Saturday, June 5, 2010

Start Talking - a book for Teens and Moms

Raising kids gets really challenging when they hit the pre-teen age and there are few books that really help moms understand how maintain closeness with their teen daughters.   Authors Mary Jo Rapini and Janine Sherman offer a helpful book for young girls and their moms to read individually and together.  "Start Talking - A girls guide for you and your mom about health, sex or whatever" is a welcome coaching guide for moms who really want to open the door to great communication.

In my day there was one book that every girl read called "Growing up and Liking it".  With anatomical drawings that were hard to understand and the biologic facts about your body "changing", it didn't create much of a discussion platform.  It also didn't deal with any of the real issues young girls want to hear about.  Boring!  Rapini and Sherman have exponentially raised the bar with "Start Talking".

"Start Talking" offers straight and complete answers about how your body works, feeling good and feeling fat, birth control, STD and what makes you a virgin.  They are frank about sex and why waiting is a good choice.  There is a strong focus on helping girls feel good about their bodies.  Each chapter is a different topic and has "mom questions", "daughter questions" and "conversations starters".  What does a mom do when she finds out her daughter is having sex at age 16?  It may sound young but 40% of girls have had sex by age 16 and over half by age 17.  What if your daughter is bulimic or is being bullied?  These real life problems are addressed in "Start Talking".

What I like about this book is the easy layout and the provocative Q&A that moms and daughters can read together.  It stimulates a conversation that can start in the pre-teen years and advance as a girl matures.  The book is medically correct in it's descriptions and advice and non-judgemental in tone.  Isn't that the type of open dialog we all seek to have with our children?

If you have a pre-teen or know someone who does, pick up "Start Talking" and start creating open conversations with your daughter as she matures. Studies show that teens may act like you are not part of their world, but what they really want is to talk and to have you try and understand them.  This book is a good place to start.

9 comments:

Jill of All Trades, MD said...

What a great idea for a book! I see pregnant teens in my office very frequently -- just had a pregnant 14 year old on thursday, 17 year olds with 2 kids, etc...It always makes me wonder, did their parents talk to them about sex and if they had, would they have ended up pregnant -- if they only had someone warn them or provide them with a little education? It makes me sad for them. This is a great idea for a book, thanks for the post.

Kellie said...

Thanks for the perfect timely, informative review Dr.Brayer. I just passed this along to my friend who has three daughters; one recently turned 13 yrs old, a 10 1/2 yr. old, and 8 1/2 yr old.

Terri M said...

Thanks for this. I have an 11 year old daughter and I think we have very open communication but it's always good to have tips on how to keep it open as she gets older and has more and more teen issues. I will get the book.

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the conversation between moms and teens is really interesting and in my opinion funny, why because the teens are so ........mmmmmm... stupid, can be the word.

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This Start Talking book will be a lot of help to strengthen the bonding of moms and teens during this critical period of their development. This is the stage where teens need guidance the most, better communication will mold them to better adults.