We live in a time when kids of all ages are bombarded with age-sensitive material wherever they turn; "sexting" and bullying are on the rise at an increasingly younger age, and teen moms are "celebrified." What is a concerned -- and embarrassed -- parent to do? With wit, wisdom, and savvy, Deborah Roffman translates her experiences gleaned from decades of teaching kids and parents, and as a mom, into strategies to help parents navigate this tricky terrain. Talk to Me First is for any parent who wants to become and remain the most credible and influential resource about sexuality in their children's lives.
Sex educator Rothman (Sex and Sensibility), a former member of the National Advisory Council for Sexual Health, encourages parents to "stay ahead of the media tsunami" and take their rightful place partnering with schools as the "go to person" when it comes to educating their kids about sex. For Roffman, human sexuality is the "richest, deepest, and most extensive" subject there is, and one can clearly sense her joy and exuberance in addressing her subject. But, she says, many parents are fearful and squeamish about talking with their kids about sex, which leaves the topic up to media outlets, advertisers, merchandisers, and others who are engaged in the "adultification" of children, without their best interests in mind. Roffman stresses that talking to kids about sex in a "sensible, normal and matter-of-fact" way is the goal, but first parents must overcome their own fear of using the words and talking the talk. She suggests that parents don a metaphorical "five-piece suit" and get to work, addressing five core issues of affirmation, information, clarity about values, setting limits, and anticipatory guidance. Roffman's frank and vibrant pep talk will give parents the inspiration and tools needed to tackle the subject of sex with their kids. A rather slim appendix covers "some basic facts all adults should know," including a brief synopsis of STDs.