KLAER MICH AUF! Sex Ed Books in German
Children have questions about all kinds of topics. And so many kids will also ask how babies are being made. About their own body and later about all things sex.
When is the right time to start with sex education? As with most things, if your kid has questions and shows interest, you should answer, age appropriately, according to experts. The consensus nowadays also is that there should not be that one big talk with your teenager, but that it is best if it is an ongoing discussion whenever needed, starting early, around preschool age.
Many kids will learn about sex related topics through (social) media or from other kids which is one more reason to be open about this topic with your kid. The school principle Silke Müller in her new bestselling book WIR VERLIEREN UNSERE KINDER ("We Are Losing Our Kids") gives a few rather telling examples from a normal, rural school in Germany what kids aged 9 can learn through media, social media, video games or other kids. And why you should be open to discussing and passing on your values. Because kids might be confused about what they hear and need help making sense of it.
If you want to read more on the right age to talk about what, check here to learn more about talking to preschoolers, here for the topic with teenagers/ preteens or here an overview of all ages (both in German), or here in English. And an interview with Silke Müller not just about sex, pornography, but other topics kids learn from in German here
By the way, it seems like children today get into puberty earlier - hormonal changes might start at the age of 10 with girls and 11 with boys. So you better be ready for it!
Obviously, there will be cultural differences - I would say Germans tend to be a little more open about body parts and sex education in general (you might for instance find nudes depicted in picture books that have nothing to do with sex ed), but usually portray a more traditional, binary sex model than some American books. Every family and kid has it's own timeline and values of course. Since it is not an easy topic to talk about for us adults, books can give us a good guidance.
We will only send you books on this topic, if you explicitly ask for a book! And we are happy to advise you to find the right choice for you.
Here are our favorite books, (most )written by sex education experts!
ALLE HABEN EINEN PO
This book is about the human body and all it entails. The front, the back, babies, kids, grown-ups, and how it changes. It addresses bodily functions we usually don't like to talk about such as the different parts where hair grows, or farting. It teaches about consensus, and what is appropriate. The best about it: it is funny!
The body parts are all shown and to be seen, but not named.
4 years and up
Sanderjin von der Doef & Marian latour
VOM LIEBENHABEN UND KINDERKRIEGEN
A good overview of all things regarding love and sex when your child starts asking questions, written by von der Doef, who is a psychologist and leading sex ed expert in the Netherlands. Based on the questions young children ask, she explains feelings, friendship and love, and how babies are made, sexuality, pregnancy and birth. The texts are short and child appropriate, straight forward, but still not revealing more than necessary. The illustrations match this.
It includes a chapter on adoption and LBGQT families as well as in vitro fertilization.
Sanderlin van der Doef by the way also has a Ted Talk on the topic, link here.
3-4 years and up
Susanne Scherer / Annabella von Sperber
ZWEI MAMAS FUER OSCAR
Oscar has two mothers. They loved each other so much, they wanted a baby, Oscar. They had many ways to show their love, but to make a baby they needed semen, and so they asked Hans.
A beautifully illustrated picture book - it has a playful approach, in the appendix then the actual facts between heterosexual couples and how lesbian couples can go about it.
Has some depictions of nudity, but not graphic and with not too much detail.
4 years and up
G. Fagerstroem /
PETER, IDA UND MINIMUM
This Swedish awarding -winning comic about two siblings learning that they soon will have a sibling is a classic and must have been pretty revolutionary when it was first published in the late 70ies. It tells with no big frills how babies are made, of pregnancy and giving birth, but also menstruation and contraception. Children relate well to the story.
Depiction of human autonomy is included.
5 years and up
Katharina van der Gathen / Anke Kuhl
KLAER MICH AUF
Author Katharina van der Gathen is a German sex educationist. She set up boxes in primary schools where children (8-10 years old) could anonymously drop their questions regarding sex. The book consists of 101 of these questions and van der Gathen's answers.
Some questions are what you'd expect, others not: Why are our bodies so important? Is sex important? Are their different kinds of penises? How long is a penis?
What is porn? Why can't children have sex?
Super fun illustrations by the comic artist Anke Kuhl
8 years and up
And for all that want to know even more, there is a second volume.
Katharina Van der Gathen / Anke Kuhl
DAS LIEBENLEBEN DER TIERE
Many children simply want to know: How do animals make babies? There is lots of room for variation in animal life, so you'll learn about the surprisingly affectionate scorpions, about the seduction dance swims of some fish, the super tenacious lady bugs and many more.
Once again illustrated by Anke Kuhl showing off her unique sense of humor.
8 years and up
DER TAG, AN DEM PAPA EIN EIN HEIKLES GESPRAECH FUEHREN WOLLTE
Let's be real. Talking to your child about this delicate topic can be pretty embarrassing for all involved. You might still have memories from your own times as a teenager -and be dreading the conversation. In this laugh-out loud novel for kids it certainly doesn't come natural to anyone, not the father nor the grandparents.. Reading this book though is a very natural way to learn the basics. And an elegant way to find out what your kid doesn't really know about.
8 years and up
Jan von Holleben / Antje Helms
KRIEGEN DAS EIGENTLICH ALLE?
Once your kids' body starts changing and the emotions going wild, and he or she has lots of questions they would rather not ask you or anybody else, this award winning book is an excellent choice. Journalist Antje Helms answers 70 questions of teenagers in a short and no frills way - but does add lots fun facts. Photographer (and former educator) Jan von Holleben worked together with 30 teenagers to illustrate the book - it includes many playful interpretations full of imagination that are not graphic, still not too abstract. A fresh take.
10 years and up
Looking for more general books on the human body?
Take a look here.
All books are available for rent within the US with one of our subscriptions.