***Thank you all so much for a great weekend with amazing questions and great conversations. We tried to answer all of your questions. We are sorry to have missed some. It was not intentional. You can find all of the answers to these questions and many more in our course "Not. The. Talk." Our mission is to give parents the words (through scripts, anatomy graphics, animated videos, and evidence-based audio that is also fun and engaging. We hope you will join us if you are interested in more information on this critical topic. We are here for you and want to help. There is so much great information here, if you scroll through it. Or our course is a one stop shop for all of the answers on basic to challenging conversations with kids about sex, relationships, puberty, and so much more. We also have a great community of course takers having these very conversations and supporting each other.

http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (to buy the course). We are also about two months away from launching a free podcast.**\*

We are Kristin Dickerson and Shannon Deer. We own Oh. My. Word., where we empower parents to have difficult conversations to equip their children for the journey ahead. Specifically, we teach parents to talk to their kids about sex. We use a framework - Readiness. Facts. Honesty. - to help parents assess their child's readiness, teach them the facts, and answer with honesty. We encourage parents to convey their own values to their children, so our answers to your questions will not include our values. We can include a variety of values we have heard from other parents to help you think through your own values.

No question about talking to your kids about sex, anatomy, puberty, childbirth, normal childhood sexual behaviors, concerning childhood sexual behavior, healthy relationships, etc. is off limits. We have heard it all! Note: We are not here to give adults advice on their sex life (or to be vulgar or answer vulgar questions).

Ask us anything. It will be the ultimate how to talk to my kids about sex resource!

Proof: https://ohmywordconversations.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/ohmyword2020

Direct link to buy the course: https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course

Here is also a fun quiz you can take to see Which 90's Parent You are Like When it Comes to "The Talk." It is helpful in assessing your values as well and might be helpful in starting a conversation between partners when you have different values.

Comments: 638 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

amateusn556 karma

How do you keep your kids from overstepping on their friends sex education?

Oh_My_Word_Parents866 karma

Another great question! I believe you are asking, how do you ensure your friends don't teach their friends about sex. Here are a few pointers:

1) You can tell them this is a conversation that stays in the home and that most friends may not be ready to hear. For example, "You can talk to me (and your other parent, if applicable) about sex at any time. Some people think it is a private conversation, so it's best not to share the information with your friends and let them learn from their parents."

2) If your kid is sharing information about sex, at least they are sharing correct information. Kids will hear about sex at school. A recent study shows on average they will hear about sex at school in the 1st grade. So, some kids are certainly talking about it. My son came home last year and told me something he heard at school. He said, "I don't think it is right, because it doesn't match what you told me." I was able to confirm that my son was right and he had been given bad information. I was so glad we had talked about those things, so he had the right information to compare to what he heard at school. I was also glad we had enough conversations that he felt comfortable asking me about the information he heard.

3) We have found kids learn at a very early age to be uncomfortable talking about sex. Most elementary school kids are too embarrassed to talk about sex with their friends. The more informed, the less likely they are to even start these conversations with friends, because you have satisfied their curiosity.

Wiggles82003 karma

What happens if your child has a friend, who's parents may be religious and therefore not willing to impart sexual health information on their children as a way to convince them not to have sex? As someone who's parents were like this, where I didn't really learn anything from school and would really have benefited from a friend teaching me, is there a bright way to handle this as a parent?

Oh_My_Word_Parents2 karma

Great question u/Wiggles8200. Religion has typically not handled this conversation well, but many religious families are trying to do better now. Here is some more information we provided from a similar post. We do discuss this quite a bit in the course based on our own experiences growing up.

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/hxr7yq/we_are_parent_educators_who_empower_parents_to/fz8pluf?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x

despairwefeel344 karma

When is a child ready for these discussions to start?

Oh_My_Word_Parents815 karma

Great question! Children are ready from birth, but the depth of the conversation will vary as kids develop. One thing we always say is it is never too early, but it is also never too late. Here are a few age milestones that can be helpful. If you are a parent who has not started the conversation by these ages though don't be discouraged. You can start any time. Just start slow.

Birth - start using proper body part terminology. An opportunity to do that is when your child touches their penis or vulva during diaper changing. You can positively say, "Great, you found your penis/vulva." You can teach kids about their private parts in the same way you teach them about their elbow.

Age 3-5 - kids are wondering (even if they don't ask) about where babies come from. This is typically not a question about sex, but about what happens inside a woman's uterus.

Age 6 - By age 6, we recommend your child knows about sexual intercourse and it's role in making babies. We recommend small, frequent, casual conversations to let them know about sex. There are many reasons to start this young. One is it makes it less painful for you. At 6, kids are curious and they are not as trained to be embarrassed about conversations about sex.

Thanks for the question. Keep them coming!

notorious98286 karma

My daughter is about to turn 9 and she gets embarrassed when she sees people doing nearly anything romantic in a movie. Is this the same kind of embarrassment you're talking about and would discussing this type of thing help with her embarrassment in those situations?

Oh_My_Word_Parents432 karma

Well, yes and no. I'll explain! My kids have a complete understanding of where babies are made and where babies come from. Do they still laugh or say "Ewww" when people kiss on TV? Oh yes!

Why? Because they haven't actually gone through puberty yet, and they do not have the hormones in their bodies that would give them a desire to kiss anyone but their momma. So they think it's silly that anyone would want to do that. (We even have a module in our course called "Why Do People Do That?"

The reasons it's important that she have an understanding before she experiences puberty are:

  1. She's learning and setting values based on what she sees on the television, whether she's fully aware of it or not.
  2. You want her to be fully prepared BEFORE she reaches the stage where she is having to navigate making those choices in romantic relationships.

That's a great question. I hope this helps!

heuristic_al79 karma

Great. One question I have about what to explain to my 6 yo about sex is whether or not to talk about the pleasurability of it. We talk frequently about the biology aside from that. Not sure if he's ready for that aspect yet.

Oh_My_Word_Parents189 karma

Yes! Great point. It is important to talk about sex for making babies and for pleasure. Once you first introduce intercourse, you can introduce that sex is for pleasure as well. If you don't mention it the first time, it can be easy to forget to ever mention it or become more awkward to mention.

No need to go into too much detail on either of those issues. You can say something simple like, "Sex is fun and it feels good." You can even talk about the connection it brings between you and your partner.

