For years I have counted on the Berenstain Bear books to address all sorts of important issues with my two daughters. “The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers” is the perfect mix of caution and common sense. “The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food” reinforces that I’m not the only mean mom doling out carrot sticks. “The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies” was much better than the book I was going to write called “Kids Who Throws Fits In Target Get Sold to the Gypsies.”
I never thought the Berenstain Bears would let me down. Then, about three years ago, I brought home “The Birds, the Bees and the Berenstain Bears.” I don’t even remember the plot line. I just remember bird families and bee families, finishing the book and thinking “Well, that was stupid.” It was not the intro to human reproduction I was hoping for. It was not an intro to human reproduction at all. It left my daughter wondering if babies show up in bird nests. Thanks for nothing, Berenstain Bears!
That same sweet daughter is finishing third grade. We have moved beyond our favorite pictures books and we’ve got body part identification down. I am ready to broach more in-depth subjects. However, we recently had a conversation that went something like this:
-“Have you ever heard kids at school talking about sex?”
-“Nope, but there’s a new skin in Minecraft that I really want to get.”
Now, I get it. Any half-way astute person would take this as a sure sign that she is not ready to have the discussion I’m looking for, and were it anything else I would probably just back off. But, I know that kids talk (as evidenced by the big Easter Bunny chat we just had) and I do NOT want her first info about sex coming from other sources. I’m hoping to arm her with real, quality info and avoid all those “alternative facts” floating around out there.
To that end I moved on to the next logical resource…Amazon! I read the reviews and ordered a series of three books designed for different age groups. Last night my kindergartener learned the word “anus” and we had our own special chat about things we don’t bring up at school. I also got a book for our older daughter that goes into a LOT of scientific detail. I’m not opposed to detail, I just want it in stages.
If you’ve got any tips for having “the talk,” please share. And be sure to look for my new book, coming this fall: “The Better-Off-Informed Bears Have the Perfect, Age-Appropriate and Non-Threatening Chat About SEX”