Okay, so this might seem like a weird thing to share on our blog. A food blog. But we’re all friends, right? I mean, some of you have been with us since the very beginning, since our oldest kids were babies and toddlers. And since we’re friends, and since friends talk about stuff, I wanted to share some finds I’ve made that I think are really fantastic. Even if it’s awkward. Because that’s what friends do.
Yep. We’re talking about how to talk to your kids about growing up. I have a 12-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter, so we’ve suddenly found ourselves in the middle of all that and these books have helped start conversations (even if some of those conversations take place back and forth in “secret” notebooks) and help them make these transitions easier.
- The Manual to Middle School: The “Do This, Not That” Survival Guide for Guys. I snagged this one because my son is heading to junior high. He’s nervous and excited (and, let’s be honest, so am I). This one doesn’t handle the biological side of things so much as it does everyday (and not-so-everyday) situations including personal hygiene, bathroom etiquette, cell phones, bullies, cologne (i.e. you don’t have to soak yourself in Axe body spray), parents, PDA, respect, stealing, and zombies (of course). It’s funny and straightforward and talks to them on their level and is organized in a way that’s easy to use as a reference.
- The Care and Keeping of You (Book 1 and Book 2). These books (from American Girls) have kind of been the gold standard for girls for a long time, and there’s a reason why. It explains changes in an honest, non-scary, age-approriate way using correct terminology. At first, my daughter felt really awkward reading about it, but it helped open the door to some conversations. The first book is a good jumping off point for girls starting around age 8 and covers physical changes as well as personal care and grooming, food, nutrition, fitness, safety, and feelings. The second book is for older girls (about 10 and up) and goes into a little more detail, especially concerning feminine hygiene products, shaving, makeup, etc. Both books are very age appropriate and share information while leaving final responsibility/decisions to girls and their parents. This book helped reinforce the things I was trying to teach my daughter (like WASH YOUR FACE, PLEASE!) and for whatever reason, that seemed to be what helped get her into a good routine.
- Is This Normal? This book for girls is also from American Girls and addresses questions your daughter might be too embarrassed to ask; it’s a great companion to the Care and Keeping of You books.
- The Boy’s Body Book. This was written by an RN and covers the physical, social, and emotional changes that boys experience as they get older. It explains the biology behind it in very “no big deal” terms, plus addresses topics like parents, mood swings, acne, internet safety, and lots of other great topics.
- The Boys’ Book of Survival: How to Survive Anything, Anywhere. This book actually has nothing to do with becoming a teenager, but my son kind of loves it. It’s funny and informative and full of information on how to make a compass using the sun, first aid, and how to survive a zombie apocalypse. And, really, it’s not just for boys–my daughter finds it equally entertaining.
I hope this gives you some ideas on how to manage this new and kind of scary phase of life. May the odds be ever in our favor!
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