This is a book about one of those really uncomfortable topics of parenthood. Its the conversation I think every parent dreads to have with their children but it is one that is so vital to have. In "5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know About Kids & Sex" Anne Marie Miller not only encourages us to have those conversations (its not a one time talk as she points out in the first chapter!) but arms us with information about the realities out there and the tools we need to work with.
The first chapter, The Earlier the Better, encourages us to begin discussing the issues of sex early on at an age appropriate level. By addressing issue early, she tells us the later conversations become more natural and normalized. The second chapter, Your Child is Not the Exception, holds a message that I think every parent needs to hear. We all want to believe that our child will learn what's best, that they will be the one to steer clear of every pitfall. The realities however are that our kids are picking up messages from everywhere, as chapters 3 (on media) and 4 (on Google is the new Sex-ed) explore. One of the greatest ideas I picked up in her discussion is that we want our kids to be safe but really we need to teach them to be healthy. The truth is we can't keep them safe from every danger in the world but if we teach them to be healthy, they will learn to steer clear of the danger out there and recover when they need to. The final chapter, Sexually Abused Children Rarely Speak Up, it a tough one. It is something that deals with something no one should ever endure but the sad reality is many have been and continue to be abused.
The content of this book is very helpful and is laid out in an easy to read and helpful format. Miller covers a lot of ground but then has "Bottom Line" sections where she summarizes and makes sure you've got the key information. There are also a number sections titled "Having the Conversation" that give you guidence in how to talk about the topic at hand with your kids. Finally, each chapter ends with a section titled "Experts want you to know" which includes information from a variety of experts backing up what she has discussed in that chapter.
Overall, this is a book that I feel will help parents be well equiped for journeying with their children through this topic. In an age where the world is so different from the one we grew up in, in terms of the impact of media and the internet, it is ever more vital we have the tools we need to navigate this with our kids.
(I received this book from Baker Books in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own)