This point is not really for you u/heuristic_al, but for another parent that might come across this answer and need to hear it. Parents might want to be careful on how you talk about the connection aspect. When we were growing up, we often heard things like sex creates a permanent bond. Another thing we commonly heard was you give a piece of yourself away. Those statements can be challenging to overcome later in life.

cuts_with_fork54 karma

I'm so sorry you're getting nasty responses! Thank you for graciously answering questions and providing such important information! The timeline is very helpful. Thanks again for doing this!

Edit-sorry for all those exclamation marks, that wasn't intended..

Oh_My_Word_Parents71 karma

u/cuts_with_fork, thanks for the support. We can handle the nasty comments. It's all worth it to help families. We appreciate your encouragement (and exclamation marks!).

AK47Blueberry181 karma

How do I, as a now-adult raised in a conservative, anti-sex, “body = shame” household, adjust to be able to be open and honest about this stuff? I don’t want my kids to grow up hiding stuff and getting themselves into bad situations like I did. As an example, I was too embarrassed to even go buy my first bra with my mom because she was so closed off to “sensitive” topics. I ended up in a manipulative relationship and didn’t have anyone to turn to to talk about sex and what was normal and natural. How do I create an open and honest household when I still feel awkward and shameful about this topic? Thanks!

Oh_My_Word_Parents129 karma

We so get this. u/AK47Blueberry we are here for people like you, because we had some of the same experiences. Our parents were open about so much and yet did not talk about sex openly with us. We spend a lot of time talking to parents about how to leave the baggage they have related to sex at the door and to give their kids better answers. It can be hard at first, but we have seen hundreds of parents do it well. You can do it, too.

I actually conducted a study on abstinence only education in churches and the shame it left for people now in their 30s. It was an experience I myself. So, first, I would say you are not alone. We were actually talking to a mom this morning for our upcoming podcast about her experience with shame. She was sexually abused at a young age and didn't tell anyone, because she felt shame and no one was opening up opportunities for conversations about sex. I had similar experiences in high school. Not talking about it can no longer be an option. We have a saying, "Our kids deserve better answers," because we know our generation most often did not get them.

We have a course called Not. The. Talk. where we cover this in great detail. There is a 100% money back guarantee before 30 days, so it is a no risk purchase. We just want to get it in the hand of every parent for the reasons you mentioned. It is an audio course meant to be convenient for busy parents. We help parents become comfortable (I promise it is possible) with these conversations. You can download our free cheat sheet on our website as a starter. We also send weekly emails with thoughts and tips. https://ohmywordconversations.com/

Tekko50143 karma

What are some of the easiest/biggest mistake we can make and how can we correct them both for our interaction with our kids and as adult interacting with other adults that our kid see as observers?

Oh_My_Word_Parents170 karma

Great question. You are so wise to see and understand that our kids are always watching us and they pick up on so much!

The reality is that they may hear undertones of positive or negative beliefs we have around sex. And unless we wrap them in bubble wrap and never let them leave the house, there's almost a guarantee that they will pick up on things we don't really want them to see at a young age.

So I would say that we protect them from hearing or observing disturbing content (conversations, television, friends at school, open internet access) as much as we can. But the real protection comes from speaking the truth to them (as the most trusted person in their life) and providing them with a solid foundation up front. So when they do see something that portrays a distorted idea around sex, they'll be able to check back with what they already know to be true, and they'll be far less likely to influenced by it.

We just recently wrote a blog post on the 3 biggest mistakes parents make. The good news is that it's almost never a mistake a parent makes when talking to their kids, it really has so much more to do with making the choice NOT to talk. I hope you enjoy!

(Posted below.)

Oh_My_Word_Parents91 karma

We have 18 years with them. What is it that people always say? “The days are long but the years are short.” That’s never been truer before than it is today.


We’re all just doing our best. We’re scrambling to prioritize academics, spirituality, athletics, work, family time, eating healthy, staying organized, sleep…survival.

But during the hustle & bustle, there are thoughts lingering in the back of our minds that we know are important. Though we’re just not sure if we have the energy, time, or brain calories to give them our attention.

Or maybe we flat out don’t want to face them, like that one countertop that haunts my soul because I can never seem to keep it clean! Or my kid who really needs to practice his spelling, but it’s such a chore to make him do it. So I say, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” knowing that I won’t.

Or maybe having “the talk.”

We want our kids to have a better understanding of sex than we did when we approached middle school. We want to do better than our parents.

But man.

It’s so awkward to even think about, much less to actually talk to my kids about sex!

So our subconscious talks us out of giving any real thought to one of the most important topics we’ll ever teach our kids.

But we want to help you avoid these common pitfalls.

That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of the 3 biggest mistakes parents make when it comes to having “the talk”.

The Fatal Mistakes: “The 3 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making When it Comes to Having “The Talk” With Your Kids”

1. “They’re too young.” – There probably isn’t a parent in the world who doesn’t think their kid is too young to have the talk. We want to protect them, we want to keep them innocent.

(Glimpse inside my head: Really. Would it be so bad if I bubble wrapped them and let them out when they turned 18?)

But who says that if kids understand the act of sex that they’ll somehow lose their innocence? This conversation starts at BIRTH actually, on the changing table, when we start teaching them about their bodies. Then it naturally flows from there throughout their childhood. In fact, the ideal age to have talked to kids about sex is by the age of six. It’s easier when they are younger and builds a solid foundation for the more advanced conversations to progress naturally.

(Though remember, it’s NEVER too late to talk to them either. There’s no better time to start talking than today!)

In our country, we either take a completely puritanical view of sex, or a pornographic view. Meaning, there is no in between.

But if we want our kids to view sex as an act of love, as something good that is a gift, we must also talk as if we believe that to be true.

If we are not talking, you can be assured that they are putting the pieces together. Through movies, friends, phones (yikes!), and even our silence sends a loud & clear message to them that sex must be taboo.

Most American parents wait until their kids are already sexually active to talk to their kids. Or worse, it gets even more awkward at that point and they don’t do it at all. But we can do better than that.

2. “My Kid Would Never Do That” – I am going to shoot straight on this one. The fact is that the research shows that 95% of people have sex before they are married.


That doesn’t mean that you can’t relay your family values and make it known that you would like for your kids to wait until they are in a solid relationship or married to have sex.

But it does mean that every parent is going to have hormonal changes to contend with and that we need to be there to point them in the right direction when that time comes.

If they already have a healthy view of sex, if they know they can come to you as their go-to person, knowing that you are not going to shame or embarrass them, then the hardest part is done! You’ve already laid the foundation and it won’t leave you guessing what is happening in their personal life when they reach the more independent phase of their life

3. “I’m doing a good enough job.” – Ok. Maybe your kids have a basic understanding of the physical act of intercourse. But when you stop to think about it, there is SO much more to intimacy than just sex.

