Sexuality educator Amy Lang has helped 1000’s of parents around the world become their kid’s go-to birds and bees source. Amy is a Mom’s Choice Award Winner for her book & video and the host of Just Say This! an advice-column style podcast offering parental guidance for the birds and bees talks.
389: Talking to Tweens About Sex
How do we talk to tweens about sex?? I invited Amy Lang back to the Mindful Mama Podcast to tell us how to approach subjects like gender, bodies, puberty, consent, relationships, and so much more. We talk about how to approach these conversations and how they will protect our kids.
Talking to Tweens About Sex - Amy Lang 
*This is an auto-generated transcript*
[00:00:00] Amy Lang: Because it's hard. Like the tween years are rough because you're starting puberty often. Friendships change, major crushings happening. So there's some confusion, social structure changes. And so
[00:00:18] Hunter: you are listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 3 89. Today we're talking to tweens about sex. Yikes, with Amy.
Welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Mama, we know that you cannot give what you do not have. And when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.
I've been practicing mindfulness for over 20. I'm the creator of Mindful Parenting, and I'm the author of the best selling book, raising Good Humans, A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and raising Kind Confident Kids.
Hello, dear listener, I'm so glad you are here today. This is such an important episode. Oh my goodness. But listen, if you haven't done so, make sure you've subscribed to the podcast and please go over to Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Leave us a rating and review. If you haven't done so yet, if you get some value from the.
It just helps the podcast grow more. We're closing in on 3 million downloads, and it's because of you, so it takes 30 seconds, and I greatly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.
And in just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with sexuality educator Amy Lang, who has helped thousands of parents around the world become their kids'. Go-to Birds and Bees Source. Amy is a Mom's Choice Award winner for her book and video and the host of, just Say This, an advice column style podcast offering parental guidance for birds and bees talks.
Today we are going to be talking about her new book, sex Talks with Tweens, what to Say and How to Say It. And I have to tell you, you are gonna want to get this book. I have told everyone on my team that they need to get this book. I've told my friends they need to get this book because it is so helpful.
So we're gonna talk to how do we talk to tweens about sex, and we're gonna talk about how to approach subjects like gender bodies, puberty, consent, relationships, and so much more. And we'll talk about how you can approach these conversations and how these powerful conversations will protect our kids. So join me at the table as I talk to Amy Lang.
Amy, thank you for going back on the Mindful Mama podcast.
[00:03:03] Amy Lang: So glad you're here. I'm happy to be here too. I always love talking with
[00:03:06] Hunter: you. I like talking with you too, but once again I'm like slightly nervous cuz my daughter is 12 going on 13 and I know I'm gonna, I know I'm gonna be like, oh, I should talking more about some things because we are talking about tweens and sex today.
Which is enough to make EEN buddies a
[00:03:28] Amy Lang: heart race. Just, I think so. It's just part of it, right? I think one tiny bit of advice is just accept that you're gonna be uncomfortable. Roll with it. Admit to it. It just makes everything easier. Yes. And it, I think sometimes people think it's a Parenting fail, right?
To be uncomfortable or not To know what to say or to be behind I know you're feeling like you're behind, but it's not, the deck stacked against. We didn't get what we needed. No. No. No. So the expectation that you're gonna be like all a rockstar at this and comfortable is just don't bother.
It's okay to be uncomfortable. It's okay to say it cuz as you well know, it's connecting. When we use a feeling word with our children, about our own feelings.
[00:04:09] Hunter: All right so the next car ride, I'm sure I will have things to talk about because Amy has written a wonderful book called Sex Talks with Tweens and has answered the question of how do you say this, which is, this is so brilliant, Amy.
I'm sure you've been asked for this book for so long, but it basically gives us the language for how to say this. And Amy is an incredible person. Expert. And just so you know, she, if you wanna hear more for, we can hear her on episode number 268 and 159 of the Mindful Mama podcast. But we're gonna talk about tweens specifically today.
But before we dive into talking to tweens, I wanna mention right, that this con having conversations about sex and sexuality and gender and things, it doesn't start when they're tweens, right? When do we start talking about.
[00:04:57] Amy Lang: So ideally, like the first sex talk is using the correct names for private body parts.
When you're like changing the diaper and saying, and wiping, I'm wiping your penis, that occasionally happens. I'm wiping your vulva and this is your vulva. This is your, your bottom, your anus. I hate that word, but so using those words and then having conversations about body boundaries and consent and friendships, and then getting into the actual kind of nuts and bolts of reproduction.
which is my favorite way to enter the conversation because it's science and it's easier on parents to talk about science that we can't ignore the fact that it's also a social situation. Right? People do it cuz it feels good. It's about, having a healthy body, understanding that, this is something that's for later in life.
And getting that out of the way by five, which I think I talked about in the first podcast that we were, we did. Is really important because it's just easier on everyone. And so you just establish in your family when your kids are little we talk about this, it's normal for us to talk about this.
And your discomfort gets less as you get used to it and as they get used to it and the getting in. Ideally you get to the tween years and they've got a lot of info, so it just makes it a lot easier to roll through this period of time because it's hard. Like the tween years are rough because you're starting puberty often.
