In this episode of The Pulling Curls Podcast: Pregnancy & Parenting Untangled, host Hilary Erickson is joined by sexual health educator Amy Lang to discuss the birds and the bees conversation with kids. They cover topics such as the importance of comprehensive sex education, using accurate terminology for body parts, starting early with sex education, and how to create open communication within the family. This episode is sponsored by Family Routines, which helps create routines for less stress and easier conversations. So let’s dive in and untangle the mysteries of discussing sex with children.
Big thanks to our sponsor Family Routines — if you’re looking to get into a routine (even working in this type of tricky conversation) — it is the course for you!
Today’s guest is Amy Lang:
Amy Lang, MA has been a sexual health educator for over 25 years. With her lively, engaging and down-to-earth style she helps parents become comfortable and confident talking with their kids. Amy’s books, online solutions center and podcast, show parents they really can become their kids’ go-to birds and bees source.
Amy is still married to her first husband and they are getting the hang of parenting their recently launched man-child. She lives in Seattle WA and you can learn more about her work at BirdsAndBeesAndKids.com and BBKPros.com.
The Birds & Bees Solutions Center https://birdsandbeescourse.com – Everything you need to do a way better job at this than your parents did!
Links for you:
How the boner grows on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5XSwr47Xb8
00:02:47 Start sex education at age five.
00:06:29 Safe Touch vs Unsafe Touch, use books for education
00:12:13 Importance of comprehensive sex education in schools.
00:14:20 Understanding consent and communication for better relationships.
00:17:36 Language correction: Virgin –> first time sex
00:23:46 Prepare for the conversation; get books, read them.
00:26:05 Be open, protect your child, trust matters.
00:29:33 Be open, trust your intuition, don’t follow others.
00:31:11 Boys must take responsibility for pregnancy too.
- Importance of discussing values and reasons for waiting to have sex.
- Emphasizing the significance of being in a loving, committed relationship and being able to openly discuss birth control and STIs with a partner.
- The confusion surrounding terminology for female genitalia and the importance of using accurate language, like “vulva,” in conversations about inappropriate touching.
- Approaching sex education as a process, starting with using correct names for private body parts and gradually discussing reproductive anatomy around age five.
- The benefits of comprehensive sexuality education starting at a young age, as seen in the Netherlands, to develop a healthy, natural view of sexuality and prevent misinformation.
- The concept of being a little Netherlands, promoting open and accepting attitudes toward sexuality and relationships.
- The importance of going against the norm if it benefits your children and family.
- Recommendations for creating a safe environment for discussing sex at home, assessing whether your home is a safe space, and using books like “Birds and Bees and Your Kids” to prepare for the conversation.
- Encouraging parents to do their own research, read the books beforehand, and address any discomfort to provide accurate and appropriate information to children.
- The importance of boys understanding their responsibility in preventing pregnancy and the need for boys to take responsibility and always have condoms available.
Producer: Drew Erickson
[00:00:00.710] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on episode 208, we are talking about the birds and the bees and how to have that conversation with your kids. Let’s untangle it.
[00:00:14.020] – Hilary Erickson
Hi. I’m Hilary, a serial overcomplicator. I’m also a nurse, mom to three, and the curly head behind Pulling Curls and the pregnancy nurse. This podcast aims to help us stop overcomplicating things and remember how much easier it is to keep things simple. Let’s smooth out those snarls with pregnancy and parenting untangled: The Pulling Curls Podcast.
[00:00:42.860] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, guys, before we get started on today’s episode, it is not a child-friendly episode. We are discussing some things that you should talk about with your kids that maybe you don’t want your kids to know about yet. If you have had the whole conversation from start until finish, and I mean, finish, then they would be welcome to listen to this episode, but you just I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t bring my kids into this one yet.
[00:01:07.410] – Hilary Erickson
So today’s guest has been a sexual health educator for over 25 years. She is the owner of Birds and bees and Kids. She has a lot of great information about talking to your kids about this topic. I want to introduce today’s guest, Amy Lang.
[00:01:21.100] – Hilary Erickson
This episode of The Pulling Curls Podcast, Pregnancy and Parenting Untangled is sponsored by family routines. If you are looking to get into routine which makes conversations like this a little bit easier and gives you more margins in your day so you’re not as stressed out, check out family routines. You can find it in the show notes or at Pulling Curls.
[00:01:37.640] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, Amy. Welcome to the Pulling Curls Podcast.
[00:01:41.260] – Amy Lang
Hey, thanks for having me.
[00:01:43.740] – Hilary Erickson
I’m excited to talk about this subject. All my kids love it when I bring up the birds and the bees, but my stories are just scary. So nobody wants to hear the labor nurse’s stories about the birds and the bees. So I’m excited to have you here. I hope you’re not as scary.
