Wednesday, May 8, 2013

It's NOT the Stork: An introduction for reproduction and anatomy questions for kids

I strive to be scientifically accurate as often as possible in all aspects of my life. That also extends to how I explain the world to my two year old. 

I'm very excited about a book I just learned about called,"It's NOT the Stork". This book goes through basic vocabulary for body parts, introduces "where babies come from", and even highlights how to stand up for yourself, all in simple terminology.  I'll add my own thoughts at the end, but I agree with everything this reviewer said (well, except that I'm not an RN): 

5.0 out of 5 stars
Format:Hardcover|Amazon Verified Purchase
When my kids started asking reproduction and anatomy questions, I checked out and read the reviews of every book on the subject I could find. I'm an RN, so it was important to me that it was accurate as well as engaging for my kids. I am so glad I picked this one. My children were 4 and 6 when we bought this book, and they absolutely loved it from the first reading. So did I. It has all the information I was hoping for and it is presented so appropriately for the age. Nothing is scary or more detailed than necessary. The illustrations are bright and fun and keep the kids engaged. The book is set up in such a way that is easy to navigate - that is, you can read it from beginning to end, and it flows appropriately - starting with body parts and boy/girl differences, reproduction in the middle, and a small section at the end about good and bad touches. You can also easily jump to the section that you or your child prefers without taking away from the book. For example, my daughter is fascinated by the cartoon showing the sperm swimming to the egg and we often just start there.

As a parent of young children and as an RN, I recommend this book to all parents.

My dad's parents were a doctor and nurse, and my family was always very practical about explaining anatomy. Penis, scrotum, vagina, vulva, and anus, are not bad words. They are medically accurate vocabulary. Vocabulary that I learned from a very young age. I'm so proud of my parents (and grandparents) for having the good sense to teach us what was correct, and to not be embarrassed by medical terminology. I hope to be as good with my daughter. Although she is two, I see no reason why we cannot learn all of the body parts. Why should she only learn, "head, shoulders, knees, and toes"? We don't dwell on any particular anatomy, and there is no need to make a big deal about it. However, it can be immensely useful for her to understand what all the parts of her body are, and what they do. This particular book is, in my opinion, still a little out of her age range, but I'm glad to have it as a reference for when we do need it (the cover recommends 4 years old). 

I think we do a disservice to our children if we don't expect them to act maturely about their bodies. But then, how are they supposed to act maturely if we don't set that example?

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