Once I had peeled myself off the ceiling after, what in our house is fondly known as “porn gate”, I realised my son and I needed to have that talk.
It’s easy, now a days, to leave this to school, I have been quite shocked with just how much they cover by year six. However, nothing really sticks in your mind like that awkward chat with a parent.
Being real here, it’s not always easy to know where to begin and when your child may have experienced sexual abuse or been exposed to violent relationships having a safe tool to help you a long is invaluable.
Someone recommended this book to me, and I’m so glad they did.
The Usbourne book What’s Happening to me? The blue one for boys.
The immediate thing to like about this book are the graphics. Whilst being accurate and intimate they are illustrations which in no way feel frightening. The book reads like a kind and sensitive voice of a trustworthy adult who gets how embarrassing all this could be.
So whilst it’s easy to read with your child, it is also a book I have happily left with my son to read,when he wants to. My son is eleven and my ten year old has also read it.
It starts with a soft introduction of “growing up” but soon moves on to changes in the body. It real does deal with everything. Not that it answers all the questions but it provides the base for many a discussion.
My son recently asked me a particular question about bodily fluids and we were able to use the book to scientifically explain and then discuss. It was good for me to have a starting point.
I particularly like the page entitled “other boys look different” helping or young adults to understand about body image.
The book also has sections on emotions, cleanliness and increased responsibility as well as why girls are different. I haven’t seen the version for girls (pink cover) but I can only imagine that is very similar in style and writing.
For me this book has been a great tool for talking about a subject that through media and environment our emotionally vulnerable children are required to face. It provides a safe way of dealing with what I know I they need to know without alarming them.