i am looking for a book or website recommendation for a good way to start talking about anatomy/reproduction w/ my 4 year old son. we do use the proper words for anatomy (i.e. penis) already.
he has recently had a few questions about where babies come from, how are babies born that took me a little off guard. My parents were great at passing on their values but terrible at imparting the actual information involved which caused me some problems as a pre-teen. I really want to raise my kids to be comfortable w/ the practical info so even though he is young I want to start off right so that when he reaches puberty we will have a good base to build on.
From: Simpsonfan, North Brookfield, MA
Dear Simpsons fan,
I hear you loud and clear and think you have already made a good start by using correct anatomical names. Your son is right on schedule; all kids about this age become curious about where they came from. Incomplete or inaccurate information creates misconceptions. The idea of a "seed" has some kids thinking they grew in the dirt, in a garden. An "egg" makes them think they hatched, like a chicken.
Here are a few books I like, all of them are recommended for ages 4-8, but you should always check them out first, before you plop down with the book and your kid, and always go at your child's pace. If none of the books feel appropriate yet for your son, you can always use the information to weave your own narrative and introduce the books down the road.
"How you were born" by Joanna Cole has photographs rather than drawings which is one reason I like it, but some people might think it is too "scienc-y."
"Where Did I come from?" by Peter Mayle is considered the classic on the subject. It's got cartoons, including naked moms and dads, and very good detail in age-appropriate language, but it's probably better for the older age of this spectrum.
"Mommy Laid an Egg, or Where Did I Come from?" by Babette Cole is probably the easiest read for young children because it has touches of humor (the kids teach the parents who appear to be clueless).
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