 Target gift card!