Dear moms and dads,
In countries where sex education is not yet compulsory in schools, the responsibility of offering it to our children is ours (yes, us parents!): we are not raising children, we are raising adults.
"How babies are made" is a mini guide for parents to get rid of the embarrassment that this subject still generates, and it includes a printable children's book that explains how (almost all) babies are conceived and born.
In 2020 I wrote the volume "Sex education" for the Italian Montessori collection "Gioca e impara con il Metodo Montessori" and I was surprised to realise that many parents don't know how to talk about sex and sexuality with their children: they are ashamed of showing themselves naked or using the correct anatomical terms; they are shocked if their 3-year-old daughter touches her genitals or if they find their 5-year-old son with an erection.
Boys and girls need the truth.
When we keep them in the dark about important conversations like sex because we're embarrassed or we don't know how to talk about them, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to break the taboo in future generations and we deprive them of the tools they will need to face adult life.
Ignorance is much more dangerous than knowledge — because knowledge comes anyway, but from the wrong sources: for example, boys and girls looking for answers go on the internet (they'll manage even if you restrict it!) and find porn, which is not only a wrong representation of what sex is, but it's also full of wrong, abusive and sexist messages.
The time to start talking to children about sex is when they are young, when their mind is still free of the embarrassment that society feels about this conversation.
If you don't know how to get started, a book is a great way!
This is why I created "How to make a baby": a printable book to explain sex and birth to children and a mini guide to start sex education at home.
You might want to buy it for to print the book and read it to your children, but this is not just a printable kids book. It's a mindset. A tool to convey the importance of sex education in a family and to start the revolution at home — where all revolutions start.
This is why when you buy this mini guide, you'll find:
I can't wait for "How babies are made" to get into your homes and hearts, and sow seeds in your minds.
"How babies are made" is the book I would have wanted to read to my children to introduce the conversation about sex. For Oliver and Emily, it was simply a way to put all the pieces together, but for other children it might the beginning of the conversation.
I was inspired by the 1970s book by Danish psychiatrist Per Holm Knudsen "How a baby is made" and other similar books about sex and birth (coincidentally, all from Northern European countries): I really appreciated these books, but I would have changed many, many sentences to read them to my children.
I wrote "How babies are made" thinking about how I have always talked about sex and sexuality with my children Oliver and Emily (2015 and 2016 respectively), how I answer when Oliver asks me why his penis is hard or when Emily tells me she'll live with Oliver and have two babies with him.
The talented Miriam Negri — one of the talented parents who's part of my La Tela vision — brought my words to life with beautiful, simple illustrations on a white background, which I believe will help younger and older children to focus on the message.
I talked to parents and midwives and each one inspired a small change, a detail, a word, a sentence, a concept. This is why in the book I have also added a short appendix where I write about adoption, medically assisted procreation, caesarean — among other things.
I'm SO happy with the final result and I'm sure it will really help many families not only understand the importance of offering sex education at home from an early age, but also start the conversation in an easy, spontaneous way.
A small selection of the illustrations you'll find in the book.
Sex education starts with the parents.
The sooner we normalise conversations, the sooner we break the taboo. This is so much more than a children's book, it's a box of seeds that I hope will sprout in the minds of parents.
But to answer the question more concretely, I would say that age 3 and up is perfect (or sooner, depending on each child). For example, Emily was 3 years old when we read it, but we had talked many times before about the topics of the book.
La Tela is not a publishing house and this children's book (although I think it's essential on today's market) can only exist if it's sustainable for me.
This is why for now there is only the printable and digital version, but I'd like to explore printing options in the future. If you have suggestions, please do email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org🤞
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