[00:02:00.800] – Amy Lang
You know, I have my moments. I have my moments. Labor and delivery is different than… I’m at the upfront end here at the end end.
[00:02:10.560] – Hilary Erickson
I’m like, Let’s talk about syphilis, guys.
[00:02:13.670] – Amy Lang
Yeah. Who doesn’t love to talk about syphilis? I love talking about syphilis. I’d actually just talk to somebody about syphilis. When I explained how it works, they were like… They didn’t know-
[00:02:22.240] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I have to tell you that I went 15 years of being a labor nurse and had never had a positive syphilis patient. And then probably year 16 or so, we started having some, and now it’s just skyrocketing. It’s crazy.
[00:02:37.210] – Amy Lang
Oh, I didn’t know that. That’s terrible. I’m really sorry to hear that. That’s not a good thing.
[00:02:42.410] – Hilary Erickson
So this is good information to give your kids, guys.
[00:02:45.130] – Amy Lang
Yes, get ahead of it. Get ahead of the syph.
[00:02:47.140] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. Okay. So when do you recommend the parents have that first initial talk? Or do you recommend to have that talk?
[00:02:56.050] – Amy Lang
So what I recommend is looking at this like a process. Just to be clear, most folks don’t start the process when they probably should have. But the real first sex talk is using correct names for private body parts. Saying, when you’re changing your kid’s diaper, that’s penis, that’s travolva, and using the words. That’s the very first sex talk. Then talking about bodies and boundaries and families, and then the ideal time to get to the reproductive, penis, and vagina business is about five. It’s young and people often have a little, maybe tiny or major heart attack when I say that, but let me justify my philosophy. If you look at the Netherlands, where they have the best teen sexual health outcomes in the world, they have several things going on.
[00:03:48.310] – Amy Lang
First of all, they have comprehensive sexuality education starting in kindergarten, going all the way through, so there’s no not knowing, very open culture about sexuality. They see it as a healthy, normal, natural, cool part of life. That combination of things, what that shows us is that kids who have lots of sexuality information from very early until it doesn’t really matter anymore, well, it always matters, they do better.
[00:04:13.290] – Amy Lang
That’s part of the reason I say five. A couple of other reasons I say five. Five-year-olds are really open. They don’t know what we know about sex. They’re not coming into the conversation with syphilis. Sorry, that’s terrible. They’re not coming into conversation with baggage. We know what sex is. We’ve had sex. We know the good, we know the bad. We know the in-between. They don’t know any of that. When you say to a five-year-old, This is how butter is made and this is how baby is made, it’s the same to them because they don’t have all that baggage.
[00:04:45.710] – Amy Lang
The other reason why five is a really good time is they’re starting kindergarten. They’re hanging out with older kids. As you may recall, there’s playground chatter and lots of misinformation. They also just are naturally curious about the world. The cool thing about starting sooner rather than later is that they see you as their go-to person. They know you’re the one. It becomes a normal part of your family life. So when you’re like, Hey, pregnant person. Hey, they got pregnant from… They used a surrogate. That’s not a big deal or talking about syphilis when they’re older.
[00:05:21.790] – Amy Lang
It might be annoying, but they just know that’s how you roll in your family. Then the other thing for me, because I didn’t know this when I started my company. I was like, Oh, 10. I had no idea. But the other thing is that studies have shown that kids who have open communication from a very young age about sex and bodies and relationships, they are safer from sexual abuse. For me, that was like, All right, five seems young. I’m all in. Those are the reasons five is the time.
[00:05:51.480] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, I actually really like that because also at five you learn that there are parts of your body you don’t show at school, especially. It’s very… and you don’t want to see anyone else’s parts either.
[00:06:03.130] – Amy Lang
Right. Because trouble.
[00:06:05.000] – Hilary Erickson
I think that’s a great idea. I think a lot of people think that the talk needs to be comprehensive. The first one has to be all of the birds and all of the beads. Where it may you just start off with these are the parts of our body. My son calls them the no-no zone. He’s still 19. Somebody told him this is my no-no zone. I was like, Okay, whatever. Anyway, you just tell him where you have a bathing suit, basically, is areas you don’t need shown off, right?
[00:06:37.930] – Amy Lang
Yeah, or share. We used to talk about this in a way that was really negative, like the no-no zone. Now the language you use is safe touch and unsafe touch because there are safe touches and that is like hugging, fist bumping, high-fiving, that thing. Then unsafe touch would be to touching people’s privates or showing each other privates and that thing. Because the reason we need to use that language is because it’s connecting, it’s kind, it’s calm. No-no zone is shame-y.
