Top Resources for Tween Puberty and Sexuality
Your child is growing up. Maybe you’ve heard your son’s voice cracking as he tells you about his day, or your daughter is suddenly noticing the cute boy in her math class. Big changes are coming for you and your preteen, and a whole new world is about to open up for them. Being proactive about addressing the topics of puberty and sexuality with your tween can make all the difference in their understanding of what is happening in their suddenly chaotic world.
Whether you’ve already had the talk with your tween or are just starting to build up the courage to sit them down and explain the birds and the bees, having resources to back you up can make the entire process easier. Luckily, there are countless resources available for both you and your tween to get a handle on working through the challenges that come with introducing puberty and sexuality.
Here I’ve put together a list of some of the top books and websites available to give your family a boost of support through the journey of adolescence.
Top Resources: Changing Bodies
- The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls
An American Girl book written by Dr. Cara Natterson, this book is the perfect resource for girls ages 10 and up to address all of the aspects of growing up. With chapters on puberty, periods, peer pressure, and personal care, the thoughtful layout and question-and-answer format is a great resource to help your growing tween daughter.
- The What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys: A Growing Up Guide for Parents and Sons
Whether you have a tween son or daughter, the books by Lynda Mandras are some of the ultimate guides for puberty and beyond. A companion to “The What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Girls: A Growing Up Guide for Parents and Daughters”, this book was selected as “Best Book for Young Adults” by the American Library Association and is a classic resource to address the challenges of adolescents aged 9-15 years old.
Being a tween girl is tough, and this excellent site is a great tool for any young woman. Here your preteen can explore topics ranging from puberty to sexual and emotional health. There are also videos and an “Ask the Expert” section to get your tween the answers they need for their most embarrassing questions.
- Are you There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
Judy Blume’s classic book of adolescence has been regarded as one of the essential books for tween girls since it was published in 1970. This fiction novel follows the journey of Margaret, a 6th grade girl who is in the middle of her journey to young adulthood. Addressing everything from periods to first relationships, this easy to read book is a wonderful resource for any girl looking for understanding and comfort during the many changes of puberty.
- PBS Kids: Puberty
The PBS Kids website has an easy to approach style that can provide valuable resources for your young tween. Included in the site is basic information on body changes, what to expect during puberty, and online activities to give both girls and boys a safe place to explore these sometimes awkward topics.
Top Resources: Sexuality
- It’s So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Family
This wonderful book is part of a three book series explaining puberty and sexuality to children of all ages. While the first book in the series, “It’s Not the Stork!” is geared towards ages 4-8, this book is perfect for young tweens who are ready for more in-depth information. With fun, comic book style illustrations and no nonsense information, this is a great guide to starting a lifelong conversation with your preteen.
This website is an invaluable resource for young women and their parents when navigating some of the most difficult aspects of sexuality. With Health Guides, quizzes, and several sections that cover everything from medical issues to sexual and emotional health, this website provides a wealth of information for tween girls and their families.
More than just a low-cost women’s healthcare organization, the Planned Parenthood website contains valuable information on health and sexuality for tweens and teens. Not only can you find resources for topics such as dating, changing bodies, and LGBTQ issues, there is also an option to chat directly with a health educator to get information on all of the tough questions.
- It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health
Written by the same author as “It’s Not the Stork” and “It’s So Amazing”, the third book in this series goes deeper into the topics of sexual health and growing up. Geared towards older tweens, this book contains accurate information on sex, puberty, birth control, and STD’s to help guide your child in making healthy, responsible decisions.
- From Diapers to Dating: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Children
In contrast to some of the other resources discussed, this book is an excellent tool for parents to prepare themselves to raise sexually healthy children. Highly acclaimed and written by educator Debra Haffner, this book gives all parents the resources and guidance needed to understand how to approach these difficult topics with their tweens.
Growing up is never easy – for tweens or their parents! By reaching out and using the many resources available, you can easily start the process of opening up conversation with your growing child. No matter where your tween is at, it is never too early to give them the tools they need to make healthy and informed decisions on their path to maturity.