So many parents think that just because they have an understanding of sex, it means they are inherently capable of teaching their own kids about sex. But ask any educator and they will tell you that there is a HUGE difference between being able to understand something and being able to teach something.

You shouldn’t feel bad if the words don’t roll right off of your tongue! You are not alone.


Most of us didn’t grow up with parents who did this well. 9 times out of 10, people tell us that they learned from their friends or in health class. (The other 10% were handed a book.)

You can imagine the miscommunications that arise from kids teaching other kids about sex. You may have a few stories you could tell about the things you learned from your peers!

Now think about the values that are being relayed in health class. Right there in between drunk driving and the food pyramid. Don’t have sex because you’ll get pregnant. Getting pregnant will ruin your life. You will never go to college. Best case scenario is you’ll end up with an embarrassing STD/STI, maybe even a life threatening one. Good luck!

No wonder so many adults struggle with sex and intimacy when these were the messages we heard growing up!

But…there’s never been another way…until now!

Listen, we get it. Our brains are programmed to think that this has to be awkward and uncomfortable. We imagine “the talk” and we think that it has to be a one time, sweaty palmed, painfully awkward situation.

The first step for many parents is to deprogram their own minds. Step back from the way you were raised, the way you learned about sex, from what our culture taught you consciously and subconsciously.

What if we told you that it could be FUN? It could be so completely natural that it simply folds into your daily conversation as easily as asking your kid how their day went?

This does not have to be awkward. This does not have to be painful.


In our course, “Not. The. Talk”, we take out all the guesswork for you. All you have to do is listen.

Our kids deserve better answers. We can go there together at https://ohmywordconversations.com/.

TheReal_KindStranger137 karma

How to make the conversation a two way one? I've done the talk with my 12 yo,in a nice place on the beach looking at the sunset, but I've do e all of the talking. He was sitting there, listening but was to ashamed to participate. Any advice on how to get them to talk to us?

Oh_My_Word_Parents78 karma

Let me start by saying...good for you! You did the hard thing for your kid, even though it was awkward. Our advice would be to start small and work your way up. Look for places where you can casually throw in a small piece of the idea or value you want him to know.

Normally we recommend our course to parents of kids from birth to about 10, with the idea that you want them to know everything before they go into middle school. But we're also big believers that it's never too late to start talking! So for you, I would recommend working through the course where we have videos demonstrating what these small and casual conversations can really look like, as well as scripts, and audio that show exactly how conversational it can be.
But if that's not an option for you, I would advise that you start SMALL and work your way up. Don't feel like you have to fit it all into one big conversation. Part of our mission is to help change the stereotype of "the talk" from a one-time-sweaty-palm-painfully-awkward talk. That's why we named our course "Not. The. Talk."

If you're interested, here's the link to our sales page: https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course
Good luck!

BearDick88 karma

My son has been masterbating (humping his hands/bed usually before bed) since he was about 4 (he is 6 now). We have always just told him that it's ok but something he should do in privacy....any suggestions on the best way to tackle this subject? I don't want to make him feel weird or shamed but also want to be sure he understands it's not something for sleepovers/school.

CanterburyTerrier128 karma

I'm not the ama person, but I thought I'd share. I'm a Dad, but a stay at home Dad. I have a young daughter. When she was younger, I would notice her playing with her vulva. So, we had the "some things we do in private" talk. I'm not going to stop nose picking or masturbation, so I taught her that she can pick her nose or touch her vulva in her bedroom or in the bathroom, but it's rude to do it in the living room or in public.

One day, we were both sitting on the couch. She was watching a show with me and decided, while I wasnt looking, to pull down her pants and start playing with her vulva. I decided I needed something a little more aggressive so I sat her down at the dinner table later and actually introduced the word "masturbation."

I wrote the talk (one of many many many small conversations we've had) out. Here is part of it. If you want me to share the rest I can:

"So, we’ve talked about sex before. Sex is a private activity between two people. People have sex because it feels really good. Sometimes, sex results in a baby. Mom and I have sex or there would be no baby sister. However, most of the time people have sex simply to share those really good feelings with each other. 

But, you don’t need another person to give yourself good feelings similar to sex.

So, I wanted to talk about a new word called masturbation. Masturbation is when a man or woman, boy or girl touches their penis or vulva in order to give themselves those good sexual feelings."

TO WHICH MY DAUGHTER SAID, "EWWW!!"

To which I responded, "Well, you say that, but..."

So here's my theory. Unless you empower your kids with the word masturbation and what it is and why it makes adults feel uptight, they have no idea it is sexual. Letting my daughter know the word for what she was doing and that it was sexual in nature cut down on the behavior a lot. I don't specifically no why. I guess it's kinda like, you are doing a thing, that thing has a name, I see you doing it. Giving it a name helped my daughter.

Edit: She was six when we had this talk.

slaphappyk31 karma

Thank you for your answer! I’ve also wondered how to broach this topic.

My SO does not believe in teaching the proper words, talking about sex this young, etc. It really freaks her out. I think she has a lot of negative feelings associated with sex. :( I worry because I want to be open with this stuff (our son is 3) but it’s hard when she’s not on board.

Oh_My_Word_Parents20 karma

u/slaphappyk, we can sympathize. We all carry our own baggage about sex. We spend a lot of the time in the course we offer pointing out areas where parents might need to drop the bags, before talking to their kids. It's so hard, but so worth it. Our kids inherit so much from us. Some of it we intentionally pass down and some we don't. I can understand why your SO is struggling. I hope you can continue to try to help them to come to a place where they are more comfortable.

Our course might be right for them. It's often funny and relatable and always evidence-based about why these issues (starting with proper body part terminology through to supporting healthy relationships for your child throughout life) are important to discuss with children. You two could go through it together. It's mostly audio, plus scripts, anatomy graphics, animated video. The audio is convenient to listen to on the go. It also simplifies things so much for parents who are overwhelmed. It might even open up some constructive conversations between the two of you as to why it is important to you and why it is hard for them.

I wish you the best of luck and please reach out if there is anything we can do to help. It sounds like you are a very supportive SO and a great parent.

http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (for a sales page).

Oh_My_Word_Parents42 karma

Great questions here and great response u/CanterburyTerrier. We have been working hard to keep up with the comments, but we appreciate how gracious the community has been in contributing your experiences and thoughts to help.

Some of great things about the way you approached the conversation with your daughter were that you gave your daughter facts, you were open with her, you did not incorporating shame, you kept the conversation brief, and you wrote the points down for yourself to increase your comfort level and make sure you said what you needed to say.