[00:07:09.870] – Amy Lang
I mean, I have no judgment here at all. It’s hilarious now that he’s 19 and says, No, no, zone. I think just thinking about the sexuality conversation in general, it does start with bodies and boundaries. We always need to be talking about bodies, boundaries, and consent. Yeah, you don’t sit down and lay it all out. The best way to talk to your kids is by using books. The Roby Harris books are awesome. It’s so amazing. It’s comprehensive. It’s sex positive. It’s detailed, so you can read it together. They can look at illustrations of privates, which is a much better and safer place to learn about them than in the classroom or on the playground or wherever you may go.
[00:07:48.250] – Amy Lang
Then the other thing, too, is you’re already reading. It’s a normal part of your family life, so why not throw in some sex books? But don’t do to your kids what we’re doing right now. The rule of thumb is like over their childhood and into their adolescence. It’s like 500, two-minute conversations. So just short, sweet, conversational, fun, goofy. It’s okay to say no-no zone once they know that that’s their penis or vulva area.
[00:08:15.100] – Hilary Erickson
[00:08:16.100] – Amy Lang
Yeah, I haven’t said the word penis to Milo, he’s 22, since he was probably six. I said tinklewagon, junk, business, no-no zone. Hilarious. Because it lightens the mood and I knew he knew.
[00:08:28.650] – Hilary Erickson
Right. I agree that you can be silly when you talk about those parts. I’m always surprised all the fun words people have for their birth canal. That’s Fabiola, in my Fabiola. I was like, I’m sorry, are we talking about the birth canal when we speak of Fabiola? I was like, Great, let’s do it.
[00:08:48.500] – Amy Lang
It’s really funny. Down there is pretty fab. I know the other thing, too, you know this. Yeah, there’s a vagina down there, but you can’t see the vagina. What you see is the vulva and the labia. So having this language change up. I mean, Oprah did us a real good thing when she talked about the va-JJ. So close, but also so not quite right because the equivalent of penis is vulva, and it means covering in Latin. Vaginas are down there, but it requires work to check it out. It’s a hole.
[00:09:19.400] – Amy Lang
Right? It’s a hole. It’s only part of the whole shebang. That’s another thing saying vulva is really good because it’s a word that not a lot of folks use. If a child is being… Unfortunately, we could go here for a minute. If someone is messing with them and there’s this story about a teacher who said she had a student who, I think that she was seven, who said, Hey, teacher, grandpa touched my cookie. The teacher said, Oh, honey, you should share your cookie with your grandpa. A couple of days later, Grandpa touched my cookie again. Oh, honey, we talked about this. You should share. Then she did it again. Finally, the teacher said, What do you mean by cookie? She pointed to her crotch.
[00:10:01.650] – Amy Lang
If that child had said, Grandpa touched my vulva, what would have happened?
[00:10:05.620] – Hilary Erickson
Bells and whistles.
[00:10:06.800] – Amy Lang
Bells and whistles. Yeah, I know this is a little depressive, but the thing is that when you’re using correct language and you’re talking openly and your kids know that sex is for later in life, it’s not for kids. Also that it feels great and should feel great. When they know that, they’re safer. They’re safer. In our world right now, there’s so much bad information. Good touch, bad touch. There, off the air. You all heard me. You didn’t hear me. Trying to get away from safe touch, not sounding right. All the porn consumption and all that they’re exposed to, it’s really hard on them because they don’t have the capacity to process what they’re seeing, and most families aren’t talking openly about sexuality, so there’s no buffer for that.
[00:10:52.770] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. Side note, I hate the word vulva.
[00:10:55.720] – Amy Lang
I did too, but it’s not as bad as scrotum.
[00:10:59.640] – Hilary Erickson
Nope, I prefer scrotum, moist- I don’t know. I just cannot get over vulva. Moist vulva is like the worst, right? The worst, yeah. Which is pretty much where I spent my entire career.
[00:11:10.040] – Amy Lang
I know. Well, youth. I also hate youth, which you put some of those words together real bad. Real, real bad. Yeah, I mean, people aren’t used to saying vulva. It means covering in Latin. We just have to adjust to it because vagina is not accurate. It’s not what you can see.
[00:11:26.850] – Hilary Erickson
You can’t see. Right. It’s the hole.
[00:11:28.960] – Amy Lang
It’s the hole. It’s vulva. Say labia. If you can’t say vulva, say labia. But vulva, vulva, vulva. I want a T-shirt that says Vendi, Viji, vulva. No one would notice.
[00:11:41.650] – Hilary Erickson
I do not want that T-shirt.
[00:11:43.400] – Amy Lang
Okay. I won’t make you one. I won’t send you one as a thank you.
