In this episode of the TiLT Parenting Podcast, I sit down with sexuality educator and parenting expert Amy Lang for a very frank and open conversation* about sex ed for children—what they need to know, when they need to know it, how to talk about it, and much much more. Amy is passionate about the fact that at its core, sex education is a health and safety issue for our kids. She explains why as our children’s parents and caregivers, it is up to us to initiate and continue to have conversations surrounding sexuality.
Amy is brilliant at helping parents understand how to get comfortable being uncomfortable and foster a dynamic with our children that will result in healthy attitudes around sexuality, as well understand what consent means, and be savvy daters as our kids enter the teen years. LOTS to discuss, lots to learn!
*As you may have guessed, this episode features honest language about sexuality and body parts. This may be one you opt to listen to without your child in the room.
About Amy: Amy Lang is committed to changing and challenging cultural beliefs about children and sexuality. She does this by teaching adults the best and most effective ways to talk, learn, and think about the birds and bees, and provides research-based, high quality keynotes, workshops, webinars, books, and other tools so adults can be true champions for the kids they care for and love. Her website is Birds + Bees + Kids.
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- When parents should have “the talk” about sex (and why the “child-focused” approach of waiting until they ask is wrong)
- The importance of parents reflecting on their own relationship with sex education before talking with their kids
- How to help our teenagers be “savvy daters”
- The importance of parents and families getting clear about their values regarding sexuality
- Why sex ed is about a chid’s health and safety
- What children should know by what age
- How to talk to kids who are reluctant to engage in any conversation having to do with sex
- Why books are some of the best tools a parent can have in their toolbox when it comes to sex ed
- Why differently-wired kids are especially vulnerable / need additional sex education than typically developing kids
- Birds + Bees + Kids (Amy’s website)
- Birds + Bees + YOUR Kids: A Guide to Sharing Your Beliefs About Sexuality, Love, and Relationships by Amy Lang
- Nemo Science Museum (Amsterdam)
- Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein
- Autism Sex Education (website)
- Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer
- Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids by Kristen A. Jenson