Friendships change. Major crushing is happening. So there's some confusion, social structure changes, and part of that is romance and sexuality. So if you can set your kids up ahead of time to just have a kind of a little bit of stuff to talk about, it's easier.
[00:06:38] Hunter: But a lot of us may have gotten to this 0.9.
10, 11, 12, and not necessarily have talked about some of the things that we know we should have talked about. Like we may be rolling with it. We may be, have been like killing it in some other ways. Like maybe you're killing it with emotional regulation. You're like, yes, that's great, but you. Might be a little behind the ball on talking about things, sex and sexuality, because one of the things you talk about in your book is that, like in an ideal world we might, we should have talked, we would've talked about all the things in this book by the time your child's 12, right?
Isn't that what you say? Yeah. The 12th and just, and. I know I haven't talked about all of these things by the time and so is about to turn 13
[00:07:31] Amy Lang: you, you're not alone. And I think one of the problems in our culture is I just had a mom call me for some stuff that was going on with her child and she kept, people kept saying, the experts were saying, oh, you shouldn't have the sex talk until they're 10.
And that is just a cultural norm. Because. For most of us, that's when, it's like right before puberty. For some kids it's school has sex ed and it's a total myth. So she's getting all this misinformation calls me and I'm like, Uhuh, because ten's too late and don't, okay. I'm saying that ten's too late.
But we don't know. That's not the, like if your pediatrician says to wait until 10, you're gonna listen to your pediatrician. so you know it's typical. It's normal to be behind no matter where you are in the conversation. like it's normal to be behind and getting it rolling in the tween years is fine.
It's just a little harder cuz your younger kids are more on the whatever I know deal. But your tweets are like looking at the world, right? They're watching things or more attentive to relationships and romance and then their bodies and then the word sex. They've all heard the word. by the time they're nine or 10, unless you live in a cabin in Montana and no media.
[00:08:46] Hunter: Okay. All right. So let's assume that the listener, that you may also have a tween and you may also be behind. I love all the tips you have about talking about these subjects, but maybe thinking about the books about. Obviously we should, we could, we wanna start with we wanna start with private parts and how parts work and things like that.
Would you then go into like their own personal changes and things like that? Like puberty. Puberty, kinda what's the sort of pecking order where we wanna knock
[00:09:20] Amy Lang: these down? So it depends. So some folks actually did have some kind of birds and bees talk, like lots of folks have they read a
[00:09:28] Hunter: book.
Yeah. Where did I come from? Was such a great, I love that you referenced that by the way, in Talking about orgasm. Can we just make an aside to just talk about how great that is? That description
[00:09:42] Amy Lang: of yeah. The analogy between an orgasm and a sneeze, right? It's like this big feel good explosion.
That's what an orgasm basically feels like. Not for everyone, but don't start with that.
[00:09:56] Hunter: Okay. Don't start with that. No. Okay. Getting back on track .
[00:10:01] Amy Lang: Yeah, so you, there's some choices that need to be made. So if you have kicked the door open, but you didn't pick it up again, then definitely start with the sex like stuff and the bodies and all that kind of thing.
So I would start there if you had not. It is okay to start with puberty because you can use that as an entree into talking about sex because the reason your kid the, your, the, your body goes from a kid body to an adult body is because it's getting you ready to be to have sex and, potentially.
Make babies. And so they need to know that as well. But the bigger piece of this is that they absolutely need to know that 99.999% of the time people are having sex and doing sexual things for fun because it feels good. And that goes a long way. It explains a lot because it sex is not just for reproduction.
And if, if two women are having sex, then there ain't no babies happen. So just establishing like this idea that sex is a good part of life, it's a positive part of life, and it's something for later in life, right? We don't want 13 year olds having sex. I don't guessing you don't. So you can start with puberty because it's an easier entree.
And the other thing you can do too is just say to your kiddo do you know what the word sex means? Have you heard of the word sex? Do you know what that. and see what they do. So they may say male or female, they may say, Ew, gross. They can't believe you're telling me that. They may say, yeah, isn't it like how you make babies?
So you don't know what your kids know unless you ask. And in this day and age, because of, we can have a whole nother conversation, a whole nother conversation about this, because of the high rate of porn exposure, they may already have some experience or ideas about what sex is. Sucks. So I don't want to hijack our conversation with that, but I need you to have that in your head.
[00:11:58] Hunter: And there, Amy has in the book and you should have protections on your computer like you really should. We made this mistake I'll admit it. We made it personally. My child, Ashley overheard me say the word spanking on a Mindful Parenting coaching call a long time ago, and she Googled it and then my husband saw, looked through a window and saw her.
She had must have just Googled. She came up with was porn and it was she must have been like eight at the time or something, it was just not, we shouldn't have done that is, that's our fault. And so dear listener, don't do that.
[00:12:34] Amy Lang: Yeah.
[00:12:39] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcast right after this break.