[00:11:46.460] – Hilary Erickson
I do have to say that it is shocking how many pregnant women I’ve had the we have three holes talk with them because they all think they only have two holes. Because when I put in the catheter, they go, How is the baby going to come out? Oh, boy. And I’m always like, It’s in your P-hole. And they’re like, Right. So does it come out when the baby comes out? And I’m like, Do you think you’re having sex in the same? I don’t say that part. I just draw on the board. We have three holes.
[00:12:12.190] – Amy Lang
So everybody should know, everybody, no matter what your parts are, they should know there are three holes down there.
[00:12:17.720] – Hilary Erickson
We know these people have had sex by the time they see me.
[00:12:21.830] – Amy Lang
Right. They just haven’t put it all together. They might say, I think people sometimes think P comes out of the vagina because they know they have a hole down there and they might not understand. This is why it is so important to save yourself your kids’ humiliation of not knowing what the parts are like. Everybody needs to know about everybody’s parts. It’s not just you know your own. It’s not just that, right?
[00:12:46.850] – Amy Lang
Again, if we look at just the sexuality education, a lot of what we’ve done historically is about prevention. Don’t do it. If you do it, then you got to be safe. We don’t want you getting syphilis. Is this the most time you’ve said syphilis in your podcast? Good to know. We’ve been in this preventive mode, and we really need to change it into preparation. Your person who can get pregnant has every right to know what exactly is going to go down when that happens. I think it also can be a little bit preventative, too, but they should be prepared for this part of life. It is the biggest thing we do. There’s nothing bigger than being sexual and being in relationships and all of that.
[00:13:25.640] – Amy Lang
People get so worried about their child’s, their grades. It’s like, Yeah, getting an A in trig is going to take you so far. Not having any sexuality education or relationship education, that’s going to mess you up. We have this… It doesn’t make sense to me that we don’t focus as much on relationships. It’s broader than just parts and wholes, right?
[00:13:50.850] – Amy Lang
Relationships, sexuality, all kinds of things that are related to this. Yeah, your kids’ grades are important, but they’re not going to take them very far. They might get them into Harvard. Wait, hardly anyone gets into Harvard. But they’re going to be in relationships and a sexual person their entire life. I really wish that parents would make this more of a priority. The easiest way to see how important that is just to think about your own experience. Were you prepared? Has that trigonometry served you in your regular life?
[00:14:23.280] – Hilary Erickson
I don’t know. I mean, it’s all geometry, right? You’re putting a perpendicular line in a par- I’m just kidding.
[00:14:28.650] – Amy Lang
Right, exactly. I mean, you could probably draw a line there, but this is just as important. Like I said, look at your own experience. Did you have what you needed before you had those first romantic relationships? Did you feel confident in your own self and in your body and understanding how things work and having some sense of what you might be comfortable with? Did you understand consent?
[00:14:52.680] – Hilary Erickson
[00:14:53.120] – Amy Lang
I mean, consent is complicated. I’ve had sex with more than one person, maybe more than that. Sometimes I had sex where, sure, I consented. I did it, even though I was like, I did it to get out. It was easier than saying, No, thanks. I was sexually assaulted, but just overall, the choices I made, was that real consent? Did I know what that was? It’s always going to be complicated. But if we’re never talking about it for both partners, it doesn’t matter if everybody has this understanding of what this is, it’s going to go better. People are going to feel better about their sexual experiences being on one end or the other receiving giving or in the relationship. Anyway, so TMI.
[00:15:42.780] – Hilary Erickson
Two thoughts on that. It also has a lot to do with health. I think a lot of people don’t realize how important that body is to your overall health for a long time and how people might ignore a smell or a discharge because they just want to ignore it. Whereas if you brought them up all along talking about discharge or whatever, then that’s just a part of normal life. They would talk about a runny nose, right?
[00:16:10.510] – Amy Lang
Exactly. Yeah. And discharge, again, everybody needs to know about everybody. If you’re a gay guy and your best friend is a gal and she’s like, I got this chunky white business coming out of me, they should be able to say, Oh, yeah. Does it smell? They should already know to be able to help. It doesn’t matter. I mean, just everybody needs to know about everybody. And people don’t know about discharge. As an adolescent, suddenly things get amped up and you’re like, What is this stuff coming out of me? They should know. They should know. I think it’s a fundamental human right, and it is about health.
[00:16:47.130] – Amy Lang
It is about health.
[00:16:47.710] – Hilary Erickson
Although my daughter likes to tell me way too much about hers. I’m like, This is amazing. But I’ve talked about discharge with so many people, we’re going to have a very short conversation about this, and then it ends.
[00:16:58.270] – Amy Lang
How about this? Just only talk to me if you’re worried. Just talk to me if you’re worried, if you have a concern. But if it’s just the typical stuff, you know what? No, thanks. We’re good. That’s a lot of information.
