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Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child's Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens Paperback – March 23, 2004


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Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child's Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens + It's Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends (The Family Library)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; Reprint edition (March 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400051282
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400051281
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Richardson, an assistant psychiatry professor at Columbia and Cornell who maintains a private practice in psychiatry, and Schuster, a UCLA associate professor of pediatrics and public health and the founding director of a CDC-sponsored adolescent health center, bring extraordinary expertise and scintillating intelligence to this guide to coping with a child's sexual maturation. Acknowledging that kids are "inherently sexual" (male fetuses, for example, have erections in utero), the authors show how parents can influence their children's sexual development in healthy ways through honest communication. With this forthright and reassuring volume, the Richardson and Schuster prove themselves models of that skill. They walk readers through the development of an average girl and boy, from infant "seeds" of sexuality to teenager's first experience of intercourse, and fearlessly cover topics from toddler sex play to dating, love, homosexuality, masturbation, birth control, STDs and pregnancy. Thoroughly researched, extremely well written and chock-full of personal stories from parents, this "survival guide" should be required reading for any parent who believes in being open about these touchy issues.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

"Your kids' sexuality is bound to make you squeamish." No kidding. For parents whose tots are playing doctor in the garage and whose teens are pleading for coed sleepovers, here is some help. With wry humor as well as comments from folks who have been there, Richardson and Schuster combine experience in pediatrics and psychiatry to lend a frank helping hand (the emphasis is developmental and practical) by exploring not only the science and the time line of children's sexual development but also what is at stake when sex is up for discussion, whether the topic is abstinence, pleasure, feelings, responsibility, orientation, or STDs. Suggestions on handling "Big Talk" situations are here in plenty, as are clues to guiding children "from high chair to high school" toward making the right choices for themselves. Does talking to your children about sex help? Richardson and Schuster admit that, from a scientific standpoint, the jury remains out, but they still think the answer is an unequivocal yes. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Many likely situations are described and the best way to handle them is explained.
Ms. JM Nurse
It is my personal feeling that providing your child with information about thier bodies will help them keep themselves healthy.
Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
This book is well written, enjoyable to read, and full of articulate information based on research and the authors' experience.
M. Thresher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

121 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Edelson on March 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am the mother of two boys, ages 11 and 13, and I found this book to be the best ever sex education book. The first and perhaps most impressive aspect of the book is that it not only helps you see your child's sexuality through his/her eyes, it also portrays the parents' point of view in a helpful and sympathetic way.
The second element that makes the book so effective is its down-to-earth humor. The authors review the phases of children's sexual development and parental experiences with many funny real life examples that get you chuckling and relaxing. In fact, my boys heard me laughing as I read one section and came over to ask about it. They read the part I was reading and it lead to a very comfortable discussion.
A third aspect of the book I appreciated is that the authors have really done their research. They are not just giving their opinions, they provide concise research information which adds perspective.
Lastly, the authors are very comprehensive. They include savvy advice on everything from what to do if your child walks in on you, to internet and IM use, adolescent rebellion, how to talk about homosexuality, and what if you don't like your child's boyfrind/girlfriend.
Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know...was written in such a way that it reduced my inhibitions about talking about sex with my boys, and it provided great, simple advice on the nitty gritty of how to do it.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome VINE VOICE on February 1, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the book and wish I had read it sooner and then I gave it to my 15 year old to read as well.

Much better than A chicken's guide to talking turkey with your kids about sex (preachy at best, as in religious zealots).

I think books are a useful tool to open up lines of communication and purchased this author's book, Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex with a copy of Dr. Ruth's Sex for Dummies for my older teen. I also read and shared, Human Sexuality by Roger R. Hock.

It is my personal feeling that providing your child with information about thier bodies will help them keep themselves healthy. It does not mean we give them our blessings to do whatever they want nor does it mean we have the right to make choices for them. We do as parents have the responsibilities of educating them.

As I have multiple children and liked her reasonable approach I also purchased Dr. Ruth Talks To Kids for my pre-teen. I also recommend the American Medical Association (Boy's/Girls) Guide To Becomming A Teen, and a copy of It's Perfectly Normal.

Copies of It's So Amazing and It's Not The Stork are also worth having kicking around the house but I did find the books to be rather long so don't be surprised if your active younger child does't want to go over them in one sitting.

Sexual development does begin in utero and it is time the average parent understood it better. That "talk" isn't just one talk you have with your child but a series of conversations in the car, at the supper table, when you are getting dressed in the changing room, changing diapers, in front of your best friend, at the doctor's office, and so on. If you are feeling a little shy about it- this book is for you.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jessica B. Smythe on February 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What a great read! I almost finished it in one sitting. This book is not only well-written, it's also chock full of great advice. I found it much more accessible than Deborah Roffman's Sex and Sensibility. It was as if the author knew me and wrote the book for me -- I want my children to grow up with a good attitude about sex, but even so, I feel a little squeamish about these topics. As a mom of a pre-teen and a toddler, I'm glad there's a book out there like this that isn't exclusively focused on teens, though they're well-covered here too. This one's a keeper. Now I've got a great new shower gift idea!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Chad on February 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a superb guidebook for parents. As the father of three children (15, 13 and 8) this is the one book that has information pertinent to each--and, actually, to kids of all ages. It is informative in a witty, anecdotal and non-preachy way. I only wish it had been available years ago when the kids were born-- it might have saved me a lot of angst as they were growing-up.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Becky H on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My kids are 10, 7, and 4. This book covers everything from birth until they're living on their own. It gives you honest information without judgment, and it tells wonderful funny stories to remind you that it's not the end of the world if you botch an answer to one of THOSE questions. It can't be as bad as those poor people quoted in the book! People with very conservative values may not appreciate the candid nature with which this book treats homosexuality and teen sex, but I certainly appreciate being armed with knowledge for next time the kids catch me with a loaded question. Believe it or not, this book is actually fun to read!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Andy Tyler on May 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a guide for parents on dealing with their kids' sexuality, but it is much more than that. It's a primer about human sexuality in general, and hence of interest to parents and non-parents alike. Effortlessly mingling statistical data, anecdotal evidence, illuminating case studies and good, hard common sense, the book is marked by a calm, judicious tone as well as an openness to various cultural backgrounds and points of view. The writing style alone sets the book ahead of the pack, managing as it does to combine humor, erudition and page-turning readability.
But if you begin by admiring this book mostly for the prose, you'll end up cherishing it for its wisdom. It's one to read and re-read and lend out to family and friends - to everyone who has a child or, for that matter, has ever been a child.
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