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May 27, 2007

TLC Advice-a-Thon: How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

TLC Advice-a-Thon: Nancy on How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex.

by Nancy

1.  Start young.  When asked, "Where do babies come from?"  You say, "The mom's tummy."  But more detail than that, you're just going to screw up your kid or worse----cause them to spend hours camped out in front of your bedroom door with a drinking glass clamped to their ear. Until they are eight or ten, when the subject of "Yeah, but how did the baby get in there in the first place?" comes up, your answer is always,  "Hey!  Why don't we go to the zoo this weekend?!"  Which postpones the inevitable, but at least long enough until they can picture Mom and Dad making babies without screaming or weeping or going catatonic.

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2.  When the time comes to really have The Talk, do it from behind the wheel of your minivan.  Make sure your kid has a road map on her lap, and force her to give you directions to wherever you're going, so she has something complicated to focus on.  Right brain, left brain, you know?

3.  Yes, describe the physical stuff, but also the "sex is a meaningful act shared between two people who really care for each other and---"  if you're talking to teenagers---"ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT THE RESPONIBILITY OF RAISING A HAPPY CHILD TOGETHER." Which should get you talking about more important stuff, like what makes people happy such as two mature parents.  Feel free to toss in examples of their dysfunctional friends and their wacky parents. 

4.  Be prepared to find your kids camped out in front of your bedroom door anyway.

Got any better ideas?


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The car is a MUST.

That way they are a captive audience and have to listen, but no one has to make eye contact.

We also talked a lot about respect - for yourself and your own body and for other people and their bodies.

My husband talked to our son, so I'm not sure exactly how that one went.

Also - for girls, there is an American Girl book called something like "Taking Care of You" that is really good.

When I went looking for a book for boys, I found one that's like a comic book. Problem - a little too much information. For example, there was an illustration of how to masturbate.

See, I think if your son needs a diagram, you've got much bigger problems than Sex Ed. Just saying.

Great advice, Nancy!

RE: #1 works as a distraction till you get to the zoo and the animals are humping! Then the enlightened parent next to you tells their kids that the animals are making babies!

Live in the country. After a a few years of hanging around horses, dogs, and cats, they get the idea.

Our local newspaper had this article about a website named "Scarleteen" -

'Everything teens wanted to know about sex ... is at Scarleteen'


It mentions that if an adult feels awkward about talking directly with their teen about some things, the adult can refer the teen to the "Scarleteen" website for accurate info.

...and I went to this website, and found that the info is so well written, that it is good for adults, too.

There's a really good book for boys, middle-school age or so, called What's Going On Down There. Seriously, that's the name. There are illustrations, but not of the how-to variety. More like the that's what it looks like, internally, variety.

I have two boys so you think I'd have gotten out of these talks. Nu-uh. Dad did most of the work (yes, in the car) but I did the follow-up, with the threat operandi: Make me a grandmother while I'm still in my forties, and Mr. Willy gets the chop. It helps to deliver it with a really mean look on your face, and while holding a knife.

OR you can do what my mom did...she gave me a book with all the "IMPORTANT" sections underlined! But the words were never never said aloud.
However, this was back in the days when married couples on tv slept in twin beds. Any one remember those days?

I've kept the lines of communication open since 5th grade when they started mini-sex ed. There are certain things I don't want to know from them...but they know I'm here if needed, plus there is a free clinic downtown if they don't want to talk to me. Their dad has avoided sex discussions totally. I have also made it known that sex is not as casual as tv and their friends make it seem. "Hooking up" is just anohter term for one night stand and I don't care how much the girl seems to be agreeable, she WILL be hurt by this. In other words, think before you act. So far no dads have shown up on the doorstep with a shotgun...

Good post Nancy.
Kathy, thanks for mentioning the American Girl books. There are several great boks on the topic in the AG series; The Care and Keeping of You, The Care and Keeping of Me, The Body Book Journal and The Feelings Book. These books have been wonderful reading material for my 12 1/2 year old special needs daughter, who is having a difficult time understanding what is happening to her body and emotions.

God, I wish you had talk to my mom about giving the talk. Her sex talk was about thirty seconds long and consisted of "just don't do it until you're married. seriously, just don't."

Christine - did your mother go to the same Catholic school as my mom? Because I think they're given that on a flash card or something.

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