“Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?”
Neil Gaiman

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Birds & The Bees

Spring has sprung and the song of mating is in the air. There are babies everywhere we turn it seems. It’s only natural I suppose that his is often the time of year that children often bring up those questions that many parents often dread facing … “Mommy and Daddy, where did I come from?” My friend and I were just having this very conversation over the weekend. She was troubled over how much and what kind of information to give her children, aged 10 and 8.

I have always followed my own parents’ advice in respect to discussing sexuality with children. I was a child of the 70’s and my parents were always factual, honest, and direct. They used a book called Where Did I Come From written by Peter Mayle and illustrated by Arthur Robins that came out in the early 70’s. We read it together when I was a Kindergartener and my brothers were in Pre-school and 1st or 2nd grade. I don’t know of any book written since that is nearly as good. It is the perfect mix of humor and fact that captures the attention of kids and gives them the information they need to understand their bodies as well as the basics of sexuality. It places intimacy, love, and emotions into the context of sexual relations too, a message that parents often are concerned their teens aren’t grasping. It is actually more effective if the message about intimacy, love, emotions, responsibility, as well as communication about sexuality with you, begins long before children are teens.

So if you are challenged with questions about the birds & bees this spring by a young one who is under the age of 10, go on the Internet and track down a copy of Mayle’s classic – or check a copy out from your local library. You won’t be sorry!

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