[00:12:47] Amy Lang: Yeah. And it wasn't, you wouldn't expect it though, right? You wouldn't expect it and most folks don't. So again, side note, there's a great project called a product called Bark. It's in the show notes and it provides monitoring and filtering and. And we're gonna, everybody shove that freak out into the dark place.
we can other business to attend. So one of the things that we also, that also happens is that we're afraid we're gonna hurt our kids or afraid we're gonna encourage them to get busy. And all evidence shows that is just not the case. One of the lovely things about tweens is that sex grosses 'em out.
Oh my God, why would you wanna do that? I'm never doing that. It's a very common response. And then your response is Two thumbs up. Yay, . So by tacking with them openly, it's not gonna, they're not gonna run around and, do it. They're gonna be more informed, they're gonna feel better, they're gonna be more c.
And my goal for Milo, and this should be for your goal for your kiddos, is that they're the smartest kid on the playground. You want them to be the smartest kid in their friend group because it's protective and it feels good to know the most about this stuff to them. Especially as they get older.
So if there's an incident where a kid, like you do have to talk about porn, where their friends shows them porn, Or is talking about something, they're able to say, that's not cool to look at. Or there's a conversation about something like oral sex. If your kid's the one that's able to say, yeah, and you know that's a sex thing and you have, you can do it.
You don't have to do it. Like they're able to understand what it is, they're gonna be less likely to Google. , they may correct their friend. There's so much slang and they need to know that it's, they feel better. And when you feel better, you do better. Your whole universe is about helping us feel better.
You feel better. . Information. We make better choices and this is really the age to establish that. I am the go-to. I gotcha. You can tell me anything. You won't be in trouble. All questions are good question. And then you can say, I might feel uncomfortable. You might feel uncomfortable, but this is such an important part of life, and it's the only thing we do.
One of the only things we do from birth until death is be sexual, have sexual feelings, and yeah, be, have our gender and have all this romance. Like it's a huge part of life. And we pretend like it's this extra thing, but it takes up everything. Everything. It's everywhere.
[00:15:13] Hunter: Okay, so I'm writing the weeds of this, so this is perfect.
So we wanna, I love, I'm gonna acknowledge the discomfort that I can take away. I love this idea that we wanna talk about how mostly sex is done for pleasure. And there's a really, there's been a lot of really fascinating books I have read about that recently, including Sex at Dawn, which I bet you have read, which is fascinating on that subject.
On a little side note, but when we say to our. Most of the time, sex is done for pleasure. How do we get from there to things like what is oral sex? And masturbation and orgasms and that kinda thing. , how do we I'm Word. I'm wondering about how do we bridge from the basics and the biology to the nitty gritty?
Because this seems like an insurmountable gap to me. Yeah, it does. It does.
[00:16:09] Amy Lang: I totally feel you when I, I do walk my talk, but I'm also a parent, right? And so I had not talked to Milo about oral. So the night before middle school, he's in his bedroom. I'm outside the door and I'm like, Hey, do you know what oral sex is?
Have you, do you know what oral sex is? Have you ever heard of that? No. He, I said, have you ever heard of oral sex? And he said, yeah. And then I said, do you know what it means? And he said, no. And so I did my spiel, which is, I'll give it now and then you can get the book and you can have all the words for you.
And I just said you know how people have sex for. And sometimes one person will put their mouth on another person's penis or vulva, and it feels good. They do it for pleasure. It's nothing, you don't ever have to do it. It's something they choose to do. And so when it's done to a person with a penis, it's called a blowjob giving head gave 'em some slang.
When it's done to a person with a clitoris, it's called, they say, people say they went down on or going down on. And again, it's not something you ever have to do. And I'm outside the bedroom. I'm not in the room with him. And Carrie, my husband is across the living room and so he's listening to all this and it was good.
And I said, do you have any questions? Nope. Nope. Says the child and carrie's, just make some crack about the whole thing. And we all we all started laughing . That is all okay to do. So to your question. So you do, like, when you say people do, you can say, have sex and do sexual things like touching body, rubbing, kissing?
I used to establish that there's all, there's different kinds of things to do that are considered sexual. So there you go. Beyond that and then. There. And then you can say you like I did. Hey, have you ever heard of oral sex or maybe blowjob? Have you ever heard that? Bj, you throw it out there, right?
Oh, we practice. This is why we practice. And you read the words and then you get 'em out your mouth, throw it outta your mouth, Uhhuh. So you see what they do and say, may say, yes, no gross. And even if they say they know what it is, you still say this is what that. And I know it sounds gross to you, that's cuz you're a kid.
Sex isn't for, this kind of stuff isn't for kids, it's for later in life, right? You're gonna establish some boundaries around it and some limits around it. And yeah, it's gonna be gross to them cuz again. Yay. Good. We want that to sound gross in the moment for a while.
[00:18:32] Hunter: I love how direct this is and everything, but let's imagine the hypothetical person who may have an even older childlike who may even be like a teenager going on say 16, who has never said to that older child, have you ever heard of oral sex?
And you're pretty sure they definitely have heard of oral. Not that it's asking for anyone personal, but what might you do for the person who has really missed the tween years on this one?
[00:19:05] Amy Lang: So if you've belong, so for everybody, this is rule of thumb. So for your tween, if you haven't started the conversations, just say, I blew it.
