Thursday, February 13, 2014

Birds, Bees, and Babies

Yesterday, we had 'the talk'.  Well, sorta.  We had an age appropriate (for my kindergartener and first grader) study on babies and where they come from.  I know this subject can sometimes be a tough one for parents, so I wanted to share what we did.

First we talked about where most babies today are born (hospitals). Then, we talked about how 100 years ago, not many people had cars and may have lived far from their neighbors - where would their babies have been born?  What about thousands of years ago when people lived in caves?  Or baby Jesus?

Next, we started reading.  Our book list - along with notes is below:
  • The Story of Me - this book is designed for ages three through five, but I thought it was perfect for my kids.  Some things I really liked about this book: God is the focus - it talks also about how God wants babies to be born to married people.  It is written in story format - it's basically parents answering questions to their four year old son.  I also liked that the story quickly mentioned inappropriate touching and that we don't have to share our love with people if we don't want to.  Something I also want to mention is that they use the actual names for genitalia - I know this will make some people uncomfortable.  I read the book as is, and the kids didn't really ask questions about the proper names. (phew!)
  • The Birds, the Bees, and the Berenstain Bears - this is a pretty 'safe' book.  It uses terms like 'womb' and 'birth canal'.  It is pretty generic, definitely appropriate for a younger audience.  It's mostly a cute story.  A good follow up to this story is The Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five.
  • Usborne Internet Linked Children's Encyclopedia - I love this encyclopedia.  So much content.  And, there's internet activities for each page (more info down in the internet links section).  We focused on pages 108-109.  It used the words 'sperm' and 'egg', but didn't describe how the sperm got to the egg (which, I think is totally fine as I'm not sure that my children would be ready for that conversation!).  
After doing some reading, we talked about babies and decided to do some searching online.  Here's some links that we enjoyed.
  • Usborne Quicklinks - these are the links for pages 108-109 in the Children's Encyclopedia.  We especially liked the 'pictures' of the growing baby.
  • Video of baby growing inside of mother - this is an animation beginning with conception until the baby is full grown.  It wasn't the clearest video - poor pixel quality (or something... I'm not really techy).  I really liked it though.  We watched it without sound - I don't really care for the soundtrack, but that's just me.
  • Week by week ultrasound pics - this was great.  We enjoyed seeing the pictures of the developing baby.  There were some 4D pics, so it was neat to see the babies moving.  This is another one that I muted.  I just didn't care to listen to "We are the children."
  • A home water birth - this starts with a family who is excitedly waiting for their newest addition to arrive.  They prepare for the baby's birth.  Then, the mother goes into labor.  You can tell she is uncomfortable, but I love the way her husband stays with her, supporting and comforting her the entire time.  Her other children peek in from time to time to see how the mother is doing.  Then, it happens!  You see her baby come out, but the mother's 'parts' aren't visible.  It is beautiful.  Totally made me cry (and it just may make you want another baby!).  Then, the whole family greets the baby by having a first birthday party for her.  Amazing, and beautiful.  
If you wanted to, you could incorporate some Bible verses as well.  Some of my favorites are:
  • Psalm 139:13-16 - For you formed my inward parts;
        you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
    14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
    Wonderful are your works;
        my soul knows it very well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you,
    when I was being made in secret,
        intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
    in your book were written, every one of them,
        the days that were formed for me,
        when as yet there was none of them.
  • Psalm 127:3-5  Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
        the fruit of the womb a reward.
    Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
        are the children[a] of one's youth.
    Blessed is the man
        who fills his quiver with them!
    He shall not be put to shame
        when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. 

There are many, many resources out there.  What have you used to have 'the talk' with your young children? 

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