These conversations can be difficult and uncomfortable for parents and grandparents for a variety of reasons. Many have grown up believing that discussing sex and private body parts with children is inappropriate and unnecessary– especially in small town America. However, talking about these issues should be a lifelong conversation for parents, because I promise you- child sexual abuse is not an infrequent crime- even in Jackson County.
So, I went on a search for books to help adults begin to talk with their children (and grandchildren) about consent and sex. These are some I found on Amazon with the best reviews–ranging from $5-$14.
1. Amazing You- Getting Smart About Your Private Parts– a picture book designed especially for young children who are becoming sexually aware but aren’t ready to learn about intercourse.
2. Do You Have a Secret? Helps kids distinguish between good and bad secrets.
3. The Right Touch–A read aloud story to help prevent child sexual abuse: Provides valuable information about sexual abuse and guidance on what to do if your child experiences an abusive situation. Gentle illustrations soften the impact of this story.
4. Yell and Tell–The first in the series of books about children dealing with sexual predators in a mature way. The predator could be another child, a family friend, an older sibling, a sports coach, a church leader, or another relative. It is told in a simple story telling manner introducing a delightful young boy to lead the way. Children as young as 4 years old through pre-teens will find the story captivating, as well as instructional.
5. NO means NO-- Teaching children about personal boundaries, respect and consent: This a children’s picture book about an empowered little girl who has a very strong and clear voice in all issues, especially those relating to her body and personal boundaries. This book can be read to children from 3 to 9 years.
6. My Body Belongs to Me from My Head to My Toes: An educational tool to help instill confidence in children when it comes to their bodies. A girl named Clara encourages kids to say “no” if they are uncomfortable with physical contact. Includes tips about what they can say or do to avoid unwanted physical contact, or how to tell the right people in the event it has already occurred. Suited for children ages 3 to 6 years old.
7. No Trespassing- This is My Body: Siblings Katie and her little brother Kyle learn about personal safety, private parts, and “thumbs up & thumbs down” touches by talking with their mom in a loving and easy-to-understand manner
8. I said No!- A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private: Written from a kid s point of view, I Said No! makes this task a lot easier. To help Zack cope with a real-life experience he had with a friend, he and his mom wrote a book to help prepare other kids to deal with a range of problematic situations. I Said No! uses kid-friendly language and illustrations to help parents and concerned adults give kids guidance they can understand, practice and use using a simple, direct, decidedly non-icky approach.
9. Please Tell–A Child’s Story about Sexual Abuse: Written and illustrated by a young girl who was sexually molested by a family member, this book reaches out to other children in a way that no adult can, Jessie’s words carry the message, “It’s okay to tell; help can come when you tell.”
All of these wonderful books have been donated to the Scottsboro Public Library and are on display this month and will be available for checkout in May.
Please take time to stop by and read them!