Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Start Talking - Book Review and Giveaway

"Our overall goal is to inspire open communication between mothers and daughters ... Young girls deserve accurate information presented in a relaxed way by people whom they trust. They deserve straightforward answers to their questions. Moms deserve a chance to have engaging conversations with their daughters about life-critical issues." - Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever by Mary Jo Rapini & Janine Sherman

Communication with a teenager is not always easy, especially discussions regarding sensitive health and body issues. For this reason, OB/GYN nurse practitioner Janine Sherman and psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini have written the book, Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever [an inside look at the details even she doesn't know!]. They believe wholeheartly in the following credo: "To educate is to communicate; to communicate is to listen, to ask questions and to share." Their book, designed for use by both moms and daughters, covers many topics from menstruation and medical check-ups to birth control, sexuality, STDs, body image and eating disorders.

Rapini and Sherman don't gloss over the important issues facing many of today's teenage girls. Most of their book is written in Q&A format (113+ commonly asked questions by on a variety of topics) to help facilitate discussions between mothers and daughters. All teenagers, at some point, are going to search out the answers to these questions. All mothers will struggle with what to say. Start Talking helps guide both mother and daughter to effective, open communication.

The information presented on sexuality is especially needed in this era with so many teenaged pregnancies. The author duo in no way condone early sexuality. Obviously abstinence is the best policy, but the reality is, according to recent studies, 88% of people have premarital sex. The authors want mothers to play the primary role in educating their daughters. They mention that "outside education is not enough; education is most effective when it takes place in the context of a trusted relationship." Through open conversations, mothers are able to discuss their viewpoints with their daughter, offer encouragement, share concerns and listen to what their daughter has to say.

I agree that mothers should not avoid these important conversations. Being available and talking with your children during the teenage years can make a world of difference. The same goes for daughters. They need to understand that their mother is approachable and that she is likely the most trustworthy, caring source of information that they will find. Start Talking's table talk conversation starters help take the awkwardness out of awkward subjects and bridge the gap between mother/daughter relations. Final thoughts: An excellent book for families with daughters, educators, health-care providers, and an asset to any public library's non-fiction collection. Contains a wonderfully complete Annotated Bibliography for relevant reads on the same topic.
Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever [an inside look at the details even she doesn't know!] by Mary Jo Rapini & Janine Sherman. Bayou Publishing (November 2008); 200 pages; ISBN 9781886298316; Age 10+

Related links:
Bayou Publishing Start Talking webpages

Thanks to KSB Promotions, I'm giving away (1) copy of Start Talking to a Brimful Curiosities reader.

To enter, leave a comment, any comment on this post.
• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.
• Contest is open to US only
• Contest ends on Monday, May 11th, 2008 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random
Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4):
1st extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader
2nd extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
3rd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.


Welcome all blog carnival friends. This giveaway is part of the Mom Most Traveled Give It Away Now! Blog Carnival and the Ultimate Blog Carnival on LiveGiveaways.Com


Tj and Amy said...

would like to get this book so i will be prepared for my daughter. amsbolda@hotmail.com

Tj and Amy said...

I follow on twitter and tweeted. 1amypugmire. amsbolda@hotmail.com

Janel said...

I could really use this! My daughter is getting to the age where I need to have some serious discussions with her!

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

Alice H said...

I have a sister I'd love to give this book to - she has a daughter who is starting the teen years. Thanks! alicedemske at hotmail.com

Lisa P said...

I need this for my preteen they only go over so much in school

Mia J. said...

I would like to win this to help with some of those serious conversations. thanks for the chance.

Pam said...

Yes! Would like to win this one. I'm already fretting over what to say.

bostonsweety said...

I have a 15 year old daughter and a 12 year old daughter. I would love this book. Thanks

liane66 said...

I have a 14 daughter, so this would be great.
Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

I have a teenage daughter and think this would be great. Thanks.


Abby said...

My daughter turned 9 this year and we are on the brink of many these discussions this book sure would come in handy!

ajcmeyer AT go DOT com

lorides said...

I have 2 girls and I am sure this would come in handy

Carlene said...

I would love to enter your drawing. I would love this book for my step-daughter.