Friday, March 7, 2008

Everything You NEVER Wanted Your Kids to Know About $EX (but were afraid they'd ask)

The full title of this book, by Justin Richardson and Mark A. Schuster, wouldn't even fit into the allotted space for the title of a blog post. It has this subtitle: The Secrets to Surviving Your Child's $exual Development from Birth to the Teens...and I have to say, for such an incredibly lengthy title, it turned out to be a rare case of truth in advertising. This book was brought to my attention by one of those funny twists of fate you always hear about...namely, the one where James picked it off the shelf and refused to let me put it back. So I cracked it open, and much to my surprise, I laughed out loud more than once at the introduction.

This, I thought, boded well for the rest of the book. And I was right. It's pretty terrific.

It's funny, it's educational, it's thought-provoking, it's well-organized, and, although it might make some people uncomfortable simply because of the subject matter, it is very good at acknowledging that YOU do the parenting for your children.

Since this is my basic life philosophy--that YOU are the expert when it comes to understanding and parenting YOUR children--the book's philosophy really resonated with me. The authors lay out some basic developmental milestones, some basic issues you might run into, and then explain ways to ease your child's transition into adulthood and adult $exuality that can fit into whatever your particular morals, values, ideas, wishes and hopes for your children happen to be. So, if you want your children to abstain until marriage, or if you would be aghast that your child plans to marry someone he or she hasn't "been with," the authors explain the implications for your child and how to raise him or her in a healthy manner either way.

As an anthropologist, I have to say, I wish every parenting book would be this non-judgmental and self-confidence-boosting. And I think it would be good reading for any parent. GREAT book!

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