The birds and the bees: Having the talk more than once

Filed under: Just For Moms, Teens, Just For Dads, Development/Milestones: Babies, In The News, Day Care & Education

At my wedding, my slightly-younger cousin shared a funny story from our childhood. We'd get together nearly every weekend to play house, only rather than have one of us be the mom and the other the dad, we were both moms and veterinarians. (I like to think we were progressive.) One day, though, she came to play and I insisted that one of us had to be the dad. She argued back that we'd never needed a man before, to which I replied, "Let me tell you about this book my mom showed me today."

Before I became a parent, I assumed we'd talk about the birds and the bees when our kids were old enough. But anyone who's ever had a kid around knows that they don't wait that long to ask questions. And I'm the kind of person who thinks that questions deserve answers...honest answers...as long as that information is age-appropriate. I also think that laying that groundwork of open communication will help us later, when it's time for more serious discussions.

Research suggests that rather than having one, big, uncomfortable talk with your teen about sex, parents should approach it more as a series of talks on different subjects. Teens in the study reported feeling closer to their parents and better able to open up when parents had repeated conversations with them. Researchers believe this happens because teens get a better grasp on their parents' values and are more comfortable with the information.

Families in the study tried to tackle up to 22 topics, including birth control methods, unplanned pregnancy, how sex feels, and using condoms. Just so you know, after reading that last sentence, my husband's head exploded.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.