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.