Genital touching or rubbing like you are referencing in this question is completely normal for kids. Often, it is soothing to them in the same way sucking their thumb is soothing.
They don't know yet where/when it is appropriate, so relocating the behavior (i.e. to a private location) is a great response. We have found sometimes the reason kids continue genital self-touching in public is because they don't know the definitions of private and public. So, part of the education is simply explaining what places are private (i.e. bedroom/bathroom). It sounds like you all explained that well, but just adding that insight for other parents that might be reading this.

u/CanterburyTerrier, you mentioned that naming the action and talking to your daughter about the meaning changed the behavior. That works, because it gave your daughter "the why," which is important in learning. When we say, "Don't do this in public," there is not as much for a child to attach that to, as "Here is is why we don't do that in public."

The other thing to add is that kids need multiple reminders. There are very few things they get the first time we say it. Repetition is required. The repetition can just feel more difficult on behaviors we relate to sex, because we were taught they are more uncomfortable.

We provide a few more strategies in our course "Not. The. Talk." We also talk about what behaviors are normal at different stages of development and which might be more concerning. Sometimes parents don't respond as well as you u/BearDick and u/CanterburyTerrier have and it can create shame. It's not intentional, but some parents don't know what behavior is normal and what behavior is not, so the concern can intensify their reaction.

http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (for a sales page).

Whitefuzzybaby75 karma

Oh man, I have a boy and a girl that are at that age where we need to have the talk. Up until 2 weeks ago my son thought boys had periods AND a period was an orgasm 🤦‍♀️ I’m dreading it. But I do have a question.. would it be better to talk to them each separately? Or just go for it with both of them together?

Oh_My_Word_Parents20 karma

Sorry it took a minute for us to get to your question. This is hilarious...when you're not the parent! You sound like you're a trooper though. We agree that you can definitely talk to them together. It shows that you're relaxed and open in having traditionally difficult conversations. And if either of them feels they have a specific question they want to ask without the other one hearing, they'll come to you separately!

Unteaching can be one of the toughest things to take on, and you will definitely be able to get this straightened out for him. But we do think you would be a perfect candidate for our online course because it will take ALL of the guesswork out of it for you.

Go to https://ohmywordconversations.com/ for information or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course to purchase it and instantly get started.

Or if that's not an option right now, subscribe to our email list and reach out to us. We're here to help.

blossomteacher54 karma

My 11 year old daughter discovered porn this year...mostly gay male porn. My husband and I have always been open, honest, and tried to initiate conversations about sex...and this still happened. And it is still going on, any time we slip up and leave her unsupervised with technology. We have installed filters, talked about why she is seeking it out, talked to her counselor...nothing seems to help except a lack of availability. Any advice to help her curb this???

Oh_My_Word_Parents17 karma

u/blossomteacher, you are definitely not alone in this and I'm sorry that you're going through that with your daughter. Everyday I say that parenting is not for the faint of heart! You are such good parents to jump straight into counseling and get her professional help.

It sounds like you're doing everything right. The only thing we can think to add to this is to make a conscious effort to add a lot of positive talk around how great sex can be in the right context. Focus on how good sex is and how it's appropriate (insert value here: In a committed relationship. When you love someone. When you are married.).

We can absolutely help get you started in shifting the conversation.

Go to https://ohmywordconversations.com/ for information or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course to purchase it and instantly get started.

Or if that's not an option right now, subscribe to our email list and reach out to us. We're here to help.

blossomteacher4 karma

Thank you so much. We've been more frank about sex, since this began as curiosity. But we still definitely have a way to go.

Oh_My_Word_Parents2 karma

We agree. Thank you for engaging in the conversation. We appreciate parents who are willing to work on getting kids better answers.

BenjaminGeiger53 karma

How do we encourage a bit of modesty without causing shame?

My girlfriend's 3-year-old is always naked (unless he's going to bed, in which case he insists on pants). [edit: we keep clothes on him when we're outside the house, but at home he keeps stripping to his birthday suit.] We're tired of having to tell him to stay inside because none of the neighbors want to see his penis. Is there a way to get him to understand that he should be covered up when others can see him without making him ashamed of his body?

Oh_My_Word_Parents19 karma

You've already got a lot of good responses here. But one thing I will add is that he will naturally develop his own sense of modesty. By the time he's 5 or 6, he will most likely inherently know not to go outside naked. And then you'll have a whole new issue to deal with!

Clearly you love him and want to protect him from shame either way. In the end, I think it's more important that you and your girlfriend are on the same page if and when you do talk to him so that he's not getting mixed signals.

We talk about this and much more in our course.

Go to https://ohmywordconversations.com/ for information or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course to purchase it and instantly get started.

Or if that's not an option right now, subscribe to our email list and reach out to us. We're here to help.

xeonoex35 karma

What advice would you give to a parent if their kid is questioning their sexuality or gender at a young age?

I would talk to my kids to learn why they might be thinking that (mine are too young right now), but if a child said they feel like we're born the wrong gender, do you think that is more then questioning gender norms or stuff like toxic masculinity, or something else?

Oh_My_Word_Parents69 karma

Great question and you are spot on with the response you have considered. Like you said, we recommend listening to your children, reacting calmly, and when needed seeking professional advice (from a pediatrician or counselor). If a child is working through gender identity, then additional support will be needed for parents and child. As educators, we can provide a few insights that can be helpful.

Gender norms are communicated to children very early in life. Some children may be questioning gender norms and not sexual orientation (attraction to the same sex) or gender identity (when their understanding of their does not align with their sex at birth).

For example, if a boy loves to wear pink it could simply mean he loves to wear pink (or his sister's dresses, mom's shoes, etc.) and nothing more.

We have a friend whose young son was watching a television show where a boy was dancing. The son said, "Mom, my penis is standing up." It caught her attention, because she thought it might mean her son might be attracted to boys. We explained that young boys get erections frequently. At young ages, the children are typically not sexually aroused and so an erection in that case likely does not indicate one way or another about sexual orientation.

Another parent said their daughter sometimes will say, I'm a guy. After talking with the parent, we discovered they call her brothers guys and the daughter wants to be like her brothers. The daughter was not questioning her identity as a boy.

As a parent, it can be challenging to differentiate gender norm push back from questioning sexual orientation or gender identity. You don't have to have those answers all in one day. Hang with your child in their feelings, listen, and seek advice from professionals as needed.

