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Puberty book for a 9 year old?

(41 Posts)
grandplans Thu 24-May-18 01:40:16

I want to get a puberty book for my 9.5 year old.

He's bright, is curious about puberty, he loves reading and I suspect his best friend (who has older brothers) is currently filling his head with rubbish!

I ordered What's Happening to Me for boys - but I'm not sure if the sex part is a bit too graphic for his age? The rest of it seems fine. Am I being a prude here? Has anyone else read it - what age do you think it's for?

Can anyone else recommend any other books? I would like it to include sex as well as body changes, in an age appropriate way.

Notthisnotthat Thu 24-May-18 06:01:10

My 9 year old has the girls version, most of her class have the book as they are covering puberty etc in school. I think it's age appropriate, and let DD know she could read the chapters in any order and ask us questions too.

TryingToForgeAnewLife Thu 24-May-18 06:08:49

I used that book for both of my boys and found it perfect.

grandplans Thu 24-May-18 14:10:26

Really? The description of sex seems more graphic than I expected for a 9 year old! Am i being a prude then?

haba Thu 24-May-18 14:21:48

Ha! I have a DD then a DS (who is also 9) and just ordered this for him, as the girls'version is so good...and am in exactly the same quandary- it seems far more explicit than the girl one!

I passed it over to DH for his views, and it has remained hidden in his study because he also thinks it's a bit too far at this point.

I should point out that my DS loves science and already knows pretty much all the detail about how babies are made, because he's asked us from being about 3. We've had to give more detail as he's got older and asked more questions (such as but how does the seed get to the egg if it's inside?)
We're neither of us prudes, but I was a bit surprised by it.

grandplans Thu 24-May-18 15:16:02

haba, I did exactly the same - passed it to DP and he agreed it was a bit explicit.

I was second guessing myself with people here saying it's not.

I just don't know!!

I had a look on Amazon for another book, but wasn't sure about any of them either. One of them had no sex, that seemed to be missing the point somewhat. And I didn't warm to any of the others particularly.

I was hoping someone might recommend a book to me to use for now.

grandplans Thu 24-May-18 16:50:59

OK, this is the bit I'm unsure about - what do people think? (And do you have a 9 year old?)

The Messy Truth

For a baby to start, a sperm from a man's body has to meet and join together with an ovum (egg) in a woman's body. This can happen when a woman and a man have sex. Here's how it works

so far, so good. And then...

First, the man and the woman get ready for sex, usually by kissing and cuddling each other - often called foreplay. This helps the man's penis grow and stick up and away from his body. It may also make the woman's vagina release some slippery fluid.

The vagina is a tube inside a woman's body, with its opening between her legs. When it is wet, the man's hard penis can fit inside it.

Then, the penis and the vagina can run against each other. This makes a gooey fluid called semen squirt out of the man's penis. Semen contains millions of sperm. The sperm swim up inside the woman's body.

etc etc - the rest is fine.

What do people think? Would you find this too explicit?

I was expecting something more sciencey I suppose. I can't quite put my finger on what it is I find problematic about it.

grandplans Thu 24-May-18 16:51:18

I suppose it this - does he really, at 9, need to know about so much detail on the mechanics?

I remember I knew about sex from a fairly young age but I didn't know "the woman's vagina release some slippery fluid" until I was much older, and I don't know what I would have made of it at 9. I remember when we did sex ed at 10, us all talking in the playground after about how disgusting sex was, and gently teasing each other if we had a large number of siblings (because our parents must have dad sex at least 4 times. Shock!!)

By the time I was sexually active (pretty early, at 14) I knew what I needed to to stay safe.

9 is still so young. He needs a puberty book, and he knows how babies are made but a refresher wouldn't hurt - but this seems a bit OTT - what do you think?

grandplans Thu 24-May-18 16:52:17

*had, not dad!!

Cacofonix Thu 24-May-18 16:56:51

I think that sounds fine actually. Go with it I say.

FoxyBoxter Thu 24-May-18 17:05:43

I think these books are great.

I don't think the description is too explicit - just open and honest and worded in a way that is accessible to children of your son's age.

I think as adults we can over think it - keep it simple!

NearLifeExperience Thu 24-May-18 17:16:16

Seems OK to me. Perhaps more detail than I'd have anticipated, but dealable with.

Our parents must have dad sex grin

haba Thu 24-May-18 17:57:53

Ah, that wasn't the bit I had a problem with (tbh, he knows most of that already, not "foreplay" or the fluid bit though).
The bit we.were a bit wary of was about masturbation, but will dig the book out later and re-read.

Annwithnoe Thu 24-May-18 18:16:20

Maybe I’m a prude too, but I’d be a bit uncomfortable with that description too.

But they’ll probably hear and see much worse before I’d think they were of an age for that kind of detail. But I still don’t think I’d start with that.

I’m not sure I can express what makes me uneasy, exactly. I just feel that sexual awakening is a subtle process, that it happens in stages as a sort of deepening awareness.

But then I’m not sure that our culture allows that process to naturally unfold anymore, so it’s important to equip them with facts and honest information too.

grandplans Thu 24-May-18 18:55:18

I still don’t think I’d start with that

Yes, I agree. There's just a bit TMI!

But the rest of the book seems good. So maybe on balance it's OK. I dunno.

I remember both facts of life books I had. I had the Body Book when I was little - classic 70s book, I expect lots of you had it too?