[00:17:11.610] – Hilary Erickson
I was also going to say that… In our family, we do hope that kids wait for a long time. My husband and I, we were virginal when we got married, but we still definitely have these conversations because it’s so much more about when they choose to have sex. It’s about health. It’s about who knows when they’re going to choose to have sex. That’s really their own business. You can’t- Also, it’s appalling. Maybe it’s Arizona, but what is taught in our health classes is completely useless. I could not believe how poorly it is done.
[00:17:45.520] – Amy Lang
I can, but this isn’t my field. You all don’t have a great reputation. I’m just going to give you a language correction. Instead of saying virgin, it carries a lot of shame with it. First time sex is what we say now. Losing your virginity, we try not to say that anymore because of all the shame and religious business that’s attached to it. The first time you choose to have sex, which you said, Yeah, you can’t predict, and the only thing you can do is prepare them.
[00:18:13.370] – Amy Lang
Talking about your values is really important. Why did you two wait? Why was that important to you? As opposed to saying, You need to wait until you’re really… I’ve determined like 25 is about the right time, mostly full brain development. We want to tell you to wait until X, Y, Z. Not because our religion says so, not because you’ll go to hell. Not because that’s what we did. Why is waiting important? Because that’s more concrete and it’s helpful. We said to Milo, we hope that you’re in a loving, committed relationship that this person (he’s straight) is your girlfriend, that you’re able to talk openly about birth control.
[00:18:56.890] – Amy Lang
And one or the other of you, if your partners had sex before, that you can talk about STIs and get tested and you feel comfortable enough with them to talk about all this stuff. And then I said, and 25. We didn’t get 25. But laying it out like that, it makes them think a little bit like, Is this person? How do I know I’m in a healthy relationship? What does that look like? Because that’s more helpful than just this hardcore just wait.
[00:19:22.860] – Amy Lang
And yes, here’s my thinking about terrible sexuality education. I live in Washington, where we have comprehensive sexuality education from kindergarten through high school. Yay, our kids are going to do way better than your kids. But even if it’s terrible, let them go because it’s just fodder for excellent conversations. If you’re already queueing them up, they should know basically everything by the time they start middle school. If they’re off to their fifth grade puberty class and they already know all the things and more, it’s very entertaining for them to be in that class. Then when you look at the curriculum and they’re like, Yeah, that’s bullshit. Here’s how this really works.
[00:20:05.080] – Amy Lang
I know you’ve seen this probably when you were going through your nursing training where they showed you slides of STIs with people with STIs. Remember those?
[00:20:16.410] – Hilary Erickson
[00:20:17.880] – Amy Lang
It’s painful. They’re so awful. You will never, ever, ever see anybody’s penis looking like that.
[00:20:24.620] – Hilary Erickson
[00:20:25.830] – Amy Lang
You might. But you’re down there in the business land way more than anybody else is. Values are a huge part of this conversation. No matter how much you talk, your kids are going to do what they’re going to do. Average age of penis and vagina sex is 17. Everybody’s done something with that last name of sex by about 19. I mean, we’re talking like 80-something % of folks. So they’re going to do stuff. And they have a right to be well-informed. They have a right to be well-informed.
[00:20:51.770] – Hilary Erickson
I just figured the school was going to supplement. And one thing I wanted to do was to look at what the school was talking about to make sure that I talked about it all in advance. Because I didn’t go a lot into HIV because honestly, that’s a low concern for me personally because I don’t see a lot of HIV patients. Whereas I do see a lot of chlamydia, gonorrheicifilus. I wanted my kids to know how things like that would get treated and who they could see for it. Then it’s super easy and the importance of antibiotics.
[00:21:24.180] – Amy Lang
Yeah, right. With all that practical information, they still need to know about HIV because it’s still really out there.
[00:21:32.890] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, but honestly, at HIV at this point, I think more, I don’t know. I don’t think of it as a blood… I mean, it is an STI or whatever, but it’s also lots of other ways. I don’t know.
[00:21:43.030] – Amy Lang
Yeah, but everybody needs to know about chlamydia, right? My joke is it’s the common cold of the crotch. You can just sneeze and get it. Did you wave your vulva next to a penis? Okay, sorry. Not to terrify everyone. I’m not a medical professional. It’s incredibly easy to get. Yes.
[00:22:01.290] – Hilary Erickson
The vast majority of charts we look at on the first prenatal visit do have it and get treatment initially.
[00:22:08.020] – Amy Lang
[00:22:08.950] – Hilary Erickson
We’re recording this in April, which is National STI Month. Yes, it is. Just fun facts for everybody. I bet that’s not a month you’ve celebrated at your family, kind listener.