We should have been talking about this. This is totally on me. I didn't think you were ready. I wasn't ready. I'm really sorry. , we're gonna start talking about this because it is so important to your health and your safety and your life. It's a cool part of life. It's complicated, and I want you to be ready for it, right?
So we're gonna just say, I made a mistake, right? Teenager, I really blew it. And you just say, I should have been talking to you. It feels really awkward. I know you know a ton of stuff, but I'm worried about you being healthy and having good relationships. So I really want us to start talking about. And they may pull the old, I know everything.
I don't need to talk to you. And they don't. Hello? They're 16. Come on. And I was saying, you're probably getting a lot of misinformation from your friends. I know your pals have seen porn, and kids think teenagers use porn for sex education. bad, so not good. And so just start like we're gonna start having these conversations and the same thing.
I'm probably gonna be uncomfortable. My parents didn't do this for me. And so then you again kick the door open. You need to get them books again. They're great books for teens about sex and sexuality. And then you can use the world. It's really, the nice thing about teenagers is you do not have to edit.
You can just blah, you can say all the things. So you know, there's an article in the paper about abortion and you can be. Okay, and whatever your opinion is about abortion, but I should not have said abortion because it's such a hot button issue. I am gonna say this one in four women in the United States terminates a pregnancy for any number of reasons.
So if you are very shaming and mean and awful, frankly, about people who do that, if your child has a pregnancy, they are not gonna talk to you about it because they know that, how you feel about that particular issue. Take abortion way, but you have to talk about it. So it could be any number of things.
There are all kinds of shitty relationships out there, right? So you can talk about how, oh my God, get this right? This was terrible. Here's why. And then when you're watching shows, right? It's great opportunity. Like sex education is awesome. Bridgeton full of sex. Maybe you don't wanna watch that with your kiddo, but there are opportunities to point things out.
Another thing with your older kiddos, and you can do with younger kiddos too, is to say, Hey, what are you what's going on with your. Don't ask them, what's up with you? Hey, you know so-and-so's boyfriend, how's that going for them? Because you're going to be able to get, gather some data and that'll lean them into what are you interested in?
Anybody you dating? How's your relationship going? You just need to push yourself into it. And again, the beauty is you do not have to edit. You can just say whatever the heck you want. You can ask the questions, you can say the things. You don't need to worry about that because. They're getting so much information from their peers.
And then that source that starts with Pete, the other source that starts with Pete. It's just important and it's okay. And they may give you the cold shoulder, and that's okay too. But you just need to my whole thing is make the effort. So you can say, I tried, right?
[00:22:14] Hunter: We have to be a little. I will, dear listener, I will be being brave with you and I'll be saying, Hey, cuz I get a lot of real angry pushback from my oldest child. And and I'll say, this is gonna be uncomfortable and it's gonna be over soon . Then we're going to say this, we're gonna talk about this thing.
Which, I got from you a long time ago and I really appreciate. What about disclosing our own sexual history? What do you say about that? And starting these conversations, if ever.
[00:22:51] Amy Lang: So overall, our kids don't wanna know about our sex lives. No, thank you. I'm pretty sure right? Your parents next Li
Thanks. So you can hold that. You can take yes. Good. Like we know that. So you don't need to talk about how you had 14 sneezes last. They don't wanna hear that , they don't wanna hear that. But with your own personal history. So my belief is that it is totally like good to talk about your early dating and your past relationships.
Like my first boyfriend, X, Y, Z, my first girlfriend, my first partner, blah, blah, blah. To talk about that relationship, what it was like, it's okay, to say, we had. I was safe. Not safe. Talk about the first time you had sex. What was good about it? What wasn't good about it?
What you wish you had done differently, and then what you hope for your kiddo. So they, it is okay to talk about that because it's far away In the past, you learned lessons, right? It's, they're not gonna attach it to you. You like you now, cuz you're talking about your history. You don't have to tell them about the first time you had.
But if they ask you, you need to, there's a script in there for it actually. What to say to avoid it. And you can. But I am an, I feel like you should be honest. However, if the first time you had sex, you were assaulted or it was not a positive, relatively speaking, if it wasn't a consensual experience, I do not tell your kids that.
Talk about the first time you had consensual. The reason I am not for having, talking about that kind of thing is because your child needs to see you as whole and healthy and is traumatized, can be traumatizing to them to hear that this traumatic happened to you. Not everybody agrees with me, but I think we can all look back and I know lots of folks, parents divulged that they were sexually abused or whatever.
And so if you think about how that was for you at like however old you were when you learned. , did you need to know that? Did you, as a, did you need to know that as a child? So just thinking about that and then if that didn't happen to you, thinking about how you might have felt if, if your mom, when you were tense that said, yeah, I was sexually abused by my cousin for 10 years.
How's that helpful? So that's my thing. So here, but you can talk about it when they're older let's do some brain development. Let's do 25, 28. Or if it happens to your child, then you can say, this happened to me too and I'm here for you. So you can say it then. Be careful about the detail because again, we don't wanna re-traumatize our kiddo with our own crap.
[00:25:38] Hunter: Okay. So we wanna talk to kids when they're teens and tweens about. Safe sex, right? Regardless of, and we haven't even gotten into sort of gender and identity and all those things, but anyway, regardless of whether they may identify as gay or straight or whatever gender they identify as, but we wanna be talking to them about safe sex.
