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How You Are Changing: For Girls Ages 10-12 and Parents (Learning about Sex) (Learning about Sex (Paperback)) Paperback – 1 Jul 2008
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I have been going through this book with my 11 year old son and it is exactly what I was going for. The text reads in an easy to understand way, and builds upon previous topics with each chapter. It also has a chapter with some situations that your son can put himself into that ask questions that he may not necessarily thought of or been willing to ask. I read the book in its entirety before sitting down with my son so I knew the subject matter. As we were reading through it inevitably questions would come up and every time the next paragraph, page, or chapter would address his very question. There is also a good glossary of all the terms used in the book, so when your son asks "What is..." you can simply refer back to the glossary as well.
The book offers scientific information and illustrations on the parts of both the male and female body, covers sexuality and how babies are made, outlines how he is/will be changing as he goes through puberty, and offers a Biblical approach to human sexuality. By Biblical, I mean the book interjects God's best plan for healthy sexual relationships based on the Bible.
If the book lacks anything, it would maybe be something addressing media (sexuality on TV and in commercials, internet pornography and magazines) and how it affects men and harms relationships and families. That may be a topic for another day at an older age, but in our sex saturated culture with kids being exposed to it at earlier and earlier ages, it is a topic that needs to be addressed. Apparently those topics are covered in the next book in this series, which I will be getting too.
Overall, this book has been a great resource that covers the basics in a simple, easy to use and understandable manner, and my son has enjoyed going through it with his father. If anything going through this book has assured my son that if he has questions about sex and his body, he can comfortably come to his dad with those questions.
Anyway, I read this book out loud to her and let her stop me to ask questions as we went along. I read the ENTIRE book out loud (ok, I might have skipped some the prayers in the boxes). I think it was important to do the reading myself. It made sure she didn't just skip to the 'good parts' if she read it by herself. I really appreciate how much more articulate the author was then what I probably would have stumbled over and how she gave me the words to frame the discussion in a way that we could discuss sex as a beautiful gift, that is very special and only for two adults in a very committed relationship. I probably would have fudged the flowery talk part of the conversation and just either stated everything too factually or too vaguely. There was plenty of faith-based language, but I didn't feel it got in the way of stating the facts. The book was clear and descriptive without going overboard.
Some of the bold terms (ejaculation) are a little alarming to be discussing after all the time we've spent as parents shielding them from the daily barrage of media, etc. That said, I would rather be the one explaining these terms in a good, healthy way then having her hear a bunch of incorrect, half-truths from the playground, where much of the discussion paints things as 'dirty' or 'bad'.
I prefaced our entire discussion saying that these are things that a parent wants to discuss with her child in their own time. Some kids may know more and many will know less. She knows that this is a private conversation and that she is not to talk to other kids at school about this.
It was hard for me to have this discussion with her when she seems so innocent and pure. She's very much a young 5th grader. I really appreciate how much this book eased this process. I felt it covered what NEEDED to be covered and probably a little more than I would have thought to mention.
I don't usually write reviews, but when I saw the '2' stars I knew I HAD to let others know the rating was misleading. If you read the comments under the one reviewer's one star review, you'll get a better understanding.
Anyway, I didn't give the book 5 stars because I did feel the need to at least show her a picture from the other book I got (It's So Amazing - A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies and Families, by Robie Harris). The other book was for age 7 and up and had lots of cartoons. The illustrations were a little more detailed and one page in particular was very helpful (page 13 where they show 6 illustrations of each sex, from a baby, younger kid, older kid, teenager, grownup, older grownup). That said, the other book didn't frame the text of what I wanted to say as well as this book did. The other book also had brought up things like HIV and AIDS which we'll get around to discussing at some point, but really we had a enough on our plate with the more basic facts. No need to scare her like my mother did with the pictures of genital warts. (She was a labor and delivery room nurse and -god, rest her soul-- she put the fear of god and warts in me at an early age. I was blessed to have such an open, warm relationship with my mom where I grew up feeling very well-informed and guided.)
Anyway, I recommend this book for parents of girls 10-12. This book made it much easier for me and I believe her as well.
Good luck to those of you venturing into this discussion.