Depending on your values, some parents may want to demonstrate openness regarding gender norms, sexual orientation, and gender identity to their children starting at a young age. For example, a way to show openness toward sexual orientation is to say boyfriend/girlfriend or partner. For example, does Kate have a boyfriend or girlfriend, rather than assuming Kate has a boyfriend. I have a friend who plays the game Life with her kids. When they get on the space to get married she asks them, "Do you want to marry a boy or a girl." This may not work for all families, but is an option for those looking to communicate openness.

keona_1025 karma

At what age should I talk to my kids about sex?

Oh_My_Word_Parents23 karma

Thanks so much for the question. You asked around the same time as someone else.
Here was our answer to them.

Great question! Children are ready from birth, but the depth of the conversation will vary as kids develop. One thing we always say is it is never too early, but it is also never too late. Here are a few age milestones that can be helpful. If you are a parent who has not started the conversation by these ages though don't be discouraged. You can start any time. Just start slow.

Birth - start using proper body part terminology. An opportunity to do that is when your child touches their penis or vulva during diaper changing. You can positively say, "Great, you found your penis/vulva." You can teach kids about their private parts in the same way you teach them about their elbow.

Age 3-5 - kids are wondering (even if they don't ask) about where babies come from. This is typically not a question about sex, but about what happens inside a woman's uterus.

Age 6 - By age 6, we recommend your child knows about sexual intercourse and it's role in making babies. We recommend small, frequent, casual conversations to let them know about sex. There are many reasons to start this young. One is it makes it less painful for you. At 6, kids are curious and they are not as trained to be embarrassed about conversations about sex.

Starting young builds a solid foundation for increasing the depths of the conversation as your kids are ready.

Thanks for the question. Keep them coming!

Maintainly9623 karma

how do parents treat you?

Oh_My_Word_Parents33 karma

Great! We have received really positive responses from our course. We are 100% motivated by helping parents, so they are grateful we are willing to tackle a conversation others aren't willing to tackle.

carolinethebandgeek22 karma

What is considered “concerning” sexual behavior among teens and children? Kind of a 2-in-1 question but what about when the right time to have a talk about self-pleasure would be as well?

Oh_My_Word_Parents9 karma

These are a great questions u/carolinethebandgeek.

To address your first question: We have two modules in our course "Not. The. Talk." that cover this exact question (module 5 and module 6). One talks about behavior that is typically considered normal. The other talks about behavior that might be more concerning. We have specific questions parents can ask kids, if they have concerns. Of course, we also recommend expressing any concerns to your pediatrician to see if any additional follow-up is needed.

http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (to jump right into the course). The course has a money back guarantee, so there is no risk in trying it.

Just to not leave you hanging, here is another good resource that outlines some behaviors and categorizes them as normal through to rarely normal. The course is a one stop shop with everything you could need, but hopefully this resource will provide you with some immediate answers until you can get into the course. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/preschool/Pages/Sexual-Behaviors-Young-Children.aspx

To address your second question: it's really never too early to start talking about self-pleasure with the basics. Most kids will practice genital touching. You can acknowledge that it feels good and remind them they should only touch their genitals in private (and/or communicate other values your family has about self-pleasure). We recommend making sure you address masturbation by age 10. Children will learn about masturbation in middle school. At that point, masturbation will move from genital touching (more about soothing or mindless touching than self-pleasure). So, it is important to get ahead of that. Many children experience confusion or guilt about masturbation (and wet dreams, etc.), if no one is talking to them about it. We cover all of that in the course. We even give you a variety of scripts about masturbation to help you out in having the conversation.

nitonitonii20 karma

Do you think the best way for childrens to learn about sex is from their parents or the educational system? (Both can have a modern guide backed with recent studies)

Oh_My_Word_Parents12 karma

Both would be ideal. Most of the research says, even with comprehensive sex education in schools, the best outcomes result from parents being comfortable and confident in talking to their kids about sex. Kids have a lot of questions, not just about sex, but about relationships (like, how do you know when you're in love). Many of those questions would not work in a class at school. They are questions for parents.

Also, we believe parents are the best people to communicate their values to their children. There is no one else in the world who can do that for you. Our course, for example, is value neutral. We present the facts, we also offer some ways parents with various values might be able to talk about something. We don't tell you what values to communicate to your kids though. The world is communicating a million values about sex to kids (a few of those might be coming from school). Some of them you might agree with, some of them you might not. It's important for your kids to know where you stand.

We wrote an article for Scary Mommy about using Hamilton to talk to your kids about sex. In it, we say, "As Hamilton says in the musical, 'if you stand for nothing, what’ll you fall for?' If your kids don’t know what you stand for related to sex and relationships, and more importantly, if they don’t know what they stand for, what will they fall for?"

http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (for a sales page).

grumpy_tummy13 karma

What do you think could be a big mistake while honestly trying to answer your kid's questions?

Oh_My_Word_Parents15 karma

The good news is that it's far more likely that NOT talking is the biggest mistake that parents often make and rarely is it a mistake to respond honestly to your kids!

Having said that, we do think it's important to prepare an educated response and to be ready to answer the hard-hitting questions.

Below I will share a blog post we recently wrote related to mistakes parents make.

Oh_My_Word_Parents9 karma

We have 18 years with them. What is it that people always say? “The days are long but the years are short.” That’s never been truer before than it is today.


We’re all just doing our best. We’re scrambling to prioritize academics, spirituality, athletics, work, family time, eating healthy, staying organized, sleep…survival.

But during the hustle & bustle, there are thoughts lingering in the back of our minds that we know are important. Though we’re just not sure if we have the energy, time, or brain calories to give them our attention.

Or maybe we flat out don’t want to face them, like that one countertop that haunts my soul because I can never seem to keep it clean! Or my kid who really needs to practice his spelling, but it’s such a chore to make him do it. So I say, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” knowing that I won’t.

Or maybe having “the talk.”

We want our kids to have a better understanding of sex than we did when we approached middle school. We want to do better than our parents.

But man.

It’s so awkward to even think about, much less to actually talk to my kids about sex!

So our subconscious talks us out of giving any real thought to one of the most important topics we’ll ever teach our kids.

But we want to help you avoid these common pitfalls.

That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of the 3 biggest mistakes parents make when it comes to having “the talk”.

The Fatal Mistakes: “The 3 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making When it Comes to Having “The Talk” With Your Kids”

1. “They’re too young.” – There probably isn’t a parent in the world who doesn’t think their kid is too young to have the talk. We want to protect them, we want to keep them innocent.

(Glimpse inside my head: Really. Would it be so bad if I bubble wrapped them and let them out when they turned 18?)

