When I was pregnant, Punky started asking questions. Nothing too risqué, nothing particularly specific, but it was clear that she was curious.
The first time she asked, I was
completely unprepared a little surprised. I pulled up some handy internet images of the good old female reproductive system (internal) and promptly bored the curiosity right out of her with talk of cells and tubes and gestation. I also answered her question of just how the baby would get out of my stomach. That pretty much quelled the curiosity at that point. An important note on this was that she asked about the pregnancy. She did not, at that point, ask about sex.
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.