Together: A First Conversation About Love by Megan Madison


Video Transcription

A transcription in case you are more of a reader than a listener

A book for children about love.

Hi, I’m Cath Hakanson and welcome to Sex Ed Rescue.

Sex Ed Rescue is my website where I help parents to find a better and an easier way

to talk to their kids about love, sex, relationships, and growing up.

It’s also where I review a lot of books because I believe that,

look, as parents, there’s a lot of things that we’re supposed to do.

Sometimes the thought of sex education is

just like it’s just another thing we have to do.

Books just mean you can incorporate a lot

of these conversations into your everyday life.

It helps with talking about conversations

that you might not be quite sure about what to say and what to talk about.

That is why I’m always on the hunt for books.

Now, this book is called Together, a First Conversation About Love

by Megan Madison, Jessica Rallion, and Andy Pasch area.

I’ve probably said that wrong.

These are board books.

This, I think, is the fourth or the fifth,

and there’s a whole series of them coming out.

Look, if my kids were younger, I would be buying these books.

On my email list, one of the emails I send

out is a list of books that I think every family should have in their bookshelves.

And this is the books that I recommend for the early years.

They’re a board book, so they’re robust, but they’re just beautiful.

So what they are are a series of books

that they’ve written about conversations that early childhood experts have

recognized are important for children to have.

And so a lot of them are topics that fit in with sex education.

So they’re just beautiful books.

So at the start, we have an explanation as to why.

I just want to show you at the very back as well.

This is what makes these books even better.

Sorry, this is brand spanking new.

I’ve got the first copy from the library.

At the back, they’ve got ways to continue the conversation.

So they go into healthy sexual

development, showing love, grown up relationships,

queer love, when love is hard, nurturing healthy relationships,

heteronormativity and resistance, and building a loving world.

So they give you ideas on extra conversations that you can have.

And what I also love about this book is

the spiel at the very start that explains why you want to talk about love,

but why you also want to talk about diversity and love as well.

Because we live in a diverse world.

And as the authors so nicely sum up, not every kid is growing up with a mom and

dad, 2.3 children in a house with a white picket fence.

Families are diverse.

And so as kids start to go through schooling and start mixing with other kids

and other families, they start to notice that their family

might be different or other families might be different.

And they start to question, are they normal?

Aren’t they?

And so having conversations like this can

just help with them understanding that everyone’s different and that’s okay.

And it talks about what a family is and what love is.

So it’s just beautiful.

The messages are really simple.

So it starts off with a child and a baby’s born.

Talks about that everyone in the world deserves love.

This is what I love about the diversity here.

Here’s a family, but here’s someone sitting in prison

on a Zoom call or something reading a story to a baby.

You don’t find books with this inclusiveness.

It’s very uncommon.

There is an Australian author who has

written books for children that have got a parent in prison.

But those books were quite a long time ago.

The inclusiveness is just fantastic.

Here’s two people dressing up as

a mermaid, and this is a person with a moustache.

We’ve got gender stereotypes here.

Talking about the fact that there’s lots

of different words for love, talks about who you can love,

and the diversity here that you have romantic love or being in love.

So it talks about friendships as well, not just romantic love.

Talks about the fact that you can love anyone.

So when kids are watching that Disney movie where Cinderella falls in love

with the Prince, well, sometimes Cinderella actually falls

in love with one of her sisters or a princess.

It’s not always a prince.

So this will give you ideas for ways that you can open up your conversations.

Talks about love can be easy, about knowing what ice cream you like.

But then sometimes you can have fights.

But just because you have fights doesn’t mean that you don’t love each other.

So it talks about feelings can change.

Also has a section in here about, I

guess you could call it domestic violence abuse.

I’ll just read this out to you because I

was quite surprised to actually find this in here.

But not every family is loving.

That isn’t fair and can make people feel very sad and alone.

If someone hurts you and anyone says it’s

because that person loves you, they’re wrong.

It can help to find a person or a place where you feel safe.

Sometimes a safe place may even be in your imagination.

It can also help to remember that when you

get older, you’ll be able to make more choices of your own.

Where do you feel safe?

I guess why I was surprised was I thought that, well, if I was

doing this to my child, I probably wouldn’t read this book.

But I guess the thing is that kids access books like this in libraries and at school

or at someone else’s house, or their circumstances might change in the future.

But yeah, I guess I’m just trying

to explain why I was a little surprised to find that section in there.

Then it talks here about a lot of people

think that there’s only one way for a family to look,

and it’s talking about the messaging which calls it out because you look at…

Go to the cinema and there might be an advertisement of something.

And the family is mum, dad, and a boy and a girl.

And they’re all dressed conservatively, not with pink hair.

So I think calling out stereotypes gives

you an opportunity to talk about that as a family as well.

And then it talks about different families

and about how you don’t have to be married.

And there’s families in lots of different ways.

So here’s two mums and a Father’s Day barbecue.

So it’s about having a world where everyone feels included.

So look, that’s just a beautiful book.

I can’t wait for the others to come out.

I think there’s one due out about every 4 to 6 months.

And creating a book like this is a lot of work, but they’ve done a really good job.

And I think these are books that families

are going to be reading for a very long time.

They are not going to date at all.

And they’re truly inclusive in regards

to including all people in the community, not just stereotypical inclusion.

Anyway, I hope that is somewhat helpful.

And as I say, it’s not often that I rave about books, but these books by these

authors are definitely must haves, I think, for every family’s bookshelf.

Okay, cheers.


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