A Ministry of Make and Deepen Disciples

Kids and Families

Embrace Resources for Kids and Families

Support for kids (ages 2-12) and their parents/caregivers as they have ongoing discipleship conversations about gender and sexuality.   

Embrace will curate over time age-appropriate resources for kids and those who love them and nurture their faith.  

Topics covered include body, gender, reproduction, protection from sexual abuse and consent, and pornography. 

Body

Every Body is a Gift: God Made Us to Love

Written by Monica Ashour and illustrated by Karol Kaminski

(Ages 2-5) 

Every Body is a Gift uses simple language and everyday situations to show young children how they can use their bodies to receive and give love to those around them. Using examples like painting a picture for a friend and walking with grandparents to show children different ways to express love to their families and those they meet.

Gender

God Has a Plan for Boys and for Girls

Written by Monica Ashour and illustrated by Marilee Herrald-Pilz

(Ages 4-7) 

Helps children discover who they are and the importance of the way God made them. This Catholic book affirms the gift of gender in a joyful, easy-to-understand way, teaching children about human dignity, equality, and God’s plan for them.  

God Made Boys and Girls: Helping Children Understand the Gift of Gender 

By Marty Machowski 

(Ages 4-8) 

God Made Boys and Girls helps children understand that their gender is a gift from the God who made them and loves them. The story begins as the girls and boys at school are discussing if boys will always be boys and girls will always be girls. Their teacher explains that God gives each of us the gift of being male or female before we are born, and that you continue to be a boy or a girl whether you like to climb trees or play house, play tag or color pictures, cause a ruckus or sit quietly.  

In a world where there is so much confusion about gender and identity, pastor and best-selling author Marty Machowski shares the simple, clear truth that all of us are made in God’s image as either male or female and what God made is very good! Included at the back of the book is a special section just for parents/caregivers that gives biblical guidance and help as they have this important conversation with their children. 

Who Has What? All About Girls’ Bodies and Boys’ Bodies

Written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott 

(Ages 3-7) 

Young children are curious about almost everything. Asking questions is one of many ways they learn about themselves and the world around them. Who Has What? provides easy-to-understand facts and answers to their delightful, thoughtful, and often nonstop questions. The book includes a simple story following Nellie and Gus on a family outing to the beach. Humorous illustrations, conversations between the siblings, and a clear text all reassure young kids that whether they have a girl’s body or a boy’s, their bodies are perfectly normal, healthy, and wonderful. 

Reproduction

The Wonderful Way Babies Are Made

Written by Larry Christenson and illustrated by Cheri Baldholm  

(Ages 3-10) 

The Wonderful Way Babies Are Made will help parents/caregivers teach children about families, babies, and sexual intimacy from a joyful Christian perspective. Uniquely set against the backdrop of God’s creation and our role in it, this book is an excellent place to begin presenting the information, feelings, and attitudes caregivers would like to share with their children about the truly wonderful way babies and families are made. It also helps children understand adoption. Large-print, rhyming text is designed to be read aloud to children three to eight. In-depth, age-appropriate information in smaller print allows the book to “grow” with children older than eight. 

It’s NOT the Stork! A Book about Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends 

Written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Michael Emberley    

(Ages 4-8) 

It’s Not the Stork! helps answer endless and perfectly normal questions that preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary school children ask about how they began. The book address readers in a reassuring way, mindful of a child’s healthy desire for straightforward information. Two cartoon characters, a curious bird and a squeamish bee, provide comic relief and give voice to the full range of emotions and reactions children may experience while learning about their amazing bodies. Vetted and approved by science, health, and child development experts, the information is up-to-date, age-appropriate, and scientifically accurate, and always aimed at helping kids feel proud, knowledgeable, and comfortable about their own bodies, about how they were born, and about the family they are part of. 

Note this book features same-sex couples in the section about diverse families.

