No-Dread Sex Ed

Talking about the birds and the bees is an ongoing discussion -- not a one-shot deal. Let us help you get the conversation started.

"The Talk"

birds and the bees

Alexandra Grablewski

Certain moments in your child's life stay with you forever: her first smile, first steps, first words, and the first time she asks about sex. Oy. If you thought you had a few more years before the birds and the bees start buzzing, think again. In our culture, sexual images and references are everywhere -- and kids are being exposed to everything at a younger age. When your first-grader's favorite TV personality becomes tabloid fodder because she's a pregnant teenager, or when Hooter's is at your local mall, you can't just sit on the information. "The teen 'Big Talk' has become an outdated notion," says Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, coauthor of Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask). And that's a good thing. "When you discuss sex in an open and ongoing way, your child learns that you're approachable and she'll be more likely to ask you questions and seek your advice throughout adolescence, when the stakes are higher." Does the thought of chatting about this stuff with your grade-schooler leave you tongue-tied? These talking points from the experts will get you through your child's most unnerving situations.

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