Hands up if you’ve ever fielded a question from one of your kids that just totally threw you!
Although we consider ourselves a fairly open and liberal family, and I feel comfortable answering any questions that crop up (sometimes totally out of the blue!), I admit to sometimes feeling a bit overwhelmed.
The last time an interesting question arose, we were pulled up in the school drop-off queue, late (as usual), kids, bags, hats flying everywhere as they tried to escape the car, and one of my boys hit me with a whopper.
Oh, bub, it’s a bit of a long answer, I’d rather sit down with you and talk more this evening, can we wait until then?
I drove off and thought “Where the heck did that come from?”, “Why just then?” and then used the day to consider the best way to explain a grown up concept in age-appropriate, factual language.
If you’ve been thrown a curve ball (and if you’re a parent, you know you have), you’ll know the feels.
Well congratulations! Your child trusts you and feels safe asking you to teach them about the world they live in. That morning, that was my take-away. That evening, we talked.
Since that day, I’ve been checking ALL of the shops, for a suitable, informative, explanatory, factual, non-biased book that would suit my kids’ varied ages. Too much to ask? For a while, it seemed so.
I was recently sent a copy of 100+ Questions Kids Have About Having a Baby, written by Interrelate, an awesome organisation that delivers education to school children in New South Wales, and has been operating since 1926. Interrelate has developed a series of books to assist families in educating their children in the home.
My initial thoughts on the book were that I really liked the visual design. Brightly-coloured pages and realistic, animated images, are perfect for primary school aged kids. I actually left the book on our breakfast bar and my eldest son, aged seven, has had a few looks through it during the week, so I know it captured his attention.
I really like the book’s layout. It isn’t a book I’d read cover-to-cover (although, you certainly could, if you chose to), but more a resource I could turn to as a particular question (or five) arose. Because my older kids are seven, five and three, they all have different levels of understanding, and therefore different questions.
The book uses real questions written by children during Interrelate lessons. They appear on each page as a starting point for the explanation or answer to the question. As a teacher myself, I did notice straight away the spelling and grammatical mistakes in these hand-written notes from the kids. (The reasoning for leaving the kids’ questions as written is explained in the book).
I really enjoyed the inclusivity the text offers, and the variety of family structures it acknowledges. My kids are so fortunate to know families of all kinds, and just accept the many different family formations that exist in our world. There are questions answered about parents who adopt, and parents who are gay.
Next, I noticed on the contents page that there’s just one image: a baby holding a bottle of milk. Out of curiosity I flicked through the book searching for an image of a baby breastfeeding (I was really hoping for a picture of a baby and a boob), and bingo! There it was – on page 29. Now, in fairness, the book is organised chronologically, from conception to birth, to infancy, but I would have really loved to see that boobing babe up the front with the little bottle fed bubba.
In all, I really enjoyed reading this book myself, and have already shown my younger children (the five- and three- year-old) some sections I think they’d be interested in. I feel it’s a fantastic starting point for conversations, and it’s worded in an appropriate and factual manner.
I found some of the questions posed by students very insightful and honest. They are real questions that kids have, and I think this brings an extra element of relevance. Being written by real kids brings an authenticity to the book.
100+ Questions About Having a Baby is a resource our family will consult for years to come.
This is one of five books in this series by Interrelate. The other titles include:
- 500+ Questions Kids Have About Sexuality
- 100+ Questions Kids Have About Bullying
- 400+ Questions Kids Have About Relationships
- 100+ Questions Kids Have About Puberty
All of these titles are available to purchase directly from the Interrelate website.