Then I had a book about puberty all I remember is it had realistic drawings of how women's bodies change - they went on till middle age I think.

My first choice would be to get another book I feel more comfortable with I think, and keep this one for a bit later - does anyone have any recommendations?

lonelyplanetmum Fri 25-May-18 05:49:02

I just noticed this thread and thought I'd comment that I think the book is fine ( we have the girls' version).i really think you should get in first with presenting information as otherwise this friend will. We had a very bad experience of a ' helpful' informed friend.

I am wondering if understandably you feel a bit uncomfortable broaching the details with your DS. I really think you should overcome this. If there is a best friend who is educating your son, you need to show you are supremely comfortable discussing all aspects and provide a better source of info, and quickly.

Our shocking incident in my youngest class involved a ten year old girl who found a very graphic US porn website. She took it upon herself to show it to several friends including my DD.

I'd already been on a talk at my older DDs school which said that 90 percent of kids between the ages of 8 and 16 have watched pornography online*. *

I didn't believe this statistic until it happened to us. We had already had quite basic birds and bees discussions (when seeing animals on farms mating etc) but I hadn't even read the book with my 10 year old DD yet.

Her first detailed education on the subject was about 45 minutes spent watching very very horrid material on line. I was devastated. To be honest I feel that the other parent's failure to have parental controls took away some of my DDs childhood.

So the lesson from this is I think:
1. Check this other boy's parents have parental controls on devices before play dates.
2. Show your DS he can talk to you about any aspect and that you are comfortable talking to him about the detail.
3. Impress that if any adult material including nudity, guns, violence etc is available he must leave the website and tell you before viewing it.
4. Do the whole sex is something special, private, between people who care speech and explain that on line material isn't what sex is really like.

Good luck!

MirandaWest Fri 25-May-18 06:21:52

My two have the usbourne books - can’t remember when they got them (they’re 14 and 12 now) but I am fine with what’s in the section you’ve included.

Does he know about sex in general or does he have no idea? I wouldn’t start with that maybe but mine knew the basics from around 5 so it was just part of the general process getting the books

QueenOlives Fri 25-May-18 06:30:05

It's detailed but a nice way of this including all the facts.

Personally I'd rather my child got the correct facts from me or a book at home than incorrect facts from the school playground.

mathanxiety Fri 25-May-18 06:44:54

There is a good pair of books published by American Girl Press, one for girls and one for boys.
Don't be put off by 'American Girl'. Yes it's an American series, but it's excellent.

The titles are 'The Care and Keeping of You' (girls)
and 'Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys'.

You should actually buy both books for your son as he will then understand what girls go through too.

The books concentrate on physical changes of puberty, stuff like acne, periods for girls, physical changes for both - pubic hair, sweating, weight gain and growth, voice changes, starting to shave, different rates of development in different people, how to deal with having your period in different social situations, etc.

They are light on sex and sexual relationships, so perfect for children who are just coming to grips with their own bodies.

Very importantly, the books deal with social and psychological development. This is completely overlooked in many other books, and it is a glaring omission imo. The social and psychological stuff that crops up is far more relevant to both boys and girls entering puberty than sex.

What more can I add to recommend this book?

(And the girl version, because boys need to understand what girls are going through too and not treat them as a separate species).

Gohackyourself Fri 25-May-18 07:17:37

Popped into this thread as I think “any moment” now this is going to crop up in my house.
Thanks for the help everyone/ x2 books placed in amazon basket to order

WeirdyMcBeardy Fri 25-May-18 08:19:05

I've given What's Happening to Me to my 10 year old. It's fine. Told him to come to me if he had an questions, and he had a LOT, but I want him to have the facts, not his mate's version.

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Fri 25-May-18 08:36:16

I remember a book in the library called Hair In Funny Places.
My two were way past that stage, but it seemed excellent - presented in a humorous way, and not too coldly/clinically worded.

IWantMyHatBack Fri 25-May-18 08:40:13

Is What's Happening to Me? the one with the cartoon penis gallery? I ordered it for DS, and while I think the descriptions are mostly OK, they are a bit TMI.

Penis gallery was just weird though.

titchy Fri 25-May-18 08:48:05

Description is fine. It reassure that it's normal and that it doesn't hurt. Which would be the next question.

At 9 it is far too late to introduce any idea as a starting point - he's way past starting points! Especially given the friend with older sibling scenario!

grandplans Fri 25-May-18 09:01:01

I am wondering if understandably you feel a bit uncomfortable broaching the details with your DS

No, this is not the issue.

He already knows the basis of sex, as far as babies are made with a seed and an egg. That we all have a recipe called DNA and mummies and daddies have a special cuddle and the sperm gets to the egg in the woman and a baby grows.

He talk about changes in puberty. He already has a couple of hairs on his testicles (me, his dad and my dad are very hairy people so I'm not too surprised by this!) and he felt comfortable talking to me about this.

We have good communication. At bedtime we have chats about how he is, and what he's feeling about stuff, and sometimes he asks about stuff like this.

I asked him if he wanted a book and he said yes, hence this search.

We have covered bad material / stuff that makes him uncomfortable online, in general terms, and what to do (speak to me or his dad, basically). We haven't covered porn specifically.

We haven't covered sex for pleasure yet. Nor masturbation. I think that's probably easier from a book then I can answer any questions. Then the porn online chat can come at some point after that.

I don't need convincing to talk to my DS about this, I'm already doing this, and this thread is part of that.

What I really need is book recommendations!

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