Help us, walk us through an initiation of that
[00:26:02] Amy Lang: conversation. I think one of the biggest parts of safe sex is consent, right? So making sure they understand what consent is, what it looks like and so they understand that like ideally, like healthy sexuality, healthy relationships, everybody agrees to do whatever the sexual stuff is, including holding hands.
right? So everybody agrees. So it's having an understanding of consent and so that is fundamental to safe sex, right? So then in terms of like their physical bodies talking, everybody needs to know about all the birth controls. Everybody don't care if you're. , don't carry your sexual orientation, don't carry your gender.
Everybody needs to know because A, it's safer because then if there's a couple and their, pregnancy can happen if you have a son like Milo, like he knew everything and he knows that i u d is the best. Absolutely the best. And then depa, then implants, right? And then Depo and then birth control pills, like you know them in order, you wanna talk about them in terms of efficacy.
And so it's fine for them to know all this stuff. And of course condoms, if they're penis involved, penis is involved. Everybody needs to be using condoms. Because, and then you talk about STIs cuz you know you can get ailments down there.
[00:27:19] Hunter: It's so fun. Oh my God. Would you do the condom banana thing?
[00:27:25] Amy Lang: oh, I did, yeah. You can do condom banana thing. What I did with Milo is I think he was like eight or nine and we, I had condoms around cuz of course I did. And I'm like, Hey, this is a condom. It goes over your penis when you have sex. It prevents pregnancy cuz the sperm can't get out. The semen can't get out any on, sometimes people can get sexually transmitted infections, which means like you can you can get a cold in your crotch.
He was young. You can get infections down there. So then I said, get a load of this. They're incredibly stretchy. So we're in the bathroom and we filled it up in the sink. We have this watermelon sized condom. And I, the reason I told him that is because people will say the condom doesn't fit bs.
Unless you have a penis that is like a can of soup. A even that the condoms fit. So then we got that condom and we put it in a pot cuz we couldn't, we couldn't get it outta the bathroom. And we took it and we have a deck and we dumped it over the deck. And so we just had this fun, silly conversation.
I didn't show him how to put it on because we had books and he, I talked a little bit about it, but he had books to learn that from and I would've thrown a banana at him if he wanted. So you can be funny. Because it's important. And then his friend Ethan came over a couple days later, he is ma, can we do the condom thing?
I'm like, sure. Now I don't know, like Ethan's parents know I'm a sex educator at the time, so I don't know if he con, I dunno if Ethan went home and said, so condoms and I don't remember if I said anything to his parents. I probably did. So yeah, the condom and the banana thing is fine. Just making sure.
And then this is again, a kind of a family values thing, but they should have condoms available and plan B should be available on. We had 'em in a drawer in the bathroom. Of course they were never touched. And then I was, I shouldn't even say this don't tell my child, but I was in his car and I opened the glove compartment and there's box condom.
never touched the ones that we had in the bathroom. And at the time I didn't have Plan B available. And the reason for that is because Plan B is not an abort. It just prevents the egg from implanting. If you're already pregnant, the protect pregnancy will continue without any trouble. So having that available, because if you have a, whoops, the condom breaks or you do it without the condom and pregnancy can happen, that needs to be an option without, with ease.
And again, family values choice, like totally family values thing. It's on you to figure out if this makes sense to you. Works through family.
[00:29:55] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.
Okay, so let's say it is a value of in your family to be open about sexuality and expect maybe use of condoms and sex and things like that before marriage, et cetera. We are having a conversation about talking to tweens about sex. Do we have condoms and plan B available? Cuz for the parent of a nine year old, you might be like, oh my God, do I need to have that available in my drawers right now?
Like that sounds.
[00:30:29] Amy Lang: No. So they should know it's fine for a nine year old to know about birth control cuz you're talking about sex for pleasure. That to know about birth control, to be, to push very hard on, we plan pregnancies in our family plan pregnancies. Pregnancies should be planned. Planning pregnancies.
Can't stress that enough. So you're gonna talk about that. It's okay for them to know about the condoms and the birth control and a little bit about like STIs and then you don't need the condoms and the other stuff in your home until they're start like 13, 14. Like eighth grade, totally fine. Cuz you want 'em to have 'em available before they need them.
And so you're just like talking about this stuff. You're planting these seeds with your tweens. We are responsible. You're, we're responsible. You need to be responsible. You'll have more fun when you're in a sexual relationship if you know that everybody's communicating about birth control and your safe pregnancy can happen.
and you have language for it, right? And then count 'em back to that smartest kid on the playground thing. So when they're 13 and a friend says, my 15 year old boyfriend, no one wants to hear that is trying to get me to have sex. Then your kid's gonna be able to say, that's probably not a great idea.
Let's talk to my mom. You can talk to my mom. Great. Because that's the other thing, when we're open with our kids talk. And so if there's a child in your kid's friend group that needs help, they're gonna be likely to come to. and that is an incredible place of privilege. An incredible place of privilege to have that trust.