[00:22:20.930] – Amy Lang
No, I’m sure not. But maybe you did. Maybe you were in a family that did things like that. I hope not. Let’s have a themed dinner. No, let’s not.
[00:22:31.390] – Hilary Erickson
Like a banner in your house where one month it’s happy birthday, the next month it’s happy STI-free.
[00:22:39.610] – Amy Lang
[00:22:41.170] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah. What’s your best advice for a parent who is super uncomfortable with it?
[00:22:47.560] – Amy Lang
My best advice is what we just talked about. To start this process, you got to take care of you. Just thinking about what was missing for you, that’s the first thing. What do you wish you had known? What information do you wish you had known? Would you have made different decisions? Looking at that, what was missing for you?
[00:23:10.190] – Amy Lang
Talking to them, thinking about your values, so it basically comes down to like, What do you hope for your kids? Which is part of this preparing yourself process. I was going to hiccup. Those are two things. If you’re parenting with someone, talking about it, like your values, what do we hope for them?
[00:23:27.790] – Amy Lang
You might be on different pages about the whole thing. I did a talk last night and this couple came up to me and she was like, I need to ask you a question. I’m like, What’s up? I’m looking at this guy and she’s like, Oh, no, he’s my husband. When is it okay for someone to have sex for the first time? I’m like, Sister. I can’t answer that. Then went on to, What about kids having sex at home? I’m like, How old are your kids?
[00:23:51.230] – Amy Lang
Five and nine. I’m like, A, you got a long time to think about this, and b-
[00:23:53.970] – Hilary Erickson
Hopefully not yet.
[00:23:55.270] – Amy Lang
Right, not yet. You need to decide is this a safe place? Is not a safe place? What are the rules in place about that in your family? They did. They were okay. But having that conversation… Now, if you have a five and nine-year-old, don’t worry about the sex at home thing. Just take that off the table. That’s the first thing to get yourself ready.
[00:24:10.440] – Amy Lang
The next thing is to get books. My books, ‘Birds and Bees and Your Kids is all about clarifying your values and figuring out how you want to have the conversation and then tips for having the conversation. Doing some homework yourself. Then the easiest way to start the conversation is to get books for kids. We’ll have them in the show notes.
[00:24:28.840] – Amy Lang
I love Robbie Harris’s books. Then with the books, you need to read them all yourself. They’re going to feel like too much. Just trust me when I tell you it is not too much information. It is virtually impossible for us to give our kids too much information. If you get a sweaty upper lip, you’re in good… You’re in good stead. Then read the books and you will discover that your kids are pretty open to the information.
[00:24:52.880] – Amy Lang
It’s okay to say I’m uncomfortable. I am so uncomfortable, but you need to know this stuff because I want you to feel really great about yourself as a sexual person and have really healthy romantic relationships and then push through. No one will throw up. Promise.
[00:25:08.680] – Hilary Erickson
I actually have a friend whose daughter I think did go throw up after they had the talk at about eight.
[00:25:13.790] – Amy Lang
Very rare. Very rare. Very rare. Some kids are really sensitive. You know your children. But if they say, I don’t want to hear it, or you think they’re too young, you’re not. It’s not their job to decide when this happens. Your kid’s not steering the ship. It’s you.
[00:25:29.550] – Amy Lang
If they say, I don’t want to hear it, you say, I get it. I would have been uncomfortable too, but you need to know. Then the other thing you need to say to your children is this. It’s very fun to be the smartest kid on the playground when it comes to this stuff. It is to be fully information and watching them flounder around and their friends be stupid and you holding the knowing the stuff, it’s really good for their egos.
[00:25:52.660] – Hilary Erickson
Although I always told my kids they could give a fact, but they always should divert them back to their parents. If they were talking about that information, especially in elementary school, because we probably had the talk before most of our friends’ kids had the talk, I was like, It’s not something we talk about on the playground. If somebody has a question, you can answer it, but always send them back to a trusted adult.
[00:26:14.700] – Amy Lang
Yeah, that’s really good advice. I also say to say things like, You know what? We’re really open in our family. You can ask us anything. We’re going to tell you all kinds of stuff, but other people feel really uncomfortable about this, so it’s not your job to tell other kids about this part of life. I also just recommend saying, You could get in trouble. People are really weird about this. Not us. You won’t be in trouble with us, but just so you know. A little of that. Then you just cross your fingers.
[00:26:40.560] – Amy Lang
Your kids are on the playground and one kid says, You know what a BJ is? What’s a BJ? They’re having a BJ conversation. One of the kids says, Well, it’s got something to do with blowing. Well, blowing what? I don’t know, blowing on a dick. Your child’s like, Oh, no, no. There’s no blowing involved. We’re talking fifth, sixth graders here. There’s no blowing involved and then your child cracks. That somehow gets back to you. Your job is to just say like, Hey, I am so sorry they said they had this conversation with your kiddo. We’ll remind them that it is not okay, that it’s not their job, and then that parent is going to do what they’re going to do.