Protection from Sexual Abuse and Consent

God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies

Written by Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb and illustrated by Trish Mahoney    

(Ages 2-8) 

God Made All of Me is a simply-told story to help families talk about these sensitive issues with two- to eight-year-old children. Because the private parts of our bodies are private, the home is the ideal environment where a child should learn about his or her body and how it should be treated by others. The book starts from the fundamental truth that God created everything and applies that truth to kids and their bodies. It equips parents/caregivers to talk with both boys and girls about their bodies and to help them understand the difference between the appropriate and inappropriate touch of others. God Made All of Me allows families to build a first line of defense against sexual abuse in the safety of their own homes. 

I Said No! A Kid-to-kid Guide Keeping Private Parts Private

Written by Kimberly King and Zack King and illustrated by Sue Rama

(Elementary) 

Helping kids set healthy boundaries for their private parts can be a daunting and awkward task for parents/caregivers, counselors and educators. Written from a kid’s point of view, I Said No! makes this task a lot easier. To help Zack cope with a real-life experience he had with a friend, he and his mom wrote a book to help prepare other kids to deal with a range of problematic situations. I Said No! uses kid-friendly language and illustrations to help parents/caregivers and concerned adults give kids guidance they can understand, practice and use. Using a simple, direct, decidedly non-icky approach that doesn’t dumb down the issues involved, as well as an easy-to-use system to help kids rehearse and remember appropriate responses to help keep them safe, I Said No! covers a variety of topics, including: What’s appropriate and with whom. How to deal with inappropriate behavior, bribes and threats. When and where to go for help, and what to do if the people you’re turning to for help don’t listen. Dealing with feelings of guilt and shame.

Pornography

Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr.: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds

Written by Kristen A. Jensen and illustrated by Debbie Fox

(Ages 3-6) 

Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr. makes it easy for parents/caregivers to protect their young kids ages 3 to 6. Using gentle, age-appropriate messages, children will learn to Turn, Run & Tell when they are accidentally exposed to pornography. 

Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids 

Written by Kristen A. Jenson and illustrated by Debbie Fox 

(Ages 7+) 

Good Pictures Bad Pictures is a read-aloud story about a mom and dad who explain what pornography is, why it’s dangerous, and how to reject it. This book engages young kids to porn-proof their own brains. The 5-point CAN DO Plan™ teaches kids exactly what to do to protect their young minds when they see pornography. 

For Parents/Caregivers

EQUIP’s free Parent Conversation Starters help parents/caregivers begin intentional dialogue about sexuality with children and teens. Each Starter includes step-by-step instructions for parents/caregivers to (1) prepare for conversation and (2) initiate conversation, broken down by age-group (ages 2-5, 6-10, 11+). These starters are just that—starters. These are not meant to be one-and-done conversations, but rather a place to begin ongoing conversation. 

Many Christian parents/caregivers hesitate to talk to their young kids about sexuality. EQUIP’s Parent Course, “Christian Parenting in Sex-Obsessed Culture” was developed to: 

  • Equip parents/caregivers of kids ages 2-12 with a deep familiarity with God’s wisdom for sexual stewardship for all people 
  • Provide practical guides for age-appropriate conversation with kids, broken down by age group 

This 5-session course covers the following topics: 

  • How has God made each of us for intimacy in the context of family? 
  • What are God’s good designs for vocational singleness and Christian marriage? 
  • How can parents/caregivers have proactive and reactive conversations about sexual stewardship for all people? 
  • How can parents/caregivers share God’s love and wisdom for gay people? 

Click here to learn more and to register.  

Posture Shift Ministries, Inc. offers a host of resources for parents/caregivers of LGBTQ+ loved ones.   

Posture Shift’s 140-page best practice relational care plan is designed for every pastor, every parent, and all who care for LGBTQ+ loved ones. This resource is available in Expanded Edition (140 pages) and Essentials Edition (40 pages) in English and Spanish. The Fifth Edition, which is currently in production and will be released early 2023, will go into more detail on discussing sexuality and gender identity with younger children. Order at postureshift.com/resources.   

