The first time she asked, I was
But I knew the questions were just around the corner, and I needed to get my act together. I have been a HUGE proponent of fully comprehensive, age appropriate sex education since college. Accurate, comprehensive Sexuality Education is THE MOST effective method, bar none, to protect our youth - not only from teen parenthood and STIs, but also self esteem and relationship issues, prejudice, involvement in risky situations - a whole gambit of things related to sexuality throughout life.
I will TRY to refrain from turning this into a rant about how unbelievably vital good Sex Education is for our youth (EVEN THOUGH IT SO TOTALLY IS) and how completely ineffective and DANGEROUS abstinence-only Sex "ed" is. Just take my word for it. I researched the heck out of this topic in college - hours and hours of pouring over various studies, statistics, and evaluations of programs. The facts are absolutely clear: Comprehensive Sex Ed is the answer.
So I knew I had to get on top of things for the next round of questions from Punky. And I knew the questions were imminent. It was clear she was hitting an age full of curiosity about boys, relationships, and S-E-X.
I’ve been a UU for a long time, and one of my very FAVORITE things about the UU church is that it has its very own whole life, comprehensive Sexuality Education program, OWL (Our Whole Lives). The program has been highly praised by many organizations not at all affiliated with Unitarian Universalism. Many people bring their kids JUST FOR this program. OWL is awesome. Punky was in OWL for a short period of time in Brooklyn, but she was much younger then.
Sadly, our current UU church is too small to support an OWL program, so I was on my own. There are a lot of brilliant resources available online for parents to create their own Sexuality Education programs. But, to be quite honest, as a pregnant full time working mom, I was looking for a little faster fix. And I am IN LOVE with what I found:
After a whole lot of research, I ordered Punky this book:
It’s So Amazing is the second in a trilogy of wonderful Sexuality Education books for kids. I just wish I had found out about them sooner so I could have started her with the first one! This book is what’s amazing. The entire book is colorfully illustrated and every single page is engaging. The text is simple and straightforward – it doesn’t condescend, confuse, or titillate. And it has every detail I could ever imagine Punky wanting at this age – to include information on different kinds of families (step, adoptive, homosexual, etc.), promoting love and tolerance for all, and information on good and bad touching and AIDs. It is COMPLETE.
And, yes, it talks about intercourse. I was extremely impressed by how this was handled. Two sentences, factual and matter-of-fact. They provide all the information while leaving you without making a huge fuss out of it. Out of this whole huge beautiful book, only two sentences go to “the act,” and that’s all that are needed. But every word of the book is worth reading.
The book couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Punky was starting to hint around that she wanted to know how the baby actually went IN, and she obviously knew it was something salacious. She was super excited when I gave her the book, and she loves it. We read the first couple chapters together, then I cut her loose to fill her curiosity on her own, but she knows she can come to me with any questions. The funny thing is, I’m not sure she’ll have any. The book is just that good.
I can’t recommend this book enough, and I’m already looking forward to getting the next book, It’s Perfectly Normal for her in a year or two (not to mention the first book, It’s Not the Stork for when Flinstone gets a little bigger).
Now it’s time to open the discussion. How did/will you teach your kids about sex? What sort of sex ed did you get from your parents and/or school?
For more information about Sexuality Education, please check out: