This is the second of a 6-part series on how to teach your children about puberty at home. Read part 3 here.
Read books written for adults alone.
Parents and caregivers, read books written for you that can help you get prepared for having ongoing conversations with your kids about puberty, sex, and relationships. Some books can teach adults how to assess our own values and beliefs before we talk to our kids. Other books provide tips for learning how to be an approachable, “askable adult” to help parents and caregivers exude the welcoming attitude that tells kids it is safe to talk to us about any topic. Other books for adults can provides the facts about puberty so we feel more confident about answering questions. “Books for Parents” provides a list of books parents and caregivers can read to prepare for family discussions.
Read books written for kids alone.
Many of us didn’t have good books to read about puberty and growing up when we were young. It’s never too late to read some of the great books that are now available for kids. By reading puberty books for kids, parents and caregivers can learn a lot and be reminded what it was like to go through puberty. We can also decide which books are most appropriate for our kids to read. Take a look at these book lists and book reviews as a starting point.
Read books written for kids together.
Once you have done your own reading, it’s time to read together with your child. Start with a book that is fun and will appeal to your child. Set aside a time that you can read without distractions. Maybe you could take a retreat with your child. Or make it fun by turning it into a popcorn party. Read the book in short spurts and be sure to chat about each section as you finish it. Reading together about puberty is not a one-time marathon; it’s an ongoing series of sprints.
Let kids read books written for kids alone.
Select some puberty books that live in your child’s room. That way, your child can read and reread the books, focusing on the topics that are relevant on any given day. Since kids go through puberty in their own timing and at their own pace, your child will find some topics interesting and other topics boring. Later, the interesting topics will change as your child changes.
Pro Tip: Be sure to read books that explain puberty for all genders, not only the gender of your child. We all need to understand each other!
Want some help? Take this online class made especially for you.
The Puberty Lady created a series of Facebook Live chats that highlight puberty books. Each week, she highlighted a different book and provided some resources for parents and caregivers who are teaching their children about puberty. These book review videos are posted at the Puberty: The Wonder Years Facebook and YouTube pages:
- Vaginas and Periods 101 by Christian Hoeger & Kristen Lilla
- Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys by Dr. Cara Natterson.
- The Tom and Ellie books by Kate E. Reynolds
- What’s Happening to Ellie? A book about puberty for girls and young women with autism and related conditions
- What’s Happening to Tom? A book about puberty for boys and young men with autism and related conditions
- Things Ellie Likes: A book about sexuality and masturbation for girls and young women with autism and related conditions
- Things Tom Likes: A book about sexuality and masturbation for boys and young men with autism and related conditions
- Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten Rules for Talking with Teenagers about Sex by Dr. Karen Rayne
- The Girl’s Body Book and The Boy’s Body Book by Kelli Dunham, R.N.
- Sex Is a Funny Word, by Cory Silverberg
- It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris (2014)
- It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender, and Sexual Health by Robie Harris (2021)
- Talk to Me First by Deborah Roffman
- Tell Me About Sex, Grandma by Anastasia Higginbotham
- Everybody, Every Body! by Emmalinda MacLean
- Five books to help prepare for menarche
More Puberty Book Lists:
- Book Lists compiled by Puberty: The Wonder Years
- Askable Parents Book Reviews
- Sex Positive Families Reading List
- 15 Best Sex Education Books and Resources for Kids by Age
Read part 1 of the series, “How to Teach Puberty Education at Home.”