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How to Teach Children About Their Changing Bodies and Sex Education

When Sunshine came home from residential, one of the first subjects I wanted to cover with her while learning was her changing body and sex education.

She's now eleven, and though she's developmentally between the ages of three and six years old, her body is not.

Sunshine has been exposed to a LOT of different situations while living in residential and has also been a victim of bullying and many forms of abuse.

More than anything I want to empower her to stand up for herself and let her know that anything and everything that happened to her was not her fault.

In our home we're very open about the human body, but Sunshine hasn't home, so she's missed out on any and every conversation that was possible. 

It was a time for a crash course that was age and developmentally appropriate!

How to Teach Children About Their Changing Bodies and Sex Education

How to Teach Children About Their Changing Bodies and Sex Education

My biggest challenge was finding materials that would be developmentally appropriate but cover all we needed to, as she's in the beginning phases of puberty.

A friend, also a mother of children with developmental disabilities and trauma, recommended three books to me. She said she had used them with her children and they worked fantastically well.

I am always up for a good recommendation from a friend, and let me say, the books did not disappoint. They were exactly what we needed!

I'm sharing these books with you today in hopes to pay it forward.

The first book is designed for children ages four and up. Sunshine and I started here, because developmentally and emotionally on her worst days, this is where she's at, if not younger.

It's Not the Stork!

It's Not the Stork!: A Book about Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends

I can't say enough good things about this book. It includes everything a young child may need while discussing sensitive content. 

There are cute little characters: a bird and a bee, that lead you through each section of the book.

The illustrations are perfect for children with so much detail and explanation, yet not too gross or inappropriate.

Sensitivity to different family situations, inclusion and diversity are handled with so much care.

If you are ready to be open and honest with your child about changing bodies and sex education, this book is the perfect guide!

It's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families

It's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families

After reading the first book in the series, Sunshine and I moved on to the second book, which is similar, but with much more detail. 

Sunshine loved the illustrations and studied them as I would read the book aloud. She loved for me to point to each section I was reading so she could look at the corresponding drawing.

This book invited so much conversation and provided so many answers to questions Sunshine had in words and pictures. I love that it worked for her, even though she is developmentally under the age of seven.

It took us about a month to read through this book at Sunshine's pace, discussing content and answering questions along the way.

It's Perfectly Normal

It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender, and Sexual Health

Sunshine and I are now reading the third book in the series together, averaging about a page of two a day. There are a lot more words on each page, than with the other two books. Still, she's enjoying it just the same. 

Just like with the other books, there are many illustrations that show explanations of what is being discussed, including drawings of men and women without clothing.

In our home, we feel that these illustrations are crucial to helping Sunshine understand the content that's being taught, and are extremely grateful they have been included. 

My older kids have all read these books as well and really appreciated the illustrations as they answered questions that they may have been too embarrassed to ask.

I love how this book does not discriminate and discusses everything and everyone without judgement. 

Another aspect of the book I love is that it helps those going through puberty to know that all they're feeling and experiencing is completely normal. That means so much to those who may be struggling through puberty.

If you are looking for ways to teach your children about their changing bodies and sex education, no matter their age or development, I highly recommend these books. They have been such a huge help to us and our children!

For those who would like to follow our family's journey with trauma, developmental and emotional disabilities, be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter by clicking the link below.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy the resources below.

My Body Unit My Body ActivitiesThe Body: The Immune System and Personal Hygiene The Body: The Circulatory System The Body: The Reproductive System Montessori-inspired Relationships Printable Pack
Montessori-inspired Self-Care: Personal Hygiene Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Self-Care: Dressing Printable Pack

How to Teach Children About Their Changing Bodies and Sex Education

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