Kate Ott – Sex + Faith: Talking with Your Child from Birth to Adolescence

sex and faithCrucial conversations to raise your children from small babies to adults that are knowledgeable and mature. Sexuality in all aspects in a Christian family too often is a scary topic to talk openly about. Leading by example as a parent makes you a sexuality educator even without saying anything about ‘sex’. And no, the book’s not just about intercourse or another book on ‘save sex for marriage’. Kate Ott deals with all age groups, from birth to kindergarten years (age 0-5), elementary school (6-10), middle school years (11-13) and high school years (14-18). If you never had conversations on sexuality topics before your children may be surprised or frightened when you have a cold start at their teenage years. In Sex + Faith Ott busts 5 myths:

  1. My child is too young to understand
  2. Once I explain how babies are made, my job is done
  3. Talking about sexuality leads to experimentation
  4. I must have all the answers
  5. I can do this in one talk

The Christian concept of stewardship helps describe the role of parents. They raise children, not own them. Parents share responsibility; they are not the only stewards of their children. Parents model values with their behaviour. They don’t only teach with words. Her holistic view takes into account both sexual health and reproduction, sensuality, intimacy, sexual identity and sexualization (the use of sexuality to control or influence). From LBGT issues, teen pregnancy, sexual abuse and violence, prevention and birth control, pleasure and fun for both parents and children. Openness and honesty rule without exceptions or hidden secrets. Each chapter explains biological, psychological, developmental issues relevant to each age group. It has Q&A sections for both children and parents, provides relevant Biblical references to enable discussions. Educational issues to keep in mind as parents (you’re adult, they’re not yet) and lists of additional resources (books, web sites) completes this reference guide many contemporary parents has wished their own parents would have used decades ago.

About the author

Kate Ott spends most of her time as an author, professor and parent. As an author, she blogs, designs curriculum for churches, and writes academic publications including articles, book chapters, and books. In order to pay bills, she works as an Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at Drew University Theological School. The Theo School is a progressive United Methodist Seminary nestled in a forest in Madison, NJ. Her role as a parent reaches far and wide. she could add one more “p” – partner. With her husband she parents two children.

Netgalley provided me a free review copy to read the book and share my honest opinion with you.