“Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex, or Whatever” by Mary Jo Rapini and Janine Sherman
A great question & answer book about everything a teenage girl might be curious to know… menstruation, body image, relationships, STDs, women’s health care, etc. There were even some things in here that I didn’t know, so I’m glad to have had a chance to read this!
The introductory chapter, I felt, was a little too heady and technical, and I almost formed a bad opinion of the book overall, based on that. But, luckily I kept reading, and things ‘relaxed’ a bit, and I was able to see how, yes, this book can even be good for teen girls to read. At first –with that introduction– I thought there was no way a teenage girl would have the patience to get through something like that. It was just too full of big terms and technical jargon. But, with subsequent chapters, things eased up, and it became more of a down-to-earth read.
I especially liked how the authors really encouraged the moms to support their daughters, and not ‘react’ — rather, moms are encouraged to wait until they’re calm and relaxed before having discussions with their daughters about the topics mentioned in this book. They are to show their daughters that they’re really on their side, even if sometimes it might not seem like it.
And, I also appreciated the fact that, while the authors don’t necessarily promote abstinence (they think this is an unrealistic stance), they do encourage girls to wait until they’re at least 18 years old, and in a very commited relationship before becoming intimate with anyone. They believe that sex is sacred, and that it should not be entered into lightly, nor by anyone who cannot yet fully –and maturely– understand both the emotional and physical consequences of such behavior. They also encourage girls to really know what they want from life, and who they are, before engaging in any intimacies… that way sex doesn’t get in the way of their futures. A smart stance, if you ask me (even though, I am still of the ‘abstinence’ stance, myself).
Overall, I think this is a fabulous resource for girls and their moms, and I will be sharing it with my daughter when she’s old enough to grasp what’s inside (probably another 6 years from now — she’s only 8, after all). Mind you, we’ll be having some ‘conversations’ before then, and I’m sure I’ll be referencing back to this book on how to initiate those conversations, too. 😉
To read more about the authors, please click HERE.