[00:31:57] Hunter: Yeah. I would feel amazing if that happened. Okay, I just wanna go backtrack. So order of operations is, bodies, et cetera when they're young. Then sex, talking about the biology of how babies are made in sex. We wanna then talk. People having love, making love for pleasure, or having sex for pleasure in sex acts, we then wanna think about different sex acts, like masturbation, oral sex, things like that.
Do we wanna talk about anal sex?
[00:32:29] Amy Lang: Yeah, I gotta take all the sexes, sorry, all the sex, all the sexes. And you don't trot out vaginal intercourse and then say, and PS, you don't need to do that in the same Okay. Breath one at a time. Yeah, one at a time. Because you remember, we're paying away, we're like, when you say people, you're doing good.
When you say people have this is intercourse, this is usually how babies are made. And in that moment you say, actually, most of the time when people do have. They're not trying to make babies. They're doing it because it feels good to their bodies. They have an agreement. They're maybe in a, they're in a relationship and a loving relationship.
So you can establish that they're doing it because it, it feels good. It's a way to connect. It's not for kids. Very clear. It's not for kids. So those other kinds of sex you can get to a little bit later. So if we're, if you're kicking off with your nine year old or your 10 year old, you're starting these conversations, then you're gonna need to get to that oral anal.
Quicker, I think by 11 or so. You can also, after you start the conversation, you can say, have you heard of this? And see what they do with it. You need to be ready to, with an answer. So anytime you ask a question, you need to be ready for it with an answer of some kind. So
[00:33:37] Hunter: review what Amy says in the book.
Read it over before you ask that question. Yeah, go ahead. Yeah, no.
[00:33:44] Amy Lang: Ok. We're gonna talk about blowjobs and then you can quote me. So the other thing too is puberty, right? We gotta get that puberty thing handled. And so kids need, can ha kids to have a book about puberty when they're nine-ish. Yeah. Girls start their periods as young as nine.
Everybody's on their own trajectory and and everybody needs to know what's happening with everybody else's body. It's all about being informed. So if, yeah, so it's all about being informed. And it takes the mystery away and everybody struggles during puberty. There's nobody that sails through, I don't think.
[00:34:21] Hunter: Surprisingly, puberty has been like a positive thing with my second child because her hair is turning curly as she goes through puberty and it's amazing cuz also curly hair is in, wavy hairs in, so she's like super it's like the hair product discussion. Fire eclipses the sex conversation for us right now.
But but so it's somehow become this sort of like randomly positive. Is that what happened to you? Did you get curly hair, puberty?
[00:34:51] Amy Lang: I did. I had straight hair, and then I got a perm in 1982 and I got the first perms that was straight on top, like I look right now and then curly on the bottom, and then I got the second one and It never went away.
Yes, you have all these curls. Wow. Everyone's oh, Amy let's your back hair styling and Yes, with to the products. And this is the longest my hair has been since 1998 so anyway, so yeah so it can be a positive experience and that's the other thing. Just say this is gonna happen to your body.
It's pretty damn cool. And so hang in there and the more they know, the better. I thought I had breast cancer because I could feel the lumps of my mammary glands as my breasts were developing. You tell,
[00:35:34] Hunter: I have not gotten to as far as that goes. Yeah. So they're
[00:35:37] Amy Lang: really good books for kiddos with female bodies.
One's called Celebrate Your Body. That is really great positive. So yes, it can be a positive experience, but it's really how it's hard to do. Positive span on periods.
[00:35:51] Hunter: It is hard. Yeah. Actually , I know. Yeah.
[00:35:55] Amy Lang: Hey, here. Lead every month. Woohoo. Sounds like fun. .
[00:36:01] Hunter: You can. Make life. You can have a little human being in your body.
It's, that's possible. Which is pretty cool, but later, much later if you want to. Very cool. Also, no, 35 might be too old though. Like we're waiting so long that it's not. Biologically isn't like biological peak age, like 16, basically.
[00:36:23] Amy Lang: Like for Yeah, it's something awful. Like 18 or 19. We don't need that.
[00:36:28] Hunter: No, no Vos. No vos
[00:36:30] Amy Lang: for that. In my world, no goals. No pregnancies, no one had pregnancies. It's not, it happens, but make sure your kiddos know that every step should be taken to prevent pregnancy. That it, and you're, this is another kind of controversial things. I know we keep talking about teenagers, but you need to consider having your, putting your daughter on birth control.
You know when she's in high school, cuz people, we were all there. Did you use birth control of sex time? First time you had sex? Maybe not. Most folks don't really plan it out. So if your daughter's already on birth control then if that happens, she's gonna be informed, she's gonna be empowered. And there's no evidence that it's like permission to get busy.
They don't tank it that way. In fact, they actually delay by about six.
[00:37:16] Hunter: My worry would be just like the hormones messing, just the, that piece like, I know that it can like lower libido and have effects and things of that way. Nope. No,
[00:37:28] Amy Lang: Don't worry about that. That's old data cuz when initially birth control pills, they were so strong, they messed with everything and now they're a bazillion different kinds.
