General chatter - Books Explaining Puberty To Young Girls ...




babenwaiting
12-07-2007, 08:52 PM
What do you think of the books for girls, usually for ages in third grade and up, that describe bodily changes as girls become women? I found one for a 10 year old in our extended family, then upon reading it, felt it maybe described masturbation "a little too well" ... mentioned that they might reach orgasm, etc. Then it talked of eating disorders .... specifics about Bulimia (described throwing up after meals, etc.)

Maybe I'm wrong but I wondered if it might give ideas where there are none. I know puberty comes earlier now, but I didn't expect the book to be quite so specific. Any thoughts here? (Still holding the book ... :) )


SoulBliss
12-07-2007, 09:22 PM
We live in a world that will educate our children as IT sees fit if we don't. In every child development class I have taken, every developmental psychology and every human sexuality class as well, it has been stressed to offer information when the child is developmentally ready. Often, they will ask or let you know they are curious. Finding out about their attitudes in relation to femininity/masculinity/gender roles etc. can be a window into their psyche.

Knowing the groups of friends they associate with, the media they are exposed to, the family and the physical development will tell you when such things are important to discuss. If they aren't ready, you'll be able to tell! The same goes for the book. If they aren't ready for the information, it isn't likely to hold their interest.

I don't understand how the book could describe masturbation "a little too well". Babies masturbate from the womb on. It's a normal part of development, so I am not sure what you mean but would like to know. :) Do you feel masturbation is shameful or not appropriate in some way? These attitudes are transferred to others even if we don't discuss them.

Just my feelings. :) I teach "Let's talk about sex", "Gender and sexuality" "Peer Pressure" and "Body image" classes to teens and lead discussion groups.

It is incredible once they start sharing their stories. To know that a teen girl is okay with letting a boy have sex with her but doesn't feel comfortable with her body and doesn't even know the names for the parts of her body or how it works is so sad to me.

Oh the sad, true stories I have heard, straight from the teens! :( Education is power and empowering. There would actually be less teen sex happening too early if we started talking openly about sex and body rights to children, I really do believe.

drake3272004
12-07-2007, 10:44 PM
As a survivor of sexual abuse, I know that information is vital! If I had been told as a child that my body was mine and for no one else to touch against my wishes then my life would be so different. If I had been taught to not be ashamed of my body and had known how it was going to change, I would be a whole lot healthier today. I never got a "birds and the bees talk" with my parents, it was taboo. Everything I learned was shoved on me unwillingly by my abuser.

Information is KEY! The two books that I have started with with my daughter are "Where Did I Come From?" by Peter Mayle and "A Very Touching Book" by Jan Hindman. Both were recommended by a therapist that my DSS was seeing back when we first got custody of him. At first I did skip a few things with her because she was only 4 at the time, but we have since gone over the info a few times! I have broken the cycle and my children will not have to deal with the crap I did.

As far as the masturbation stuff, it is true that infants will do it and with my own daughter I taught her when she was old enough to understand that if she is going to do it then she needs to have "alone time" and not be doing it in view of others! Not because she needs to be ashamed but because that is something that is to be done in private, like dressing and bathing.


Martinique
12-08-2007, 12:05 AM
I'm no expert, but for what it's worth, I think giving the book to your 10-year-old relative is a good idea, unless you think her parents might disapprove.

I wish now that my mother had been more open with me about sex and body issues (I can't really imagine having that talk with my dad, lol), because I was basically left to find out about it all for myself, and it's more than a little scary for a child to be faced with the reality of sex and puberty without any guidance from someone she trusts.

babenwaiting
12-08-2007, 12:41 AM
The part that concerned me most was the discussion of Anorexia and Bulimia, especially the Bulimia. Suppose you plant the idea of throwing up to stay thin, with a book, when otherwise the child may never have thought of it? The discussion on masturbation was short, and along the lines of "you've probably noticed it feels good to touch yourself 'down there', and this can lead to an orgasm, which some people describe as like a 'pleasant shiver' ... As I said, it was mainly the discussion on throwing up to stay thin that concerned me a little ...

Thanks for all your comments! :)

Martinique
12-08-2007, 01:00 AM
If the book makes it clear that throwing up to stay thin is unhealthy, then it's probably better for her to find out about bulimia that way than two or three years from now from one of her friends, who might describe it as a good thing, an "easy" way to lose weight.

