Parental influence is one, and possibly the single greatest, of the major factors in determining the sexual behavior of young people. Yet, many parents tell me that they aren’t sure how to begin talking with their child about puberty and sex. If you feel this way, you are not alone. Let’s talk about puberty books.
Most of us did not have good models for sex education at home. Our own parents probably didn’t talk with us about growing up, body changes, relationships, and sex… or they might have handed us an outdated book or given us a lecture about avoiding pregnancy. Either way, their attempt might have been sincere, but an epic fail.
Now that we are the parents, we find ourselves without a good road map. The good news is that today’s parents want to do better AND many more resources are available now. Even if your child is getting a great sex education at school, parents are the only ones who can teach their children about their family and religious values. So, wield your influence, and start talking!
When parents ask me how to begin discussions with their children, I often suggest they begin with books. First, they can read some puberty books to decide which are best for their child. Then, they can read the books together. Finally, they can leave the books lying around the house so their children can refer to them when their interest grows.
Reading Resources for Family Time
- “Books for Parents and Children” includes some fun books for families to read together and discuss
- “Puberty Books for Boys and Girls” provides a list of options for parents and other trusted adults to choose from for the young people in their lives.
- “Puberty Books in English and Spanish” provides a list of books that are available in both languages.
“Thank you for teaching these classes! The homework caused us to talk about something we haven’t known how to begin. We had a great conversation at the dinner table.” ~anonymous parent~
Puberty: The Wonder Years is your partner in puberty education. It includes many activities that promote family engagement, such as encouraging parents/caregivers to talk with their children about family values and guide their children toward behavior that is consistent with their beliefs and values. To partner with parents, caregivers, and other family members, Puberty: The Wonder Years includes the following family resources to be sent home to families. They are available in English and Spanish.
- Family Notification Letter
- Curriculum Outlines
- Family Preview Meeting Invitation
- Family Partnership Fliers
- Family Activity Sheets
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