Jan. 9, 2019

The Birds and The Bees: Having 'The Talk'

We’ve got to talk- and sooner than any of us would probably like to think. Here’s how to talk to kids of all ages about sex, how to be an “askable” parent, how to punt when the moment isn’t right—and how to steer kids towards making better decisions.

Yikes. Do we really have to have “The Talk”? Yes, we do… and sooner than we’d probably like to think. Studies show that giving our kids appropriate information *before* they need it not only makes them more likely to make good decisions once they become sexually active— it also may delay the age at which such activities will begin. 

In this episode we discuss: 

the ages and stages of The Talk (a four-year-old gets a different answer than a preteen)why you don’t want your kids’ peers to be the arbiters of this informationwhy there’s not one “talk,” but many (or should be)how to be an “askable parent” why mothers are usually the parents tasked with these conversationshow internet parental blockers can also prevent our kids from seeing useful sex-ed contenthow to punt when you’re caught off guard (which is fine as long as you circle back later)And here’s links to research and studies we discuss in this episode: 

John Sharry, Solution Talk: Facts of Life: At What Age Should We Tell Our Children About Sex?

Center For Young Women’s Health at Boston Children’s Hospital: Talking to Your Tween about Sexuality: A Guide for Parents

Lola’s personal, honest, real-life guide to your first period

Advocates for Youth: Are Parents and Teens Talking About Sex? advocatesforyouth.org

Dr. Colleen Diiorio et al: Journal of Adolescent Health: Communication about sexual issues: mothers, fathers, and friends

Rebecca Ruiz for Mashable: Internet gatekeepers block sex ed content because algorithms think they’re porn

It’s up to us to keep the conversation going on these topics. And if you’d rather stick your head in the sand, keep in mind it doesn’t have to be only about the improbable mechanics of it all. Here’s great advice from the Center for Young Women’s Health:

Remember that sexuality is a much larger topic than sexual intercourse. It also includes topics such as gender, intimacy, sexual orientation… Talking to your tween about sexuality is an opportunity to share your beliefs about healthy behaviors and relationships with them.

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