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How to Talk to Your Child About Sex: It's Best to Start Early, but It's Never Too Late -- A Step-by-Step Guide for Every Age Paperback – November 29, 1999


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How to Talk to Your Child About Sex: It's Best to Start Early, but It's Never Too Late -- A Step-by-Step Guide for Every Age + Where Did I Come From? + The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls, Revised Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (November 29, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582380570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582380575
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Few parents enjoy those oh-so-important talks with children about the "facts of life." The fact is, you can (and probably should!) begin the conversation as soon as a child turns 3 years old. As for the delicate wording--Linda and Richard Eyre (Teaching Your Children Values) have plenty of suggestions in their comprehensive, step-by-step guide, How to Talk to Your Child About Sex. Starting with the "Preliminary 'As Needed' Talks with Three-to-Eight Year-Olds," the Eyres arrange their chapters by age, including the "The Age Eight 'Big Talk'" and numerous chapters on talking with preteens and adolescents.

The authors also describe what's normal sexual behavior for each stage of development and how to plant the seeds of appreciation of one's body and the later respect for commitment and love. They examine how parents can stay true to their moral and spiritual values while staying connected to their teenagers' sexual reality. Parents will especially appreciate the up-to-date research, such as current statistics about adolescent fears, desires, and activity surrounding sexuality. --Gail Hudson

From Library Journal

These books concentrate on teen abstinence, idealizing post-adolescent marriage and "committed relationships" as the best settings for sex. The Eyres, authors of several books on parenting, including Teaching Your Children Values (LJ 3/15/93), propose telling children: "Sex is awesome and wonderful: save it for the one you love." Tips, reading selections, and sample dialogs are given for each age group, along with appropriate preparation and follow-up. Though much here is excellent, few sex educators support withholding information from young children, as the Eyres seem to recommend; and the book cannot stand alone, since many details about sex are not provided. Only for libraries with other, more detailed books, such as Mary Calderone and James Ramey's Talking with Your Child About Sex (LJ 12/15/82), Patty Stark's Sex Is More Than a Plumbing Lesson (Preston Hollow, 1991), and Stanton and Brenna Jones's Christian-based How & When To Tell Your Kids About Sex (NavPress, 1993). Pogany, a medical/science journalist, makes some good points (e.g., coitus can have devastating consequences for adolescents), and her assertions are well referenced. Nor is she preachy; rather, she aims to empower young people to reach their own goals. Still, Sex Smart is ultimately a straightforward "scare" book and is recommended only for collections with other, comprehensive teen sex books. But do buy Patti Breitman and others' excellent How To Persuade Your Lover To Use a Condom...And Why You Should (LJ 8/87).AMartha Cornog, American Coll. of Physicians, Philadelphia
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book has been a very helpful resource for us as parents.
Jennifer Kesler
He now feels he can talk to us about anything and he knows we will be upfront with him.
S. Ashby
For us, sexual intimacy IS the most personal part of ourselves that we share.
Sharon M.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

133 of 142 people found the following review helpful By S. Ashby on June 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best parenting book I have ever read and used. It has more applicability and direct relevance to my parenting than any other.
I saw the author of this book interviewed on TV a while back and decided to buy this book. I was intrigued by his philosophy to teach your children at age eight, and to teach kids that sex is the "most wonderful, awesome thing in the world."
I read the book and decided to give it a try on our nine year old. We followed their directions and dialog pretty closely and even used the children's book "Where did I come from" as part of the discussion (this is the book they recommend). We made it a special night for just our son, taking him to his choice of restaurant and having the discussion in a secluded area there.
It worked better than I had ever imagined. We had a wonderful evening sharing this marvelous secret, and setting the record straight in his mind. There were a few embarassing moments (like when he would look up from the book and say, "really, that's what you do? OK.") and my wife and I were quite nervous.
However, after the discussion our son actually thanked us and said how glad he was to know the truth. We felt a closeness that we have rarely felt with our boy. I truely feel we have created a basis on which our parent/child relationship can build. He now feels he can talk to us about anything and he knows we will be upfront with him. I am now giving this book to all my friends with kids. In my mind, this is how sex education should be taught!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Sharon M. on April 25, 2007
Format: Paperback
We have to say that this is the best book for "How To" we have encountered! It addresses all issues accompanied with sexual perceptions kids deal with today. Getting to the root of WHY parents need to be the 1st to talk and HOW to help children sort out the garbage that can send mixed signals about our relationship with ourselves and others. Moreover, it sends a message that you think your child is so wonderful and your love so great for them, that you will be the 1st to talk to them about it-- regardless if it is at 5, 8 or 10.

We have found 8 is NOT too early to talk about it.... If you have found this book later, then-- it isn't too late. Some of the language is a bit quirky-- but, as with most books, one must speak what comes out best for them. For us.... a "BIG HUG" was not the way to discuss SEX in all of its glory-- so we chose to use the words, "a special part of you". For us, sexual intimacy IS the most personal part of ourselves that we share. Love is the root and if parents don't have love and for themselves, each other, or their children do not feel love or understand what love means, then they will have problems dealing with sex and why it is so special. I agree that ALL children need to know from you that you are committed to your family and them as individuals. Tell them!!!

Sex is wonderful, very special and has a lot of facets that go unnoticed like: Modesty, respecting and protecting our bodies, loyalty, respect in general, and how nature plays a part in WHY sex is great, special and wonderful. The Eyre's touch on all aspects incorporated into sex, leaving out nothing.

Ultimately your timing may be different than theirs, but the concepts and delivery are good ways to get the "talk" done. Highly recommended. Don't miss reading what their children all have to say about the "big talk".
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Selena D. Robins on June 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like this book. I think in our world you need to start teaching your kids earlier than most might think. 8 is a good age. But I STRONGLY DISLIKE the accompanying picture book the Eyre's recommend called, "Where Do I Come From?" by Peter Mayle. It is WAAAAAAY TOO DETAILED AND GRAPHIC. I'm sorry, but I would prefer to tell my kids the mechanics without having a picture of a couple having sex for them to look at and details about how it "tickles" to move the penis up and down in the vagina until you want to "pop." They don't need that much detail at age 8.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I admit, I am a conservative mom. This book gave me just the advice I needed to put things in proper perspective for my child. It may not be applicable to all parents, but I really appreciated the strong moral base.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By City Mom on May 31, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband and I have four children, and we purchased this book and read it before we gave our oldest, now nearly 18, the "big talk". It has been incredibly helpful to us when formulating our discussions with all of our children and as a result each one of them feels comfortable talking openly and asking even difficult questions of both my husband and I. In reading some of the more negative reviews, I agree that this book is not for everyone - but those parents who talk about the inherent sophistication of children today I think are being disingenuous. You can definitely protect your children's innocence a lot longer by limiting their exposure to television shows that are inappropriately adult. Sexual themes only to serve to confuse a young child who is too young to sort out the difference between lust and love. Read Joseph Chilton Pearce's books and you will understand how imperative it is - and also how many of us abdicate our responsibility to - protect the innocence of our children until they are emotionally equipped to handle the information coming at them.
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