   

Guiding Families Direct Care  

Posture Shift has provided non-licensed mentor care to thousands of parents, families, and LGBTQ+ loved ones since 2006. All care is provided via Zoom or a telephone call. They specialize in nourishing parent-child connection and fostering safer homes for LGBTQ+ pre-teens, teens, and young adults. Over 80% of their work involves parents of children 10 to 25 years old. Increasing family acceptance is directly connected to lower suicidality. Posture Shift specializes in preventing family rejection. They assist parents in seeking reconciliation from relational fractures within the family. It is highly recommended that parents and families first read Guiding Families Expanded Edition and then schedule Direct Care, as necessary. Schedule at guidingfamilies.com/care.   

   

Guiding Families Parent Connection  

Posture Shift offers a free, quarterly Zoom meeting that connects parents of LGBTQ+ children to other parents on a similar journey. Visit postureshift.com/events and view Featured Events at the top for the ministry’s next Parent Connection. Some meetings will be topical-based, while others will simply connect parents in breakout groups. You can choose to be part of a group for LGB+ loved ones, Trans* loved ones, or Grief Share. No spectators. This meeting space is reserved exclusively for parents, and close family members of LGBTQ+ loved ones. Contact care@guidingfamilies.com for more information.  

Guiding Families Private Facebook Group  

Posture Shift’s private group offers an everyday community for parents and families of LGBTQ+ loved ones. Parents can share their family story, learn from other parents further along on the journey and experience the blessing of others who understand. The prerequisite for joining is to read Guiding Families Expanded Edition. This ensures that persons joining the group have a common starter education on LGBTQ+ relational care in families. Contact care@guidingfamilies.com for more information. 

 

Guiding Families Summit  

Posture Shift offers an annual gathering for parents and families of LGBTQ+ loved ones. The global pandemic has put a pause on their annual Summit. They hope to schedule the next Guiding Families Summit for Summer 2023.

The Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender “Parenting LGBTQ Kids”

This 11-part series helps Christian parents/caregivers navigate the journey of raising and walking alongside their LGBTQ child. Each session includes a teaching video hosted by Dr. Preston Sprinkle, along with testimonials, as well as a variety of supplemental materials. The series is designed for parents/caregivers whose LGBTQ “kids” are any age: all the way from young kids who have just come out as LGBTQ to adult children. At a number of points in the series, there is discussion on how parenting dynamics will shift over time as children grow and leave home. 

Challenges Faced by Christian Parents of LGBTQ+/SSA Children

The Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender took a survey of over 500 Christian parents who have LGBTQ+ or same-sex attracted kids. The data gathered helped create The Center’s series Parenting LGBTQ Kids. “Challenges Faced by Christian Parents of LGBTQ+/SSA Children” research report discusses the major findings from the survey. In it, key data is summarized, the meanings behind the numbers are analyzed, and the implications and limitations of the study are evaluated.This resource is designed to encourage three groups of people. For Christian parents, to see that they’re not alone in the challenges they’re facing. The hope is that the paper offers insight to counselors, church leaders, and supportive peers coming alongside these parents. And finally, for LGBTQ+ and same-sex attracted kids with Christian parents, understanding other parents’ experiences can help them better understand their own parents.The paper is available for free download here (you’ll need to complete a quick form).

Orange’s Parent Phase Guides

Written by Kristen A. Jenson and illustrated by Debbie Fox 

(Ages 0-18) 

Helps parents/caregivers learn about each phase of a kid’s life and how to make the most of every phase. Each guide includes how to navigate human sexuality. For example, In the one-year-old and two-year-old phase: You will introduce them to their body. “As you introduce your child to the body God made for them, you let them know their body is good and acceptable thing…In this phase you are beginning a conversation that will continue to develop in the phases to come. For now, you will help them discover their body and define privacy.”

We Want to Hear From You

As we develop Embrace, we hope to receive feedback from diverse voices, especially with regard to existing resources or experiences which you have found to be helpful and effective. Feel free to connect with us anytime at embrace@covchurch.org.

Please sign up to learn more, be informed of future webinars, and sign up for more Embrace updates.