And I doubt that just reading about bulimia is going to send her hurtling to the bathroom to try it out for herself (although I can't say the same for masturbation, what with the "pleasant shiver" - lol!)

alinnell
12-08-2007, 01:37 AM
I bought a book for my DD when she was in 1st grade or so because I knew I'd not have an easy time discussing it with her.....she's 17 now, understands it all, and has no problem discussing certain things with me. She's normal--she doesn't want to tell all, but I know she has a good head on her shoulders now.....I made her an appointment for her first gyno exam--I offered to go with her. She said, "Mom, it's something I know I have to do so I might as well get used to it." I wasn't as upset about the masturbation thing as much as how descriptive it was about homosexuality and AIDS--but when I read it, it was 10+ years ago and even now my psyche has eased up a whole lot about that.

FrouFrou
12-08-2007, 01:41 PM
I think a lot of people don't give kids/teenagers enough credit to think for themselves. They have a brain and just because they read something doesn't mean they are going to do it, of course there may be some who do, but not all. Also, I will never understand parents who will not and do no talk to their kids about sex, their body's changing, death or anything else. When my kids were young they always asked questions and I found that just answering them honestly worked. I knew too many mothers when a kid asked a question like "Where do babies come from?" They come up with a lame answer because they didn't want to tell them the truth. So what does the kid do? Ask more questions only to get more dumb answers. When my oldest son was 11 he started asking other questions and I thought okay, now is the time for the talk. But I sat all three of my kids down and on HBO there was a movie if you will about kids and how their bodies will change with puberty. It was geared for kids and we all laughed but it was very helpful. Then I rented a couple of videos from blockbuster at the time were free because of the nature...we watched them and again, we all laughed. It didn't actually show the mom and dad having sex but under the covers and it was a cartoon geared for kids. It talked about sex, your bodies, being in love and married, I was ready for questions but thru these three things they didn't have any. And since then we have always been open and honest about everything. But sorry, I don't know of any books and for the life of me can't remember the names of the videos. But I am sure there are others like it out there.

murphmitch
12-08-2007, 02:26 PM
If this girl is in your extended family, how do her parents feel about you giving her information? I would want to check with them first before discussing it with the child. Maybe you already have, but just thought I'd ask.

drake3272004
12-08-2007, 05:14 PM
The part that concerned me most was the discussion of Anorexia and Bulimia, especially the Bulimia. Suppose you plant the idea of throwing up to stay thin, with a book, when otherwise the child may never have thought of it? The discussion on masturbation was short, and along the lines of "you've probably noticed it feels good to touch yourself 'down there', and this can lead to an orgasm, which some people describe as like a 'pleasant shiver' ... As I said, it was mainly the discussion on throwing up to stay thin that concerned me a little ...

Thanks for all your comments!


I agree with Martinique, it's better to learn about bulimia as a negative then to hear about it from a peer that will glorify it.

tamaralynn
12-08-2007, 07:00 PM
Sadly, I've noticed children are picking up on some pretty strong sexual things younger and younger.


***EXPLICIT INFORMATION!!!*** Please highlight below if you choose to read

I overheard my 9 year old daughter and her 11 year old friend talking (IN SHOCKING DETAIL) about one of the grade 3 girls in my daughter's class giving a grade 4 boy a hand/blow job in the back of the room when the teacher stepped out (my daughter's class is a grade 3/4 split). Both children were expelled from school.

There is one 12 year old girl in particular who had to leave the school due to pregnancy.


I've chosen to tell my daughter about the changes in a woman's body and how your body is yours etc. But after hearing this and being a victim of sexual abuse, this really disturbed me. I ended up having night terrors (reliving my abuse) and started seeing a counselor at my work, she explained that this is VERY common amoung young girls now and the reason why pre-teen pregnancy is skyrocketing!!

FrouFrou
12-08-2007, 07:07 PM
Tamaralynn...I just saw something on a show a few days ago talking about kids and sex in the schools, among other things, and this was middle schoolers. It kills me that now days kids are having sex at such a young age.

drake3272004
12-08-2007, 09:18 PM
What is really sad is the fact that most of these girls that are becoming sexually active at such a young age are doing it because they were abused! Or were not taught to value themselves. Speaking again from experience...........for the longest time I was messed up about sex and love and the difference between the two. And messed up about how to value myself as a person and the right to say no!