And yeah, people can have issues with the hormonal stuff, but it, at the end of the day, it's not most people do fine and there's a birth control method for just about everybody. They should also know that if you put spermicide inside the end of the tip of a condom, it is almost 100%. Because it kills a little wonders when I get down there anyway, so we go back to tweens.
I feel like we're
[00:38:02] Hunter: just, yeah. Let's go back to tweens. What are the things we wanna, we have missed when we think, oh, gender and sexual orientation and things like that. Yes. Yeah. Oh my goodness. I know.
[00:38:14] Amy Lang: So I think the most important thing to do is to understand that right now we're in this kind of incredible space in the world where there's lots of expansiveness in terms of people's sexual orientations and genders, and this is a good thing.
And it can also be confusing to those of us who grew up with the, the binary or gay, you're straight, you might be bi, you're a guy, you're a gal, maybe you're transgender. It's not like that . I mean it's just so much more fluid and there's so many more, I'm gonna say options. And so what's happening is our kids are growing up in this world where this is their.
Cauldron of sexuality and adolescence is a time of exploration and curiosity. And so the first thing is that understand that they have this opportunity that we didn't have to really think about themselves in a lot of different ways. and it can be challenging. So the first rule of thumb is if your child tells you they've changed their pronouns to they them, or they tell you they are pansexual or asexual.
So pansexual means you're attracted to just the person. It doesn't matter what their physical body or gender is. Asexual means that they have not no interest in sexuality at. , which, I'm down with 12 year olds being asexual . So they're just exploring. And so your job is to say, thanks for telling me what does that mean?
And use the correct, use their new pronouns if they change their name, gonna need to roll with that. And the reason for this is that you can't, because this is about fundamental ness as a. It's not that they're being a punker, right? I was a punk rock, new wave person, right? That was exploring myself in a way, it was not fundamental to who I am as a human being.
L g, LGBTQ kids have a, their suicide rate is four times higher than the general population. So the one thing that keeps them on par, which is terrible anyway, is parental support. So your responsibility is to be supportive. Believe your child, hold it light. Wait and do your freak out on your own time because you just can't necessarily know.
So they may be trying it on, they may be exploring. I hope I haven't said experimenting. So we're thinking about this in terms of exploration, not experimentation. Cuz experimentation is judgey and you hear the difference. So they're exploring and you may have all kinds of feelings, you may be really confused.
That's your job to take care of that offline. And you can say, I don't understand this. Can you explain it to. . So right now what we're seeing in these sort of, and maybe you're experiencing this with your kiddos friend group, like between 10 and 12 and 14, there's lots of gender changing, pronoun changing, talking about their sexual orientation.
It oftentimes bops around. And so like I, and it's very common. It doesn't, it isn't a bad thing. It isn't a bad. . It's a good thing, but it's hard, right? Cuz you want your child to be healthy and happy and they're doing something that seems screwy, right? And so what do you do? You don't want your child to get hurt, right?
You don't want your child to get stigmatized, right? There's so many things that are happening, so it's rough. But you gotta wait.
[00:41:30] Hunter: You have to be their supporter. Yeah. And you need to process, like my children have a number of. Quite a number of friends who changed their names and changed their pronouns.
And it's confusing for me, but like they have not, at least as of yet. And I can't imagine I would feel grief if they rejected the name. I gave them and in a lot of ways like I, there, I mean there would be a lot of processing
[00:41:55] Amy Lang: to go through with that. Yeah. That would be hard, right?
That would be hard. And also it's probably highly likely, it's not forever. It's highly likely that it is a temporary, again, exploration. And
[00:42:10] Hunter: So be the supporter, be on their team hold it lightly. Don't, don't necessarily jump in and say, okay, let's schedule, your or hormones and your surgery, right?
But just let's, let's be a supporter and a grounding force in this.
[00:42:33] Amy Lang: Yeah. And the, there's some rules of thumb. If if a child in consistently persistently insists they're another gender or sexual orientation for, I would say it would need to go over a year at least with ki with like more toward heading into adolescence, then you need therapy, then they need therapy.
Then they need to be really sure, especially if they're trans, like the trans being trans is a really big. . The other things can be a bigger deal, but if a child is I am absolutely not in the, I am in the wrong body for my, I am not a guy. If I were, I'm not a guy, I'm not a guy. I'm not a guy.
I'm not a gal. I'm not a gal. I'm not a gal. They're very insistent about it. Then that may mean that they're trans. So again, we're back to this hold it lightly thing and it's a big deal to go through the hormones and all that stuff. And one of the things about hormone blockers is that they're instantly revers.
So if, if your kiddo is on hormone blockers, if that makes sense for them and then they move through their adolescence and into their adulthood and they think, okay, this actually isn't who I am. They're instantly reversible. But most kids don't go, don't do that. Most kids don't. And the good news is there's tons and tons of support for families and kids who are actively.
like more serious manie or, that's a terrible way to talk about it, it's like a bigger deal for some kids. And it's tons, there's tons of support.
[00:44:01] Hunter: tons of support. Yeah. There's a spectrum from exploration to, et cetera. And so the, this is good, important for us to, regardless of what, even if our kids remain cisgender the gender that they were at birth and, heterosexual.
even if they are that way, it's really important for us to have to practice a language and a mindset of openness and inclusiveness. So you, so that then, when we can approach to, without judgment, then they're less l then they're more likely to come talk to us about various things they need to talk to us about.
