It’s OK to not have all the answers when it comes to talking about sex with children. But kids need answers, and you don’t have to do it alone! There are many resources available for educators, parents, and children alike that enlighten and guide our way from early questions about how babies are made, through puberty, and beyond. Here are some of our favorites.

For Parents

Talk With Your Kids – “As a parent, you want to help your kids stay safe and healthy. All kids learn about sex somehow, but it makes a difference when they hear it from you. Talk with your kids openly, honestly and often to help them learn how to prevent pregnancy and the diseases people can get from having unprotected sex.”

Advocates for Youth – Parents – “When parents talk to and affirm the value of their children, young people are more likely to develop positive, healthy attitudes about themselves. This is also true when the subject is sex. Research shows that positive communication between parents and their children can help young people establish individual values and make healthy decisions.”

Birds + Bees + Kids – “If you rely on strangers and their peers to teach your kids about sexuality they lose out on learning from the person they most want and need to hear from – YOU! Worse yet, they don’t get the information you want them to have about your values and related topics like love and healthy relationships.”

Sex and Sensibility: The Thinking Parent’s Guide to Talking Sense About Sex – “With a rare directness and clarity about sex and reproduction, sexual values, and cultural influences on sexuality, Deborah Roffman challenges and teaches readers how to develop a blueprint for opening the lines of communication with children of all ages. Sex and Sensibility introduces the five core parenting skills that parents need to confidently interpret and comfortably respond to virtually any question a child might pose or any situation that arises.” 

For Young Children

It’s Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends – “Young children are curious about almost everything, especially their bodies. And young children are not afraid to ask questions. What makes me a girl? What makes me a boy? Why are some parts of girls’ and boys’ bodies the same and why are some parts different? How was I made? Where do babies come from? Is it true that a stork brings babies to mommies and daddies?”

What’s the Big Secret?: Talking about Sex with Girls and Boys – “Are boys and girls different on the inside? How do you tell girls and boys apart? Do girls and boys have the same feelings? Is sex a dirty word? Where do babies come from? What does being pregnant mean? How do you get a belly button?”

For Preteens and Teens

“What’s Happening to Me?” A Guide to Puberty – “Designed to ease the embarrassment of explaining puberty to children, this book presents the facts of life during puberty. It aims to present them with honesty, sympathy and a sense of humor.”

Changing Bodies, Changing Lives: A Book for Teens on Sex and Relationships – “Chances are you’d find that almost everyone else has questions and worries a lot like yours, if you could get them to admit it. This brand-new, completely updated and revised edition of Changing Bodies, Changing Lives is full of honest, accurate, nonjudgmental information on everything teenagers need to know about today.”

What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls – “Everything preteen and teen girls need to know about their changing bodies and feelings Written by an experienced educator and her daughter in a reassuring and down-to-earth style, The “What’s Happening to My Body?” Book for Girls gives sensitive straight talk on: the body’s changing size and shape; the growth spurt; breast development; the reproductive organs; the menstrual cycle; body hair; diet and exercise; romantic and sexual feelings; and puberty in the opposite sex.”

What’s Going on Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask – “Your body has been behaving very strangely lately. You hardly know what to expect from one day to the next. Karen Gravelle, with some help from her two young advisors, Nick and Chava Castro, has written a down-to-earth and practical book that will help guide you through this confusing time in your life.” – “Scarleteen is an independent, grassroots sexuality education and support organization and website. Founded in 1998, is visited by around three-quarters of a million diverse people each month worldwide, most between the ages of 15 and 25. It is the highest-ranked website for sex education and sexuality advice online and has held that rank through most of its tenure.”

For Educators

SexEd Library – “Human sexuality is like no other subject in our educational system today. Not only should the content be up to date and relevant, but the tools with which you teach it can be as important as the information itself. SexEdLibrary is designed to give you all of that–and more.”

Advocates for Youth – Educators – “Sex educators play a vital role in providing young people with information they need to protect their health and futures. Whether you are someone new to the field of sex education or trying to stay abreast of the latest effective programs and resources, Advocates can help. Explore the Sex Ed Center for lesson plans, curricula, national standards, and state legislation.”

Photo credit: unsplash-logoBenjamin Manley

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