Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Teaching Your Children about Sexuality

I have had the opportunity to review two WONDERFUL children’s books about the birds and the bees.  These books are two of a series in the Pure Foundations by Jim Burns, Phd.  The first book, God Made Your Body is designed for 3-5 year olds. It is takes the approach that our bodies are all special and God designed boys and girls bodies to serve a purpose. It discusses how God made different eye colors, hair colors, skin colors, etc. and examines how boy’s bodies and girl’s bodies differ. It talks about babies and how they grow in the womb and how “God loves you so much that he put you in a family.” Burns then explains how different families can look. He ends the book with a quote from Psalm 139 in a way small children can understand it.

This is a perfect book for 3-5 year olds and completely reinforces what I have taught my own children. I will caution that he does use correct body names such as penis, testicales, vagina and womb. However, being an abstinence educator for years, I think it is important that we teach children about their body and use the correct terminology for all body parts. Failure to do so creates shame about the body and when children are shameful of something, they fail to respect it. I would have liked to see him cover keeping your body safe and what are safe touches and what are not.

The second book,  How God Makes Babies is geared for ages 6-9. Burns covers the importance of marriage and love in creating children and explains in greater detail the male and female body parts and how conception occurs. The book illustrates the various stages of pregnancy and discusses different families. Private parts are discussed along with the importance of telling a trusted adult if someone violates your body.

This book does explicitly define making love or sex as when the “husband puts his penis into the wife’s vagina.” I have no problems with how this is written, but I am concerned a bit with the age of the audience for which it is written. Children may discuss this information at school and even if it was expressed as written, this could cause problems. Teachers and other parents may not be so understanding of a 1st or 2nd grader being aware of this information, regardless of the context that it was learned. Although I personally agree that the information is appropriate for 6-9 year olds, unfortunately, I fear that some people would not agree that it is appropriate for 6 and 7 year olds.

Once again, kudos to Jim Burns for writing such wonderful books that express the true meaning of sex in the Christian, biblical context.  I truly believe that we need to start educating our children about sex at an early age and instill the Christian value of purity in order to protect our children from harm.

Both books are publised by Bethany House and retail for $12.99 each.  Amazon.com sells them for $10.39 each with free supersaver shipping.

Disclaimer:  I received these books from Bethany House to review.  I was in no way compensated for writing this review.

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