It’s gotten fairly common over the years for product review requests to show up in my inbox. Without overinflating my importance to the planet, I do take those requests seriously and do my best to look at the items carefully. I’m also careful about exactly what products I review. I try to stick to items that are relevant to parenting (although the occasional creature comfort is welcomed by all, don’t you think?).
So when I got a request from Joanna Hyatt to read her book The Sex Talk: A Survival Guide for Parents, I was more than a little hesitant. I don’t agree that we should sexualize our children or encourage them to have casual relations outside of marriage. I do believe that abstinence is the way to go, even though it’s super hard. Been there, done that. It’s still the best choice for the long term. I was nervous that The Sex Talk was going to take the attitude that promiscuity isn’t a problem, teens can hook up as they please, and so on.
I took a look at Joanna’s site and got the idea that maybe, just maybe she was teaching something close to what I believe is right so I agreed to have her send me a copy.
Boy, do I ever love this book!
For starters, Joanna’s tone is friendly and humorous. This book is an easy read at just under 200 pages. It’s challenging, for sure. That’s a good thing though. Joanna does acknowledge the difficulty and uncomfortable nature of having these conversations with teens. Yes, I said conversations. Plural. Because this is a topic that has many facets, and we’re not going to be effective with one or two talks alone. To keep the lines of communication open, there need to be many many moments in which parents connect with kids.
Did you know that somewhere in the neighborhood of 65% of teens want to wait until marriage for sex? I didn’t know that. They really do want us to help them hold the line and wait. I found that very encouraging.
In addition to discussing the moral question, Joanna also explains the physical and neurological problems that casual relationships can cause. The bibliography of the book includes resources for recovering from that damage. I love having another way to talk to kids about this, and another way to explain that sex really does need to wait.
I’ve already recommended this book to a few friends and relatives, and now I’m recommending it to you.
It’s true that I often give away copies of books I’ve read to people I encounter that I think might really need them. That won’t be happening with this book; I’ll just be loaning it. I know I’ll need to reread more than one section over the next several years.
Go. Get it.
I know I will.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their teens to wait until marriage.
FTC Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book in order to do this review. I loved it. No links in this article are affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Go. Get the book. You know you want to.