Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hang-Ups, Hook-Ups, and Holding Out

If I remember correctly, I had more hang-ups than hook-ups or holding out when I was growing up. But then, I "grew up" in the 1980s. When people wore lots of neon and spiral perms. So that might explain a lot. But you know who didn't explain a lot. My mom. (Sorry mom, but you didn't. Love you.)

How much would I love to have had this book then?

I'm not sure why I agreed to review Girlology: Hang-Ups, Hook-Ups and Holding Out when Parent Bloggers Network asked, because from the mom's perspective I may never need it. See, I have a little boy. And he's not even two.

But I was interested in it as a former girl. A current and future best-aunt-ever to girls. A person who is, if I'm honest, a bit intimidated by "the talk" when (or if) it all comes us. Because (once again, sorry mom) it was never really modeled to me how you handle these types of questions.

What Types Of Questions?
We sort-of had the 'don't ask, don't tell' philosophy when I grew up watching Thriller and wearing jellies. But, this book radically breaks the 'don't ask' law and is organized into questions. Things like:
  • My doctor says I'm a good weight, so why do I still feel fat?
  • How can I make my parents like my boyfriend?
  • When should I see a gynecologist instead of a pediatrician?
  • Am I the only girl who isn't having sex?
  • What are date rape drugs?
And so on. There are approximately 200 questions that the book asks and then answers in smart, no-nonsense, non-parent-sounding sound bites, even though they're written by really smart girl doctors, Melisa Holmes, MD, an ob-gyn and mother of 3 girls, and Patricia Hutchison, MD, a pediatrician and mother of 2 girls. I love it. They offer "the quickie answer" and then "the full scoop" on everything from sex, to drugs to body changes. They don't leave anything out and they seriously know just how to put things. Up front. Honest. Smart.

So Why Ask? Why the Book? Why Bother?
Looking through, I really remember (and realize) how many questions I had growing up (that, sadly, I had answered by watching Madonna videos). The point of this book is to get the answers from M.D.s not MTV.

I guess the book also made me realize how fast kids grow up these days. That said, I'm going to go ahead and say this book is a must-have for pre-teens. I'd actually like to say it's a must for teenagers...if I'm honest, I'd really like to say it's for college students...but I'm thinking that would be way too late. So I'd want to have this book on hand when my nieces start reading US Magazine. Which, I think happens around the age of ten these days right? Maybe we can push it to 12.

It just seems kids are exposed to things earlier than ever, so you might as well give them the correct information up front. But be warned (and yes, sisters-in-law, I will get your permission and approval before gifting it into your households), there are very specific questions in there about sex. So don't freak. Because honestly, that's the whole point of the book. To start conversations. Open communication. Offer information. Because it seems to me, the more real, honest, and specific you can be, the better. After all, if they don't get it here, they'll get some version of it somewhere. The girl doctors seem to agree. And I have to believe, like me, they initially got most of their vital information from Judy Blume. And they know there's a better way.

Giveaway Time.
Want a better way? Want to win a copy? Leave a comment. I'll give away one copy next Monday.


Prisca said...

What an excellent book! Thanks so much for reviewing it and letting us know it's available.

Super Zoe said...

I have read a review and I totally want it! Teacher, aunt, mentor...not a mom, but I have lots of young ones relying on me for some non-mom truth!

tami said...

Yes, great review! I've got a toddler girl and am already dreading those teenage years!

super Zoe said...

Oh, Tami, do not dread the teenage years! As a former middle and high school teacher, I can tell you with all honesty that teenagers can be wonderful and lots of fun. Of course, they have their moments - don't we all?! Love them, communicate with them, give them clear and consistent boundaries have many good times ahead!

Anonymous said...

Perfect for my niece, the high school freshman. Pick me on Monday! Emi Lee

Queen Scarlett said...

What a great find. I'm all for open communication. With two little girls... that's something they may get sick of me talking about. I need this as a guideline. THANKS!

Girl con Queso said...

EmiLee, you won! Whoohoo! Your niece is one lucky little chick.

Kpaull said...

Where were you last week when we had this discussion with Nate- AGE 8!!! I thought I might pass out, but I kept reasonably cool. I hope he is not scarred for life and I have just doomed him to a life of too much too soon.