La Tela di Carlotta
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No more birds and bees. Let's explain sex to kids!

Feb 29, 2016

Today I found again this funny and quite controversial children’s book that I had stumbled upon a while ago: How A Baby Is Made (and it’s quite old, 1975). It talks very (very!) visually and truthfully about how babies are made. And it is, indeed, meant for kids.

I found it mentioned in an article about how Danish people talk to their kids freely about sex (and guess what? The book was written by a Danish teacher and psychotherapist) and how the writer thinks one of the “great sins parents make is not being open about sex”. I totally agree. Sex is everywhere and shouldn’t be a tabu anymore in the 21st century.

I think my parents never talked about sex openly until I was much older and by then—want it or not—it was already a tabu, something that made me feel embarrassed. I would like my children to be able to talk to me about their adolescent sex life if they want, express their doubts, ask questions, and I want to be able to be simple and maybe even clinical in my answers. And yes, there’s a tiny risk that Oliver will be that kid at school “And then daddy’s penis goes into mummy’s vagina and…”, but hey!, it’s a risk I’m willing to take! ;-)

I’m not saying I won’t feel uncomfortable talking about it. I’m just saying I’d like to make an effort to feel less and less uncomfortable, because behind all the pornography, the vulgarity, and the dirty meanings that surround the word SEX, sex is the most natural thing in the world and we should treat it like so. Although, I can totally see us sort of going through what parents had to do in this video when they’re asked to explain sex truthfully to their kids for the first time… I love Chase by the way, the boy in the greed hoody :-D. There are four or five videos and they’re so worth watching!

I’ll leave you with some pages from the book “How a Baby is Made” (you can read it all online or watch this animation of the book). And yes, it gets reaaally detailed! For even more details ;-) click on a page to see it bigger. Enjoy!

2021 update

I have never felt uncomfortable talking about sex with my children: I also chose to use the correct words for genitals, vulva and penis, because I think it is very important.

I had forgotten this 2016 article, and it made me smile, because in 2020 I wrote a whole book in Italian on sex education in which I have had the opportunity to express my opinion on how important it is to not consider sex a taboo and to explain it to our children in a simple, spontanous way.

The book "How A Baby Is Made"

Photo credit: Jezebel.

Now, my question is: Would you have your kids read this?

Tell me what you think

Did you like it? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to hear from you.


Shampi • Jun 16, 2016


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The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Mums, dads & kids
We don't know how to be parents, we learn it everyday as we go. This is my way of motherhood, the small victories and the bitter defeats, my inconvenient truths and the endless life lessons. And also all the baby products and toys we love the most.
How to leave the playground without power struggles
This is life
Audiobooks of real-life stories for kids
Let's not project our insecurities onto our kids
Question authorities
Parents need to be constructively selfish
One more step towards self-acceptance
When you think your marriage is over after kids.
We forgot our 10-year wedding anniversary!
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Montessori express: change the sentences into positive
Montessori express: everything is NOT fine
My baby cries desperately in the car (15 months)
Take care of the mother behind the woman
Montessori express: ask instead of correcting
Montessori express: describe instead of criticising
An example of how I practice empathy with my kids
How I show empathy to my children
Happy 4th birthday, Emily
Montessori New Year's tradition
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.


We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.


In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.


I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.