Talking about “the Talk,” episode 2

A few months back, I began preparing for a discussion on sexuality with my oldest child.  I spent quite a bit of time researching and wrote a post called Talking about “the Talk”, which turned out to be a really big hit with many of you.  I got such wonderful feedback that I decided to put off “the Talk” while I looked into several of the suggestions you gave me, and oh my, am I glad I did.  You guys are SO SMART!  I didn’t get to all of your suggestions simply because my books budget isn’t quite at the million dollar mark yet. {looks wistfully off into the distance}  But what I’ve found has been really great and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Preparing for the talk, episode 2

If you come back this Friday, I’m going to publish a whole 7 Quick Takes-style post with tips for having the discussion with your daughter. Bonus!

Some of the links below are affiliate links.  Thanks for helping me keep my kids well-read!

Wonderfully Made! Babies: A Catholic Perspective on How and Why God Makes Babies This was recommended by a handful of people, and after reading it, I can totally see why.  It begins with the nature of God (is love, has an intellect and free will) which, when I started to think about it, made complete sense.  Of course the nature of God plays into our humanity (and therefore our sexuality), since we’re created in His image. This book became one of the two books I read with my daughter. What it is: A picture book with rich language and deep theological ideas. It goes into the details of how a baby is made, the male and female roles involved, and God’s role in creation. Very well done.  What it isn’t: It’s not a science book, so the images related to anatomy are small and rather simplistic. I supplemented with the books below. Age range: 9 and up, and definitely not too simplistic for most of the middle school crowd.

The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls, Revised Edition I wasn’t going to use this book because I figured I’d with all Catholic resources, but it turns out this book was another great find. One thing I picked up from an Amazon review was to avoid the Q & A pages called “Body Talk.”  There isn’t anything objectionable per se, but the questions *might* introduce anxiety or worries where none are needed.  For example: “I hate my freckles and wish I could get rid of them forever” and so on. I’d rather my very confident and self-assured (and freckled) daughter wasn’t introduced to the idea that some people hate their freckles (or any part of their bodies) just yet. But that really is my only objection and it’s easily handled.  I skimmed this book with my daughter and let her keep it to read later, but asked her to avoid the Body Talk pages. What it is:  It’s a how-to-care-for-your-body book, written directly to a younger girl. It discusses hygiene, what to expect from puberty, etc.  There is no mention of sex in this book. My daughter really likes the format and loves American Girls, so it’s a hit here. If you have pubescent boys in the house, just a heads up that there are simple illustrations of developing breasts. What it isn’t: Again, not science.  Drawings regarding the reproductive system (of girls, there is no mention of boys for obvious reasons) are simplistic and very small.  Age range: 8-11, but there is also The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls (which I’ve checked out from the library but haven’t read the whole way through)

The Wonder of Me | Fertility Appreciation for Adolescents and Parents This and the book below are written by the same author (an MD) and have a lot of overlap.  (These are the only books I’m reviewing today not available on Amazon. They’re both available from Family Honor.) What it is: A science book about the nature of male and female fertility from a Catholic perspective (and as we all know, there is no conflict between science and Catholicism). This book also includes discussions on the gift of fertility.  Discussions about the emotional nature of human sexuality are woven in.  This is detailed enough to use as a family “text book” for a Natural Family Planning class for adolescents.  It really has a whole bunch of detail, including reading the signs of fertility (from mucus to moods) and how bodies develop during adolescence. It contains quite a few illustrations and diagrams (all black and white, hand-drawn) and is 48 pages long. I used a couple of illustrations in my discussion with my daughter. What it isn’t: Basic.  Ha.  This book is way too detailed for my daughter.  But I’m keeping it around because I fully plan to use it when she is older and ready to begin charting, etc. Age range: The title says adolescents, and I’d have to agree.  Probably age 13 and up, depending on maturity (physical and emotional)

Our Power to Love | God’s Gift of Our Sexuality This book is the older teen version of The Wonder of Me (above).  See that review as well. What it is: Again, see above. It’s a science-based book from a Catholic perspective.  It covers the nature and the gift of male and female fertility, the reproductive processes, and in contrast to The Wonder of Me, also includes a section on “Who We Are as Persons.” This additional segment covers big theological questions like Who am I?, What is love?, The Power and Responsibility of Love, etc. It has black and white, hand-drawn illustrations and is 103 pages long. What it isn’t: Again, not basic.  This could also suffice for a parent-led introduction to NFP for teens. Age range: High school age teens and above.

 

Those were my new books!  Join me back here on Friday for tips on how to have a great first discussion with your daughter. Coming up in the next couple of months (unless someone wants to send me review copies sooner? cough cough), I’m hoping to buy and review some of these titles:

For the littles:

Theology of the Body for Tots

Theology of the Body for Kids

For the biggers:

Purely You kits

This Bloom PMS kit looks so sweet.  Might have to consider it, or something like it, as my daughter gets a little older.

Anything else I should look into?

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for these posts! Having ‘the talk’ with my kids makes me so nervous. I was never given it while growing up and feel lost as to when and where to start. I will definitely be looking into these books!

  2. Thanks for checking these books out and sharing about them Micaela! I’m still in denial that I really should start thinking seriously about this stuff. I can’t handle how fast my kids have grown!
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    • Tell me about it with the denial. It’s real. After writing this last night I listened to a podcast about a mom who talks to her kids about sex in second or third grade! It seemed so insane just a few months ago, but more and more I’m seeing that it’s way better to be the first and authoritative voice in the sex/chastity conversation.