The Birds and the Bees, Round 4- Feedback Friday

Okay, all kidding aside, you know my past experience with discussing this tricky subject with my boys. It's not happening as I planned or hoped...actually, I hoped they were just born with certain knowledge...

I've decided to consult the experts and choose a book for my almost 11 year old to read on his own, then come together for some uncomfortable silence, crying, lively discussion. I think this is the least stressful healthiest option (for both of us).

In searching for the right book, I've found the following problems:

1. too little information
2. too much information

I know that giving him something too young and vague will not satisfy his curiosity and escalate Google searches, but some books cover topics I'm not sure have entered his mind yet (masturbation, birth control, alternatives to intercourse...). Don't shy away, girls! Your day is coming! Oh, and I just misspelled "masturbation" so I need all the help I can get!

For those of you who have an opinion on this subject, let me ask you this...

If a book has more information than I was expecting to cover at this time, is that necessarily a negative thing? Should I be trying to prepare and educate him about things as he is questioning them (would I even know?) or be proactive and try to cover future questions now?

Ultimately, a book with chapters velcro'd together to allow me to pick and choose is what I'd wish for at this time, but until a smart mom comes up with this alternative - I'd love to hear the titles of books you found helped discuss this touchy subject with your kids, too.



  1. If a book works, use it. I've always been very lucky with Ray and been able to talk rather freely about things like this, but if I had to rely on a book I would shoot for the least information just to start the conversation. That's when you fill in the blanks where you see fit.

    Good luck. Ha-ha! I remember my first REAL conversation with Ray. I think HE was more embarrassed than I was.

  2. Yikes! I am really glad that we are still a few years away from this tough topic. These books that you are looking at are targeted for his age? It would seem to me that if you choose a book that TMI it would get boring to an 11 year old and they wouldn't read all of it anyways. One of the hospitals here has a fantastic program every year for young women and their moms. They have it in a hotel banquet room and serve a fancy lunch. A couple local OB/GYN women come in and talk to the young girls about all of these topics (their body, getting their periods,sex, birth control, having babies. A few friends have taken their daughters and it was a great way to open up some of these tough topics. Too bad they don't offer something like that for boys too.

  3. I have been looking for the same thing and hesitating for the same reasons....LOL. When I was a young girl, my mom had a book about a Woman's Body - but it also covered male bodies, sex, and everything. She didn't tell me to "read" it; I just knew it was there. When I had a question, I looked it up. I guess I came across the questionable material as I was old enough to wonder about it. But - yeah, I haven't quite bought that book with "all" the answers yet either.

  4. YAY!!I'm glad I started with my son (who is now 13) when he was really young-like 4ish? For example if he asked where do babies come from I just answered the question age appropriatly and as he has grown the questions and answeres have gotten more detailed. So by the time the sex ed at school came in 5th grade, he was stunned at what his friends didnt know but better yet-he is not embarresed by natural functions.

    I believe talking to your kids about sensitive topics helps build a stronger relationship with them. Esps. with sex because it is trully be a life and death activity. YIKES

    No book-just start talking!!

  5. I think talking about it is best also. Openness is so important and if you aren't open with your kids, when they are faced with "choices" to make they may be afraid to come up to you when those "choices" really matter.

    I don't know about any specific books but, you could choose to just go over parts of the book. I would read it together then discuss it, you can introduce other parts of the book as your child is ready.

  6. ugh...i so don't want to have to deal with this at all, but know that i really do need to face it. and soon. my oldest is nine and goes to catholic school so there will be NO outside help on this one for me. i will keep checking back to see if anyone offers a book title. good luck!

  7. I also have an 11 year old boy (my 3rd) and I have to admit I took the "chicken exit" on this topic. I just.couldn't.do.it at this age and I knew their father wouldn't ever do it, so I just let the school handle it during their "maturation" sessions. I do answer questions when they come up, which is pretty rare. I think he was at least 9 before he started asking where babies came from. But honestly, there is enough on TV that I think he knows most of it. Almost every show has some woman in labor now.

    Now my older boys, that is a different question. Once they started dating, I became a LOT less shy about discussing sex and birth control. I've seen too many of my friends going down that road to not worry about that one.

  8. Eek...I'm NOT looking forward to this discussion. They're really not born with the knowledge??

  9. Jen, god bless you. I have a few years yet, but I'm not ready to deal with this. LOL.

    But I will say that like Krista said, if a book works, use it.

    The only comparable situation I've had was trying to explain death to my daughter, when my grandfather died. I was upset and we weren't sure how to explain it, like you said, to satisfy her without being too detailed about it. We did end up finding a book that was acceptable.

    But this is a much tougher subject. I'm glad you're dealing with it now. Then I'll call you in a few years, when it's my turn, and you can tell me what to do.


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