Category archive: family conversations

Talking Together: Get a Foot in the Door, Not a Door in the Face

As humans we communicate in many different ways and as technology changes our communication pathways will expand and become easier but complicated at the same time. What do I mean by that? With the rise of texting and social media it lessens the need for a key component to communication: speaking. Even though technology has…

Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten Rules for Talking with Teenagers about Sex

Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten Rules for Talking with Teenagers about Sex

Dear parents, You may have heard about my book, Breaking the Hush Factor, and this post is to give you some more information about the theoretical underpinnings that support the ten rules in the book. Recently, my friend and midwife Christy Tashjian and her wife Jenni Huntly interviewed me for her blog. What follows is a re-post…

Need a date night? I’ve got you covered!

Need a date night? I've got you covered!

You asked for it. I’m delivering it. Parents have asked me for some time to have a sex ed class for adults. But that never sat quite right with me. Parents need something special. Something unique. Something that recognizes that their time away from their children is unusual and should be both fun AND educational. (And…

Condom Week: Today’s debate: Providing condoms for your teens…?

Condom Week: Today's debate: Providing condoms for your teens...?

No side: BUT THEN THEY’LL HAVE SEX! Yes side: But if they want to, they’ll have sex anyway. I do an experiment with my classes every now and then, for fun. I ask them through an anonymous question and answer system whether they plan to have sex later in the day or that night. Because…

Condom Week: Condom time? Hooray!

Condom Week: Condom time? Hooray!

Condoms can be hilarious. I mean, really, really funny and fun. Starting with condom commercials (and I’m particularly fond of the international ones…)   To all of the just absurd things that people film themselves doing with condoms and then upload to YouTube: Young people are able to identify with condoms more fully – to…

Condom Week: Who can talk about it?

Condom Week: Who can talk about it?

Who has the right to talk with your child about sexuality? What about your teenager? Or your adult child? These are questions parents often start to grapple with far earlier than they realized that they would have to. A parent came to me once, very distraught, because her eight-year-old daughter and told another eight-year-old girl…

When we sexualize the young…

When we sexualize the young...

Parents: Your messages to your children about clothes, sexiness, etc, needs to be consistent across their childhoods. There’s not one (more permissive) message that’s right for babies and another (less permissive) message that’s right for preteens and teenagers. I took this picture at the local Walgreens this morning. I’m going to give all of you…

The dreaded sleepover question

The dreaded sleepover question

In a world with flexible gender and sexual identities, what’s a parent to do? I’ve been asked about sleepovers through two channels in the last few days, so it seemed the right time to finally write a post about it. This question comes up all the time – first in the wake of the sudden…

The tangled nature of sexy and violent: Welcome to the dirty game, Halloween

The tangled nature of sexy and violent: Welcome to the dirty game, Halloween

Sexy Halloween costumes are evident everywhere we go, all October long. I have been inundated with commentary on these kinds of costumes, and given it myself, for years. I’m emotionally exhausted by it, so I don’t write about it anymore. But this year, my deepest outrage, sorrow, and grief over the way we are expressing…

Why comprehensive sex ed? Here’s why.

Comprehensive sexuality education is not limited to reproductive or risk-management approaches. Nor is it a crazy free-for-all of sexual information. It is a considered, developmentally appropriate approach to adult-moderated peer conversations about issues of sex and sexuality. It is life changing in ways that are often unexpected and beautiful. I’ve recently had a few parents…

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