An informative, helpful guide for parents contemplating how to talk to their children about the birds and the bees.
Parents are often plagued by the prospect of appearing indecisive and tongue-tied to their kids in those moments of truth, writes Roffman (But How'd I Get in There in the First Place? Talking to Your Young Child About Sex, 2002, etc.), a scholastic sex educator and mother of two who began brainstorming for this book after Janet Jackson’s overhyped Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction.” She offers relief by counseling parents on sensitive matters of timing and the dissemination of facts. Unfortunately, she writes, American schools are typically years late in providing even basic sexual knowledge to age-appropriate children. Roffman discusses a laundry list of commonly used statements about sex and doesn’t shy away from more sensitive material such as abstinence, gay and transgendered kids, sexually transmitted infections and rape. Throughout, she emphasizes the importance of positive, direct interaction with children. Her “five piece suit” approach stresses the significance of nurturing and parental roles in recognizing core needs like values, boundaries and guidance. Stories, analogies, scenarios and case studies bolster Roffman’s case, as does some good-natured humor. While it may be uncomfortable for parents to consider their children as “sexual people,” a chapter near the book’s midpoint serves as a primer course on human biology, development, reasoning, acceptance and the importance of honest communication at every stage of a child’s life. In utilizing this important guide, parents can reclaim the sexual education of their children instead of surrendering it to the influence of misguided media advertisers.
Roffman’s cleareyed text and non-clinical delivery makes the slippery slope of sex education less daunting.