[00:27:20.880] – Amy Lang
Then I just recommend you say, You know what? In our family, we are really open about this because we want our kids to get that information from us, coupled with our values, and it’s just really important in our family. We’ll remind them. Then you just let that parent spin out and do whatever the hell they’re going to do. Because at the end of the day, your kid was right.
[00:27:39.560] – Amy Lang
The other thing that’s happened is that you have established yourself as a trustworthy adult for that other child, which is really important. Because if you’re open with your kids and it’s a good friend of your kids and you’re open and talking about this and they know that if something happens to them, they’re way more likely to confide in someone that’s one-off from their trustworthy adult. So that might be you, which I think is a real position of privilege.
[00:28:02.290] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, position of privilege. The other thing we do is we put it to music at our house. We call it chastity. We have a song of chastity that ends with, Keep it in your pants. With Chastity. Also, if anybody watched Mega Dune, they have a great one about how the baby is made. My daughter loves to pull that up on YouTube and sing it at full bore.
[00:28:23.660] – Amy Lang
Excellent. It’s just fun that way. Music is important. Amaze.org has really great videos for kids that are animated and they’re really funny. There is one song that’s called How the Bona Grows. We’ll put that in the show notes. Yes.
[00:28:37.550] – Hilary Erickson
Wow. That’s a lot.
[00:28:40.090] – Amy Lang
How the Bona Grows. I think.
[00:28:41.950] – Hilary Erickson
You have to tell yourself, Yes, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s probably mostly uncomfortable because of how your parents did it with you. But I consistently think that I want my daughter to have everything better. She recently got her period, and I was just like, It is better than it was when I was a kid. We just bought a period swimsuit because I knew that she wouldn’t want to go through the whole, I want to go to the pool.
[00:29:04.440] – Hilary Erickson
We’re in Arizona. We live in the pool in the summer, and I don’t want to use a tampon. I’m too little for that. It was just miserable trying to do it the first time. I want things to be better, and it all starts with us just making it more open conversation.
[00:29:20.790] – Hilary Erickson
I will say as soon as she got her period, she texted all of her friends, whereas I kept a complete secret. I didn’t want to tell anybody. I’m so glad that girls today are just like, Great, I’m going to be your period buddy. If you ever need help in the restroom, come get me. I’m going to bring extra pads, all this stuff because they were going to camp the next day, of course.
[00:29:42.810] – Amy Lang
[00:29:43.720] – Amy Lang
And it’s much better. It’s much better on many, many fronts. My belief is that in your family, you need to be a little Netherlands, which is what that is. Hey, I’m texting everybody. I’m open about it. I’m ready for it. That’s how they roll for all of it. As you know, you’re an outlier. You’re an outlier parent talking so openly about this.
[00:30:07.290] – Amy Lang
That can be a really uncomfortable place. But if you’re convicted that this is the right thing to do for your kids and your family, then do it. Going along with everybody else doesn’t get you anywhere. We’re all adults. We know that. We know what happens when we go against our intuition, our legit intuition. Your intuition saying five is too young, that’s not. That’s something else. If you can get your rational hat on and think about what I just said, five is not too young. It’s better, right, than 15 because I’m sure you’ve had patients. Just out of curiosity, what’s the youngest patient you’ve ever had delivering?
[00:30:43.110] – Hilary Erickson
[00:30:43.970] – Amy Lang
Yeah. I’m not for that.
[00:30:46.280] – Hilary Erickson
[00:30:47.240] – Amy Lang
I am not for that. I’m not for that. 14? No. 16? No, thanks. 17? Nope. Twenty-five? Good. I’m being funny, but we don’t want 12-year-olds to get pregnant. No one does.
[00:31:01.330] – Hilary Erickson
There is just no good outcome at 12.
[00:31:03.880] – Amy Lang
No. Did she parent?
[00:31:06.550] – Hilary Erickson
She kept the baby, yeah.
[00:31:07.650] – Amy Lang
Yeah. I have no somebody who… Same thing, 12-year-old kept the baby. I was like, Okay. I just can’t imagine.
[00:31:17.560] – Hilary Erickson
I mean, she didn’t keep the baby. Her mom kept the baby.