But who says that if kids understand the act of sex that they’ll somehow lose their innocence? This conversation starts at BIRTH actually, on the changing table, when we start teaching them about their bodies. Then it naturally flows from there throughout their childhood. In fact, the ideal age to have talked to kids about sex is by the age of six. It’s easier when they are younger and builds a solid foundation for the more advanced conversations to progress naturally.

(Though remember, it’s NEVER too late to talk to them either. There’s no better time to start talking than today!)

In our country, we either take a completely puritanical view of sex, or a pornographic view. Meaning, there is no in between.

But if we want our kids to view sex as an act of love, as something good that is a gift, we must also talk as if we believe that to be true.

If we are not talking, you can be assured that they are putting the pieces together. Through movies, friends, phones (yikes!), and even our silence sends a loud & clear message to them that sex must be taboo.

Most American parents wait until their kids are already sexually active to talk to their kids. Or worse, it gets even more awkward at that point and they don’t do it at all. But we can do better than that.

2. “My Kid Would Never Do That” – I am going to shoot straight on this one. The fact is that the research shows that 95% of people have sex before they are married.


That doesn’t mean that you can’t relay your family values and make it known that you would like for your kids to wait until they are in a solid relationship or married to have sex.

But it does mean that every parent is going to have hormonal changes to contend with and that we need to be there to point them in the right direction when that time comes.

If they already have a healthy view of sex, if they know they can come to you as their go-to person, knowing that you are not going to shame or embarrass them, then the hardest part is done! You’ve already laid the foundation and it won’t leave you guessing what is happening in their personal life when they reach the more independent phase of their life

3. “I’m doing a good enough job.” – Ok. Maybe your kids have a basic understanding of the physical act of intercourse. But when you stop to think about it, there is SO much more to intimacy than just sex.

So many parents think that just because they have an understanding of sex, it means they are inherently capable of teaching their own kids about sex. But ask any educator and they will tell you that there is a HUGE difference between being able to understand something and being able to teach something.

You shouldn’t feel bad if the words don’t roll right off of your tongue! You are not alone.


Most of us didn’t grow up with parents who did this well. 9 times out of 10, people tell us that they learned from their friends or in health class. (The other 10% were handed a book.)

You can imagine the miscommunications that arise from kids teaching other kids about sex. You may have a few stories you could tell about the things you learned from your peers!

Now think about the values that are being relayed in health class. Right there in between drunk driving and the food pyramid. Don’t have sex because you’ll get pregnant. Getting pregnant will ruin your life. You will never go to college. Best case scenario is you’ll end up with an embarrassing STD/STI, maybe even a life threatening one. Good luck!

No wonder so many adults struggle with sex and intimacy when these were the messages we heard growing up!

But…there’s never been another way…until now!

Listen, we get it. Our brains are programmed to think that this has to be awkward and uncomfortable. We imagine “the talk” and we think that it has to be a one time, sweaty palmed, painfully awkward situation.

The first step for many parents is to deprogram their own minds. Step back from the way you were raised, the way you learned about sex, from what our culture taught you consciously and subconsciously.

What if we told you that it could be FUN? It could be so completely natural that it simply folds into your daily conversation as easily as asking your kid how their day went?

This does not have to be awkward. This does not have to be painful.


In our course, “Not. The. Talk”, we take out all the guesswork for you. All you have to do is listen.

Our kids deserve better answers. We can go there together at https://ohmywordconversations.com/.

CrystalGThatsMe12 karma

What are some good books or websites I can also point my 12 yo son to that will help validate our conversations and help further educate him in the process?

Oh_My_Word_Parents6 karma

u/CrystalGThatsMe, thanks for the question.

There are some age appropriate, good resources out there. We just adopt a slightly different model. We want to offer parents a one stop shop, so they don't have to hunt for other resources. We offer an A-Z course, so parents have everything they need in one place. We offer a course for parents, so they can learn and then talk to their kids directly. There are a few animated videos in our course that could work to show to kids, but they are geared toward parents.

http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (for a sales page).

PM_ME_FROGS12 karma

What's the best way to handle "experimenting"? As in, I find out my young child is experimenting sexually with his/her friends? How can I approach that (and explain it's private/they probably shouldn't do it) without shaming them?

Also, any thoughts on how best to have a conversation with the parents of the friend involved?

Oh_My_Word_Parents9 karma

u/PM_ME_FROGS this is a great question. Most kids engage in childhood sexual play. It's a natural part of sexual development. u/AlcatK offered a great script.

Here are a few more things you can do. You are asking all of the right questions.

We cover this topic and many more in our course for parents with kids 10 and under called "Not. The. Talk." http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (to buy the course). Here are some of the things we cover in the course on childhood sexual play.

1) You are right to talk to the other parents of the kids involved. Unfortunately, they may not be as understanding, but we give some tips and facts for parents to be prepared in letting other parents know it's normal.

2) We provide some questions parents can ask when they discover their children are engaging in sexual play. These come from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network. They have a great resource here (we pull the needed stuff into our course for a one stop shop approach to learning about how to talk to your children). It sounds like you have already done this, but for other parents, it is best to remain calm when you find out about your child engaging in sexual play (to not create shame/guilt). Then ask these open ended questions. You are specifically looking for coercion.

• What were you doing?

• How did you get the idea?

• How did you learn about this?

• How did you feel about doing it?

3) If the situation is not coercive and the kids are approximately the same age, then you can choose to redirect the play (discourage it) or set some ground rules and allow the play to continue. Four ground rules we share in the course come from Bonnie Roughs book, Beyond the Birds and Bees: 1) no pain, 2) nothing inside holes (you could add others to this based on your values, such as underwear has to stay on, etc.), 3) all parties have to want to play, and 4) all parents have to agree.

We hope this helps and that you will consider the course for more answers like these!

scurvofpcp11 karma

Tell me how bad I screwed up, alright? Years back my 13 year old niece asked me what porn was, and at this time she had been in cyber school for a few years so...I knew she already knew how to google and I was pretty sure I did not want her finding out on her own, and worse yet finding out on her own without any context. So I told her that "porn is really bad fan-fic for adults"

On a scale of 1-10, how bad did I screw that up?

Oh_My_Word_Parents16 karma

10! Just kidding, first, your answer may not have been technically untrue! We also have a saying we learned from our mom (we are sisters), which is, "you can't mess a kid up in one day (or one conversation)." First, how cool is it for her to have trusted you with such a question? We often find children are more comfortable coming to someone else in their close circle, instead of their parents. You clearly are that person for your niece.

