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Adult Book Review: Talking To Your Kids About Sex

“Turning “the talk” into a conversation for life”

The whole of the book is summed up by the above quote; this is not a book about having one awkward talk with your teenager about sex and then dropping the subject forever. Dr Laura Berman has written what I deem an absolute must-have for any forward thinking parent who is determined to be open and available to their children about sexual matters, but isn’t quite sure where to start. Because let’s face it, not all parents have an interest in an ongoing, lifetime conversation with their children about sex.

Luckily, she helps us parents who do want this conversation. I include myself in that category, and this book will be sitting on my shelf as a reference guide. Starting from ages 0-2, she explains how to help our children learn the proper words for body parts and teaching about their bodies, and how to keep information age-appropriate. There are sections throughout the book called “Learning Together”, which helps parents teach their child what they need to know at certain points in their development. For example, early on there are two diagrams of the male and female anatomy, with cues and questions for parents to use and ask to facilitate this learning with their children.

I was extremely impressed that the format she wrote this book in allows us as parents to insert our own personal values in. For example, when she writes about teaching a child where babies come from, that you can tell your child that mommies and daddies create a baby when {insert family value here} . You could use the term “married” or “in love”  or “are partners together” or whatever your family value is. This continues throughout the book as she encourages us to talk openly and discover not only what our values are, but also how to pass these values on to our children.

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She touches on the area of sexual orientation in a respectful and straightforward manner, and how to talk to your children about alternate families and supporting a gay child if you have one, which I consider a must have in any parenting book. She also has a couple conversation starters on the subject which I thought were helpful as well.

And those conversation starters she has scattered throughout the book are a godsend, I read some and thought, “yes, perfect, I like that approach”. Because to be honest, in this era where our children are being bombarded with information from not only the infamous media, but their peers and others around them, we as parents need all the guiding help we can get.

The book is divided into 7 areas as follows: The Body, The Mind, The Media, Friends and Influences, Romantic Relationships, Sexual Relationships, and Talking About Safer Sex, each section a wealth of information and help for parents.

I can only sum up with saying buy it, read it, and use it over and over until it sits dogeared and battered on your bookshelf.

Reading level: Adult

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley

What to expect: straightforward, sometimes cringe inducing (but ultimately necessary) text about teaching our children about sex.

Publisher’s synopsis: Teaching your child about sex can be a rewarding, relationship-strengthening experience. You just need to be equipped with the right tools: clear, easy-to-explain information; critical questions to ask; good timing; and a sense of humor.

Often touched on only lightly in schools, sexual knowledge is one of the most important parts of your child’s education. Help encourage positive thought, relationships, and decision-making with Dr Berman’s resourceful, reassuring, and comprehensive new book.

About the Author: Laura Berman, LCSW, Ph.D., an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and obstetrics/gynecology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, has been working as a sex educator and therapist for 20 years and is considered a thought leader in her field. She has appeared in the pages of nearly every major publication and on radio and television, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today show, Fox News, CNN, the New York Times, USA Today, Glamour, Elle, and Ladies’ Home Journal. Dr. Berman is a regular contributor on the Today Show, giving viewers advice about sex and relationships on TV and in an online column, “In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman.” She is also the host of Oprah Radio’s “Better in Bed,” a live and lively call-in program that airs on SIRIUS XM Radio. She also starred in Showtime’s hit reality TV series, Sexual Healing, which followed real-life couples through a week in therapy with her at the Berman Center.

Our Rating: 5 out of 5

For more information on this book and others, you can visit DK Books at http://www.dk.com, and click the flag to choose your country.

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