Feb 29, 2016

No more birds and bees. Let's explain sex to kids!

Today I found again this funny and quite controversial children’s book that I had stumbled upon a while ago: How A Baby Is Made (and it’s quite old, 1975). It talks very (very!) visually and truthfully about how babies are made. And it is, indeed, meant for kids.

I found it mentioned in an article about how Danish people talk to their kids freely about sex (and guess what? The book was written by a Danish teacher and psychotherapist) and how the writer thinks one of the “great sins parents make is not being open about sex”. I totally agree. Sex is everywhere and shouldn’t be a tabu anymore in the 21st century.

I think my parents never talked about sex openly until I was much older and by then—want it or not—it was already a tabu, something that made me feel embarrassed. I would like my children to be able to talk to me about their adolescent sex life if they want, express their doubts, ask questions, and I want to be able to be simple and maybe even clinical in my answers. And yes, there’s a tiny risk that Oliver will be that kid at school “And then daddy’s penis goes into mummy’s vagina and…”, but hey!, it’s a risk I’m willing to take! ;-)

I’m not saying I won’t feel uncomfortable talking about it. I’m just saying I’d like to make an effort to feel less and less uncomfortable, because behind all the pornography, the vulgarity, and the dirty meanings that surround the word SEX, sex is the most natural thing in the world and we should treat it like so. Although, I can totally see us sort of going through what parents had to do in this video when they’re asked to explain sex truthfully to their kids for the first time… I love Chase by the way, the boy in the greed hoody :-D. There are four or five videos and they’re so worth watching!

I’ll leave you with some pages from the book “How a Baby is Made” (you can read it all online or watch this animation of the book). And yes, it gets reaaally detailed! For even more details ;-) click on a page to see it bigger. Enjoy!

2021 update

I have never felt uncomfortable talking about sex with my children: I also chose to use the correct words for genitals, vulva and penis, because I think it is very important.

I had forgotten this 2016 article, and it made me smile, because in 2020 I wrote a whole book in Italian on sex education in which I have had the opportunity to express my opinion on how important it is to not consider sex a taboo and to explain it to our children in a simple, spontanous way.

The book "How A Baby Is Made"

Photo credit: Jezebel.



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Educating for the long term, Montessori, multilingualism, and full-time traveling life.