November was National Non-fiction month. As an author of a non-fiction book, I decided to celebrate by reading and reviewing Cherri Brooks Teaching Children About Sex.
Last week I gave a presentation to a group of mothers called BEING ALL IN. I shared ways that help parents be ‘all in’ despite the difficulty of the job of parenting. The number one tip was to parent with intention. I know that when we have a concrete plan for what we want our families to feel like and the values we want to instill we get better results.
Cherri Brooks book can help you teach your children about sex with greater intention. When it comes to teaching about sex I know from experience and talking with others that we usually fly by the seat of our pants. Not a very comfortable way to navigate a difficult subject. Usually, we have the ‘big talk’ breathe a sigh of relief and think we are done. But if that is our approach then the results for our children might not be as successful as we hope.
Brooks has written her book from a Latter Day Saint (LDS) perspective. She has shared how looking at the LDS temple as a sacred house of worship and then comparing that to our bodies can give us some wonderful guidelines as we teach our children about the sacred nature of their bodies and sexuality.
Many of my readers are of the Latter Day Saint faith and many more are not. However, the bulk of my readership has a faith they participate in and many, if not all, revere a temple or other place of worship. I am sure that anyone of faith can and will relate to Cherri’s ideas, despite any doctrinal differences (they will be few) and that making the effort can really help you become more intentional as you teach your children about this important and beautiful part of human relationships.
The focus of the book is to teach appropriate sexual behavior with the correct attitude. Brooks reminds us that sexual behavior is personal conduct and that sexuality is an attitude. This little book will help you study the topic of sexuality so that when your child has a question or you need to address the topic, you will have the knowledge you need to answer in the best way possible for you and your child.
Section 1 covers building a sexual educational foundation at home. Many parents leave that to the public school system but most would do more at home if they knew how. We are, after all, the voice that we hope our children will hear and follow. In section 1 Brooks reminds us that our bodies and those of our children are temples and deserve the same respect and care. She discusses how our attitudes can color how our children feel about sexuality despite the words that we say. Many times children see and feel more than hear what we tell them. Finally, she gives some compelling reasons to begin teaching our children about sexuality early and how this can pay dividends as our children enter puberty. She gives clear directions for preparing ahead and planning effectively.
Section 2 concerns age-by-age sexual education. It is broken into 3 phases:
Phase 1 – Curious Learners (0-5)
Phase 2 – Concrete Learners (Ages 6-8 and 9-11)
Phase 3 – Conduct Learners (Ages 12+ and Premarital)
This section, besides great information on each age group and their needs, contains sample questions and answers that would be age appropriate, as well as value statements for each question. They may not reflect your personal values but will help you identify and then teach yours. There is also a list of conversation starters that are age appropriate. A real help for parents!
Section 3 covers special topics that children are hearing about as they navigate their world and which parents may not know how to effectively address:
What I really liked about this book was that it was easy to read and understand. It was simple in its approach. It was written in a manner that was clear and easy to follow. The information about children and how to approach conversations about sex at each age level was so helpful! Brooks has wonderful real-life examples that most of us will relate to.
Cherri Brooks has done her homework and her book will help you do yours.
Cherri is giving away 5 copies of her book this month. Be sure and enter because you could be a winner.
You can read some thoughtful and informative articles on teaching your children about sexuality and sex on her blog.
You can connect with Cherri Brooks on her Facebook page.
Why not check out her author’s page on Amazon where you can purchase her book in both paperback and Kindle.
Cherri Brooks grew up with an aspiration to be an author. As a child, she practiced typing on an old, clunky DOS computer. She found her passion for parenting and healthy sexuality through her education at Utah State University, where she earned her BS and MS in Family and Human Development. She also taught courses at South Dakota State University in Marriage and Family Relations and Parenting. She loves talking with parents about raising sexually healthy children. She currently lives in Clarksville, Tennessee with her husband and three children.
Another way that I am celebrating National Non-Fiction Month (November) is to give away five copies of my own book. You still have plenty of time to enter and win. The drawing happens on December 21st. No strings. No list. Just the chance to win and become a more Present parent.