Dr. Sharon Maxwell Logo


Helping parents raise healthy and responsible kids.

My Book

Published by Penguin BooksApril 10, 2008, Paperback, 240 pagesBuy it from Penguin Books or Amazon

Published by Penguin Books
April 10, 2008, Paperback, 240 pages
Buy it from Penguin Books or Amazon

Internet chat rooms, boy/girl sleepovers, reality TV… there’s more to “the talk” than ever before. Faced with a culture that pushes our kids to be “sexy” before puberty begins, how do we explain the power of sexuality in a way that promotes healthy, age-appropriate behavior?

THE TALK is an innovative resource for parents, educators, and health professionals that prepares kids for a hyper-sexualized world, and lays the foundation for ethical sexual behavior that can guide our children from elementary school through college.

Using real life situations, Dr. Maxwell demonstrates how dramatically the world of pre-teen and teen sexual exploration has changed. She helps parents think through the message they want to give to their kids about sexual behavior and how that message must evolve, as their kids get older. Focusing on the importance of love and intimacy, Dr. Maxwell helps parents define their values about sex and gives concrete ways to share those values with teens.

THE TALK shows parents how to:

  • Set family guidelines for safe Internet use.
  • Address the social power that comes from looking sexy and the personal responsibility each of us have to use that power appropriately.
  • Discuss the moral aspects of sexuality in ways teens will understand.
  • Help children recognize the difference between feelings of sexual desire and love.
  • Develop principles with our teen that will help them figure out when it’s OK to be sexual with someone and when it’s not.

Dr. Maxwell connects the dots between reproduction, the potent power of sexiness, sexual desire, emotional intimacy and the spiritual dimension of sexuality. Offering an innovative framework for looking at human sexuality, this book has the potential to change the national conversation on sex education.




12 Five-Star Customer Reviews


2 Five-Star Customer Reviews



“This is an excellent book for parents on how to talk to their children about sex. Dr. Maxwell gives practical guidance on sharing values with their children. Her focus on teaching self-discipline and developing self-control is a refreshing counterpoint to a pop culture that says we should have it all right now. I highly recommend The Talk to every parent.”
—Dr. Alvin F. Poussaint, Professor of Psychiatry and Faculty Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Media Center of the Judge Baker Children’s Center

“Parenting has taken on a new dimension with all the technology available to kids in today’s society. Traps loom at every turn, and parents need to beware of what our children are doing in school, after school, with their friends, and online. Even at playtime, do most parents really know what goes on in some of the video games our children spend endless hours with? Written by an experienced adolescent and teenage psychologist, this book is a terrific resource that all parents should read, and this includes both mothers and fathers. In a comprehensive and easy-to-read manner, Dr. Maxwell explores the mind and behavior patterns of the typical American teenager, as well as the sources of stress, conflict, revolt and rebellion that make this age so difficult for both kids and adults alike. Nothing is sugar-coated in this graphic book, which explores everything, (yes everything) that our children are exposed to in their spectrum of life experiences. The book includes useful practical advice such as contracts we can make with our children, and specific guidelines that can help parents structure talks with their children about uncomfortable and awkward topics. Each chapter includes pullout sections of “Take it Home” tips, that make browsing the book for highlights an easy matter. Highly recommended (I should say required) reading for anyone with kids of any age today!”
—Kathryn J. Alexander, Co-Author of Easy Labor: Every Woman’s Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth, by William Camann and Kathryn Alexander

“Dr. Maxwell brings to this issue a wealth of experience and insight. When working with our synagogue teens and parents her approach was honest, yet sensitive, blunt, yet caring. As an observer of the society around her she shows both keen interest and perspicacity. Teens and parents would be well advised to take to heart her message of sexual responsibility and awareness to combat the complicated, often contradictory, messages of our society.”
—Rabbi Starr, Temple Israel, Sharon, MA, President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis

“The mere thought of talking to their children about sex turns the average parent’s thoughts to mush, drains the saliva completely from their mouths, and makes them nearly faint dead away. These are otherwise professionally competent and highly articulate adults we are talking about, mind you. But we cannot escape the fact that we parents are precisely the ones primarily responsible for shaping our children’s beliefs and character and giving them sane and trustworthy guidance in the navigation of this techno-erotic culture of ours. Here is where Sharon Maxwell helps us, thankfully. This book will not give you pat answers, but it will give you a thoroughly complete picture of today’s cultural landscape, together with a well rounded discussion of the nuances surrounding this issue. I wish I’d had this guide when my own son was younger – it would have given me useful tools, information and perspective, and also reduced my stammering! I enthusiastically commend this book to you, and wish you great success in this most important task of parenthood.”
—Pastor Jim Pocock, Trinitarian Congregational Church, Wayland, MA

The Talk: What Your Kids Need to Hear From You About Sex has been named a National Parenting Publications Awards Honors winner: