My two oldest children are convinced they will never get married, so I very well could have just wasted my money on this book. But I’m all for being prepared “just in case.” 😉
When I first saw Kevin Leman‘s picture as keynote speaker on the Hearts at Home Conference website a few years ago, I thought, “Oh great, he looks pretty stuffy, boring and preachy.” Far from it! He was my favorite speaker at the conference. He is completely engaging and funny in real life and in print. His books are educational and insightful, but they are also so darn entertaining, that I read them for fun almost as much as I read them to learn something.
Ok, now that I have told you more than you want to know about my opinion of the guy who wrote the book (with co-author Kathy Flores Bell,) let me tell you what I thought of the book.
It was not really what I expected, but it was just what I needed for a couple reasons.
Reason #1 – It was much less about the proper technique of explaining the birds and bees than than it was about creating an open honest relationship with your children.
I felt pretty good about our parenting techniques as I read through it, but I also came away with great new ideas. It encouraged parents to be looking for the open windows when our children are ready to talk and to drop whatever we are doing to take advantage of them. With boys, I so understand this. Sometimes I fail, but for the most part, I gobble up those rare moments that they want to let me into their minds and hearts. Leman’s premise is that if Carter is comfortable opening up to Corey and me about the kid who picked on him at school, he will likely be comfortable talking to us about more personal stuff down the road.
Reason #2 – It doesn’t let me off the hook.
Seriously people, I thought one of the benefits of having three boys is that sex is Corey’s department. Not so according to Leman, which is interesting because it is in opposition to another book I just read. Here’s what he has to say:
“To be honest, a good bit of my counseling practice involves undoing the bad advice given to brides by their mothers and to sons by their fathers. Because we have this mistaken notion that sex ed is best done on a same-sex basis, sometimes hilarious myths get passed down from one generation to the next.”
“Moms, talk to your sons about how women view men and how women want to be treated.”
“If ever there is a time for cross-gender parent-child connection, it’s this time – puberty- ages eight through fourteen, the developmental years heading into adolescence. A strong, intimate connections between the opposite-sex parent and the pubescent child lays the ground work for a confident self-directed adolescent. “
The book is filled with practical parenting advice that isn’t necessarily about puberty and sex, but crosses over to both subjects. I am convinced that Leman “gets it.” He is so educated, insightful and entertaining that if he wrote a book about cleaning toilets I’d probably read it.