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Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Sweetie, it’s time for The Talk

February 28, 2014

I wanna hold you hand and...

I wanna hold your hand and…

Friday is Family Confidential day. Before you race over and check out my latest podcast (Having “The Talk” with Tweens with Marlene Mahurin, co-founder of the online parent-tween sex education course, Time for the Talk) let me  tell you why I wanted to interview a sex educator.

I’ve been answering teen email questions for almost 17 years. A lot of them are about sex. Like these:

  • All of my friends have their periods except me. What’s wrong with me??
  • Does having sex make your breasts bigger?
  • Can you get pregnant swallowing cum?
  • This girl and I didn’t expect to have sex, but it just sort of happened. Is it possible she might be pregnant?
  • My best friend who has been like a brother to me just told me that he is gay. I was shocked and just got up and left. I don’t know what to say to him.
  • My bf and me are 14 and we’ve already been dating for two years. I’m ready to have sex with him but all my friends are saying no and I’m not ready. I feel like I’m ready. What should I do?
  • My friend is eleven, started her period and might have had unprotected sex with her boyfriend. She says she’s pregnant and I am worried if she keeps the baby she may not know how to be healthy when you’re pregnant.
  • My mom walked in on me playing down there. She’s been real mean to me since then. She calls me a slut and a whore. I tell her that I’m not having sex or anythings, but she doesn’t believe me.

They say, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” That might be true, occasionally, but when it comes to teens, what they don’t know about sex, puberty, sexual orientation, can and often does hurt them.

Your kids are getting a sex education all the time, from the media, the internet and their clueless friends. It’s probably not be the education you want for them. Do yourself and your kids a favor, listen to the podcast, Having the Talk with Tweens. so you can feel more comfortable talking to your kids about sex.



  1. Obviously your key “what they don’t know will hurt them” point is accurate and important, but do you really advocate “the talk”? It seems to me that the most effective way to communicate this information to kids is in small, age appropriate bites, often introduced by context over the course of an entire relationship. Not only does it allow them to learn at a natural pace and create an atmosphere in which they’re comfortable raising topics and asking questions, but it avoids a kind of information overload that may make it hard to absorb or formulate questions. I suspect that if you have to schedule a talk when your child is in adolescence, most of the battle is already lost.

    Comment by Tiffany — March 9, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

  2. Hi Tiffany, for sure it’s an ongoing series of “talks”… as Marlene Mahurin makes clear in the interview. As for the idea that “if you have to schedule a talk when your child is in adolescence, most of the battle is already lost”… I would respectfully disagree. While earlier (and frequently) is the best approach to teaching about sex, values, decision-making, etc. it’s never too late to open a conversation about anything with your child.

    Comment by Annie — March 9, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

  3. […] In your post Sweetie, it’s time for the Talk. I was struck by this passage: “They say, ‘What you don’t know can’t hurt you.’ That […]

    Pingback by Annie Fox: “Catch Your Child in the Act of Doing Something GOOD.” | Kars4Kids Car Donation Blog — March 11, 2014 @ 10:30 am

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