[00:31:19.920] – Amy Lang
Right, her dad kept the baby, right? Her dad kept the baby. Anyway, so you can make it so that your 12-year-old does not become impregnated or impregnate someone, which is my last thing here. If you have a penis, you can make someone pregnant. In the end, you can get someone pregnant. So it is absolutely with your penis havers, you need to make sure they understand that they are absolutely as responsible for pregnancy, more responsible. They can get someone pregnant 24-7 from the time they’re 11 until they’re dead, essentially. Putting all the pressure on those of us who can get pregnant to make the pregnancy not happen, that is not fair. We need to make sure our boys know that they are just as responsible that they need to take full responsibility. They should have condoms all the time until they’re certain whatever, whatever, whatever. There’s a book called Ejectaculate Responsibly, which I highly recommend. It’s so good and it’s about what I just said. You have got to ejaculate responsibly. It’s written by a gal who’s LDS and she’s hilarious and it is so spot on. I can’t say enough good things about that because it does take two to make a pregnancy.
[00:32:24.880] – Amy Lang
The person who can get people pregnant all the time, all the time should be taking a lot more responsibility than they usually do.
[00:32:31.650] – Hilary Erickson
That’s a good point. We only have a few days a month as a lady. Right.
[00:32:36.070] – Amy Lang
We only got a little bit of time there, people. And if you can get somebody knocked up all the time, then how are you going to manage yourself in light of that? Anyway, she makes a whole bunch of different points around it. It’s really, really, really good.
[00:32:46.930] – Hilary Erickson
And every day. They can do it every day.
[00:32:48.970] – Amy Lang
Every day. They can do it three times a day. They can do it more. Anyway.
[00:32:53.120] – Hilary Erickson
All right. Good information. I hope you guys will think about how you can just advance the conversation just one step forward because you don’t have to do… Even at five, you’re not going the whole way with a five-year-old. You’re just one step at a time.
[00:33:09.940] – Amy Lang
I’m going to correct you. Yes, you’re going to go all the way with a five-year-old.
[00:33:13.540] – Hilary Erickson
I’m going to disagree because I don’t think you’re going to talk about.
[00:33:17.190] – Amy Lang
All the things. No, not all the things. Sorry, not all the things. Sorry, let’s just clarify. No, not all the things. But you are going to talk about how people become pregnant. All the ways, all the names or private body parts, the importance of-.
[00:33:30.240] – Hilary Erickson
Hopefully, they already know those because you’re doing it while you change their diaper.
[00:33:34.730] – Amy Lang
You know. You have people who think they have two holes. Come on. If you can just get the correct names out of your mouth, that’s the place to start. Then get a book. Get a book.
[00:33:45.330] – Hilary Erickson
Yeah, there are. Just think of it as basic anatomy, just like science. It’s science, guys.
[00:33:51.750] – Amy Lang
It’s science, reproductive science. Remember, how butter is made, how baby is made. Same, same to a five-year-old. Same, same. Yeah.
[00:34:00.300] – Hilary Erickson
All right. Great information. Thanks for coming on.
[00:34:03.590] – Amy Lang
My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
[00:34:05.800] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, I hope this was helpful for you guys. I would say we had the conversation at 8:00. I do think that starting to have it at 5:00 is probably a good plan, especially anymore, because I think more people are having it earlier. Whereas when we had it at 8:00, I would say the vast majority of my kids friends had not had any conversation about it. I’m glad that it’s happening earlier, but also I do think that it’s just a one step at a time process where you’re using the right words and then just giving them a peek at how babies are made and then moving on with your day and then you make cookie dough together. It’s just a part of the day. I hope you guys enjoyed this episode.
[00:34:42.690] – Hilary Erickson
We have some great episodes coming up. Next week, we are talking about the I have things moms should avoid during pregnancy. And then the week after that, we’re talking about health shares and how to pick if it’s the right plan for you.
[00:34:53.830] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks for joining us on the Pulling Curls Podcast today. If you liked today’s episode, please consider reviewing, sharing, subscribing. It really helps our podcast grow. Thank you.
SEO assistant, sex education, first time sex, losing your virginity, negative connotations, values, waiting to have sex, loving, committed relationship, birth control, STIs, age 25, healthy relationship, comprehensive sexuality education, meaningful conversations, misinformation, nursing training, STIs, female genitalia, vajjay, vulva, accurate language, inappropriate touching, correct names, reproductive anatomy, Netherlands, teen sexual health outcomes, comprehensive sexuality education, kindergarten, healthy, natural view of sexuality, sexual abuse, being a little Netherlands, open and accepting, intuition, young teenagers becoming parents, safe place, birds and bees, Hillary, Pulling Curls podcast, pregnancy nurse, not child-friendly, Amy Lang, sexual health educator, Family Routines, routines, boys, responsibility, preventing pregnancy, condoms, “Ejaculate Responsibly” book, impregnate, “Safe Touch,” “Unsafe Touch,” bodies, boundaries, Roebie Harris books, age-appropriate, apology, trust, academic success.