Moms in Babeland

Q: The kids hear so much in school the negative side effects of sex. Do you have any tips on how to offer a more pleasure-positive counterpoint?

Amy Lang, MA answers the Moms in Babeland’s questions about talking to kids about sex. She appears as part of our celebration of National Family Sex Education Month.

Amy: This is one of the main reasons I recommend starting the basic sex talks early, at age 5 or 6 because it gives us plenty of time to get them used to hearing from us. We can frame these conversations any way we want to, and I’m a big fan of the “sex is super fun, but something to wait for because there are big risks that are associated with it” school of thought.

Start with the basics of baby-making, bodies, and as they age, by 8 or so, introduce the idea that most of the time people have sex because it feels good. Kids don’t have sex because their bodies, hearts and minds aren’t ready for this!

It’s important to talk about healthy relationships, trust, and respect as well. This is where it’s easy to talk to younger kids about sex as a way to feel closer to your beloved. It’s also the place to help teens think about casual sex and how good and fun that can be, but they need to be sure they are mature enough to play safely — and that their partner is mature enough to handle “just” a sexual relationship. As adults, looking back, we know it’s the rare teen who can handle a casual, sexual relationship. Especially since most of us can’t handle it as adults! Try hooking them up to more “pleasure-positive” resources, like Scarleteen.

Have an anecdote or a comment about talking to your kids about sex? You can win prizes by posting comments on Moms in Babeland during October. Details.

Amy Lang, MA Guest Blogger
A sexual health educator for over 20 years, Amy Lang teaches parents and other folks how to talk to kids of any age about the birds and the bees. She is the author of the Mom’s Choice Award®  winning Birds + Bees + YOUR Kids – A Guide to Sharing Your Beliefs About Sexuality, Love, and Relationships and The Ask ANYTHING Journal. She created the lively and engaging video Birds + Bees + Kids: The Basics so parents can learn how to talk to their kids about sex and values without leaving the couch! Sign up for her newsletter and teleclasses at

Related posts:

  1. Q: Both my girls get all grossed out when I try to use sex terms. How can I help them get more comfortable with the subject?
  2. Q: What should I do when my 12-year-old asks me invasive questions about my sex life?
  3. Q: I don’t want to make heterosexual intercourse the definition of “sex.” To me oral, anal, hand jobs, same gender sex: it’s all equally part of the deal. So how do I present it that way?
  4. Q: When (if ever) should I show my child a photograph of an aroused adult, or of adults having sex?
  5. Q: At what age is it OK to tell my daughter where the stash of condoms is and invite her to use them?

topics: Parenting

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