Since this was years ago, the moment likely has passed, but here is some advice for next time you are asked this question or for another parent reading this response looking for a genuine response:

1) In general, it is important to answer questions honestly. As a general rule of thumb, you don't want to say anything you have to correct later. The child likely won't come to you again, if you don't answer honestly. They will either think you don't know what you are talking about (and their friends do) or they will start to learn this is a taboo conversation we don't talk about.

2) Regarding porn specifically, it is important to inform kids about porn. The research about when kids are exposed to porn is all over the map. The average is most likely somewhere between ages 10 and 13. We recommend talking to kids about porn no later than 10 years old. Basically, kids should be aware of even the heavier topics before going into middle school, because they will hear it all then. Here are a few things you can think about when talking to kids about porn.

1) Let them know what porn is and why it exists. For example, porn is a video of people having sex. Some people get sexually aroused when watching it.

2) Communicate your values around porn to your children. We won't tell you what those values should be, but in sharing facts, there is clear evidence that exposure to porn as a child is harmful. I am happy to provide more stats, but basically, it leads to negative views about women, can lead to negative views about sex, etc.

3) Inform them about the human body, so they are less likely to Google/seek out answers on the internet. Most often, kids first exposure to porn is accidental (or they are exposed by an older child).

3) Help your children develop "an out." For example, help them think about what they will do when they encounter porn. We recommend role playing the situation, so your child is comfortable taking a stand in the moment. Here are a few examples of outs: "Let's go play video games instead," another sex educator gave her son the tip to say, "Hey man, watching porn is a solo act."

muderous_hag8 karma

What's the most hush hush/sex negative family you've faced and how have you convinced them?

Oh_My_Word_Parents15 karma

Hi u/muderous_hag. We try not to do a lot of convincing. We feel it is important for families to teach their values to their children. Certainly, there are many families who want to give their children better answers and are looking for the right words. We focus on them. However, our hearts goes out to all families. We grew up (Kristin and I are sisters) in a family that was not sex negative (when sex was had within marriage), but basically all our parents told us about sex was to wait until we were married. It left us without a lot of information that would have been useful.

We do talk to families who are afraid that if they talk to their kids about sex that their kids will be more likely to have sex (or might even go out and have sex right then). Here are a few things we have done for families that have helped them to understand why talking to kids about sex (in a positive way) is so important:

1) There are many studies that show people have much better outcomes related to sex when they learn about it from their parents. In fact, the best outcomes occur when their parents are comfortable and confident when having those conversations. By better outcomes, the results show lower STD/STI rates, later first intercourse, more positive first intercourse, fewer unwanted pregnancies, etc.

2) In a comprehensive study done in 2002, 95% of people have sex before marriage. So, if parents aren't talking about it, then their kids may be having sex unprepared. We did a really cool survey with parents of young children who grew up in conservative households. We asked them to rank a list of what outcomes they wanted most for their kids. Things like avoid sexual abuse were at the top along with have positive relationships. Wait until marriage to have sex or not have a girlfriend/boyfriend were at the bottom, when they really had to rank it against other things. We talked to parents about how you can help with the things at the top of the list by talking to kids about sex open and honestly.*

3) Scare tactics (i.e. "you will get pregnant, ruin your life, or get an STI/STD and die") are not useful. Those conversations don't leave kids well informed, they don't work, and they don't encourage kids to come back with more questions.

I conducted a study on the impact of abstinence only education on people in adulthood. Unfortunately, the findings were devastating. People experienced so much shame and guilt. Sometimes I share those findings with parents, so they can understand that shame around sex is harmful. We have come across quite a few people who have difficulty with sex during marriage as a result of the way adults in their lives talked about sex. It is important for us to prevent that for the next generation.

*We think it is perfectly fine to communicate to kids that you recommend they wait until marriage to have sex, if that is your family's values. We just want to make sure the education around that and about sex is still robust.

arrebhai7 karma

What about when the parents are not heterosexual? Do you suggest a tailored approach when introducing children to concepts of sex and if so, how? Related question: what age is good to start talking about non-heterosexual sex, given they may want to reconcile your explanation / have additional questions?

Thanks for doing the AMA!

Oh_My_Word_Parents8 karma

Yes, our course also covers teaching kids about LGBTQ+ families. Regardless, of a family's values or a family's make-up, we believe it is important to talk about all kinds of different families (i.e. it's important for heterosexual families to talk about LGBTQ+ families), so kids are more aware and compassionate. They will have friends from many different kinds of families, who were conceived in different ways.

http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (for a sales page).

To answer your first question: The conversation is similar. We recommend starting with a broad approach to talking about how babies are made (i.e. sperm and egg meet). You can tailor that conversation more to talk about how your specific child was made. For a same sex couple, you might talk about how the sperm/egg were provided. A child's own birth story can be a special and exciting way to start the conversation. If you are in a same sex relationship, then you can talk about other families and other ways kids are conceived.

To answer your second question: One of the principles of our framework at Oh. My. Word. for talking to kids about sex is "Readiness." Children are surprisingly ready for most of these conversation, just on a preliminary basis. For young kids, you can focus on LGBTQ+ relationships. One script we provide in the course is, "Sometimes women are attracted to men, sometimes women are attracted to women." At a later age, kids will start wondering (and we have talked to many parents whose kids have asked) how non-heterosexual sex works.

Here are a few tips for answering their questions:

1) Ask them what they think. You might be surprised by what they already know. It can also help you gauge what they are really asking.

2) Answer their questions honestly with the facts. Start with the simplest response and then keep answering the questions, if they do build up. It can be scary to just open it up, but it will create a strong bond between you and your child, and answering with the simplest response will keep you from going deeper than they were ready.

SuccumbedToReddit6 karma

How exactly are you qualified to give advice on topics like this? Are you child psychologists or work with them?

Oh_My_Word_Parents3 karma

u/SuccumbedToReddit, great question. We are often so focused on helping parents that we forget to let people know about our credentials.

We are parent educators.

Kristin has over a decade of experience as a parent educator, most of that time teaching at a world renowned children's hospital. She taught many classes helping parents, including classes about childbirth. She is also a mother of four.

Shannon is a professor and assistant dean at a leading university. She has a PhD with a focus on adult education. Her research has focused on sex education and the consequences and recovery from sexual exploitation.

We are not child psychologists or pediatricians. As parent educators, we provide information to help parents talk to their kids about sex. We also recommend consulting a pediatrician or child psychologist as needed. In the course, we give some resources as to what is typically normal behavior and when additional guidance may need to be sought.

You can find more information about us on our website as well.

http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (to buy the course).

Iamananorak6 karma

Hi there!

I was raised in a very conservative environment, and questions about sex were often mediated by the church. Indeed, I remember one "fun" saturday morning in fifth grade when I was forced to attend a church seminar on puberty, purity, and "God's plan for my sexuality." Because much of my sexual education happened through a homophobic church and a heteronormative public school system, the advice given in these classes grew useless as I realized that I was gay.

My question is, how should I open up a dialog about queer sexuality with my future children, and does your program offer a way to do that? There's more to sex than just mommies and daddies making babies, but even many progressive frameworks don't take LGBT identities into account.

Oh_My_Word_Parents3 karma

Great question. We do cover LGBTQ+ identities and sex in the course. We also use language in the course that makes it clear that heterosexual intercourse makes babies, but other sexual activity (heterosexual or homosexual activity) is engaged in for pleasure. Regardless of your values, you can definitely have that conversation well.

http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (to buy the course).

We talk about a few tips for talking about non-heterosexual sex throughout the responses here. It is important to balance the conversation. We often focus on heterosexual sex, because it leads to children, but what you say about sex being much more than that is very true.

Here is a specific tip we shared from another post that can give you a flavor for what we include in the course: Depending on your values, some parents may want to demonstrate openness regarding gender norms, sexual orientation, and gender identity to their children starting at a young age. For example, a way to show openness toward sexual orientation is to say boyfriend/girlfriend or partner. For example, does Kate have a boyfriend or girlfriend, rather than assuming Kate has a boyfriend. I have a friend who plays the game Life with her kids. When they get on the space to get married she asks them, "Do you want to marry a boy or a girl." This may not work for all families, but is an option for those looking to communicate openness.

Cieleux6 karma

When is an acceptable age in a child's life to start worrying about their sex life or losing their virginity? Readiness is usually done in the mind without the parents knowing, what are ways to keep things open and not so embarrassing for the child as they get older?

Oh_My_Word_Parents7 karma

u/Cieleux, great question. We recommend starting the conversation much earlier, so don't have to try to guess when they are going to be sexual. Also, if you have laid a solid foundation, then hopefully you have eliminated the worry about their first sexual interaction. They will be prepared, able to advocate for themselves, so they have a positive, consensual first sexual interaction.

niapattenlooks5 karma

I’ve talked to my four year old about how she’s ivf, my eight year old understands that a baby is made from half a cell from me and half a cell from dad and they are both aware of periods. Should I leave the convo on the physical act of sex until my daughters ask? I remember when I first found out and I remember being confused and horrified. How on earth do you put it into words that a child can process?

Oh_My_Word_Parents6 karma

u/niapattenlooks great question! It sounds like you are creating a very open environment and relationship with your children. You are right on track with where you are with the conversation. Also, thank you for bringing up IVF. We encourage families to talk about all of the ways babies are made, even if their children were conceived through intercourse.

To answer your first question: We recommend answering the questions when asked, unless they don't ask by around age 6. Then at that time, you can casually bring it up. Here is a casual conversation starter: "You know you got inside mommy through ivf, do you know how other children get inside their mommies?" You can listen to their answers to help you gauge where they are and then help you formulate answers. You might be surprised at what they already know (or made up!).

To answer your second question: I am sorry your experience was confusing and horrifying. Unfortunately, that happens far too often. That can occur for a few reasons. Often, because the child is older (over 6) and the parent tries to put everything into one conversation. It's too overwhelming all at once. You are already having smaller conversations to lay a foundation on which you can build. Continuing to add small conversations will help your child to not be overwhelmed by the one big conversation.

Our course "Not. The. Talk." is for parents just like you - people who want to give their kids better answers but don't quite have all the words to say it. We offer specific scripts you can use verbatim or modify to help you with the conversation. We also have animated videos that show you how comfortable and casual the conversations can be.

http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (for a sales page).

sad-sad-sad5 karma

My teen is absolutely disgusted when I broach the subject despite me raising him in a very open, accepting way. I feel like I have so much to cover with him but the conversation is off limits! I bought him the Scarleteen sex book and it hasn’t been touched. How in the world can I communicate what I need to with this sort of closedness? What do I do?

Oh_My_Word_Parents3 karma

u/sad-sad-sad, thank you so much for your question. This is tough. The most effective strategy we have found is to just keep having the conversation,. Start really small, just saying something here and there. Then add a little more. Keep going until he opens up. It will be worth it, even if it is hard. Some parents have success with books, but many don't. We offer a different approach.

Our course "Not. The. Talk." offers everything parents need to have these conversations with their children. It's a one stop shop. It sounds like it could work for you, since your son is not responding to the book. You can use the content in the course as conversation starters. The course is technically designed for parents with kids 10 and under. We have had parents with teenagers take it and benefit a lot by getting their kids to open up more.
http://ohmywordconversations.com/ (for more information) or https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course (to buy the course). We hope it helps. Please feel free to reach out to us if you need anything.

ancientflowers4 karma

I've seen you comment several times about what to speak about at different ages. My son is 5. And we've basically been doing what you've been saying.

Can you explain more about how to talk with a child for what you say when they're 6 years old? I'm just wondering about some advice on having that conversation when we do have it at some point.

Oh_My_Word_Parents5 karma

We have animated videos, scripts, and audio that demonstrate how parents can do this well. Here's the link if you're interested. https://oh-my-word.teachable.com/p/not-the-talk-course Good luck!

Jim_Dickskin3 karma

Have you watched the Netflix show Sex Education? What did you think of it?

Oh_My_Word_Parents8 karma

We are sisters and we are split on this one.

I (Shannon) really liked the first season. I thought it really showed how many questions teenagers have about sex and that they are not getting the answers.

Kristin couldn't get into it.

7moonwalker72 karma

How to teach about LGBTQ+ sex? I'm a bisexual and in school (or anywhere) there was no education about LGBTQ+ sex. This has made it a bit difficult since I've had to do all research myself and as a teenager I was quite lost as to where to find educational material and what information to believe. I just now looked what kind of information could be found today. Nothing basically in my own language. One way to find out how LGBTQ+ people have sex is to watch porn but I think most people have concluded that it's not for education.

Oh_My_Word_Parents2 karma

u/7moonwalker7, thank you for sharing your experience. It is very challenging for LGBTQ+ youth to learn about sex. We work in our course to give children a comprehensive understanding of sex, including sex for pleasure between same sex partners.

Here is a link to a place where we provided more detail about how we do that in the course: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/hxr7yq/we_are_parent_educators_who_empower_parents_to/fz8s4j0?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x