[00:44:42] Amy Lang: Yeah. Yeah. It all trickles down, right? And it's hard not to be judgmental, but that's why you have. You can vent, right? And talk about how crazy it's making you and what the heck with the, they, them pronouns and like trying to sort all that out. And it's gonna be, we're gonna swing back.
It's gonna become normal, right? This will become a normal part of adolescence. It won't feel so outrageous or whatever people are feeling. And again, you have to take it seriously because who we are as a sexual person or sex, sexuality, or gender are fundamental to being human. Yes. I. I was a new waiver punker not fundamental to my, at the time it was, but not pencil.
It was so important that I showed up like that. So anyway and I think maybe just to circle back to the tween piece, so I just, the good news is with tweens is that you can get a lot more information into them more quickly than if you're starting at five. You have this long trajectory, which is.
They learn more quickly. They understand things more quickly. The problem is the pushback. But the pushback. You expect the pushback. You have a response to the pushback. We didn't talk about little tip things to help them be more engaged. Yeah. Listening. Yeah.
[00:45:57] Hunter: Yeah. Give us those as we close up.
Yeah, that would be fabulous.
[00:46:00] Amy Lang: Yeah. Yeah. Don't look them in the eye. Make it really casual. Like you said, conversations in the car. That's a really good. To have, don't abuse it, but that's a good time to talk with them when you're doing the dishes, folding laundry, walking the dog. They do better when they're involved in an activity and you just Hey, and you can do these things.
Hey, I was just thinking, have you ever heard the word blowjob? They're not gonna , they'll be like, okay, she's nuts. Do we care? We don't care. So finding those times, paying attention as they're into puberty, I call it being lucid to when they're lucid, right? They work, they have to keep their poop in a group.
all day long. And so when they come home from school and you're like, so let's talk about intercourse. No. And usually, unfortunately, as y'all know, it's like they're all ha hot to trot at nine o'clock at night and you're like, people, it is bedtime. So paying attention to their moods and thinking about like, when is this gonna be a good time to talk about this?
Watching media tv. Movies, music lyrics, friends, stuff you hear on the radio, you can say, oh hey, I loved that moment between the two of them. And then, okay, they got that little thing in there. I love, never have I Ever, because it's just got some great adolescent moments. It's teenager re it's fine. Free tweens to watch.
And then just doing things like leaving Post-it notes. Your children should not have a phone until they are in the seventh grade or eighth grade, but if they do have a phone, you can text them little things if you want to. That's better for older kids. And then the last thing is this. You cannot hurt them.
You cannot hurt them. You can only help them by talking openly about this. So don't worry about giving them too much information. It is virtually impossible. For us to do that. So your goal is sweaty upper lip. If you have a sweaty upper lip, you're rocking. And again, see, I'm uncomfortable. I haven't talked about, they're like, do that.
It's fine. It's fine. It's helpful to them. It's helpful to them. And then the other thing too is it's okay to plan. So my book Leaf through and you're like, you haven't really talked about periods. And you have a person who isn't gonna have a period, you have a person with a penis. So then you can say, all right, I wanna get this stuff in here.
How am I gonna do this? Oh, I know when I go to the grocery store, I'm gonna buy a box of pads or tampons or something. And then you can say, Hey, do you know what these are? And then you go, right? So it's okay to plan. Don't I know some people make notes in their phone or put it on their calendar, right?
And just oh yeah. To have a little sex talk. So it's fine to do. Don't, we don't know what we're doing, but you could. Yeah.
[00:48:44] Hunter: Yeah. Amy, your book is so great. I really have to tell you now that I've been forced to look through it I'm just like, there's so many dog yard pieces and I'm just like, okay, what is the script in here that I am going to think about so that I can have a folding laundry moment and I will actually know what to.
Dear listener, I highly recommend Amy's book, sex Talks with tweens. What to say and How to say it. It's gonna be invaluable to you. You should definitely get it. I highly recommend it.
[00:49:21] Amy Lang: Thank you. Thank you. I'm glad you found it helpful. There's nothing like a real life person, I just sing.
Okay. I'm doing it. I got it. I'm gonna do
[00:49:29] Hunter: it. Actually, I have to go pick up my tween. She's still a tween in 20 minutes, but she is going to be protected by the fact that her seven-year-old neighbor is also being picked up in the car with her. So it, I will like ma, the gungho I feel at this moment would be tempered or J that's probably a good thing.
[00:49:48] Amy Lang: And fire hose. Yeah, that's good. We can just plan now, right? You got a little plan. This be something we talked about. You're like, okay, I need to do this. So later on tonight, take the opportunity when you see it, keep it short and sweet and no one's gonna die. No one's gonna throw up.
[00:50:05] Hunter: Thank you. Thank you so much for coming back on the Mindful Mama podcast. I always love talking to you, even if it makes me slightly anxious, . And I really appreciate you taking the time and sharing what you have to share with us cuz it's so important. Thank you
[00:50:22] Amy Lang: so much Amy. Thank you.
And thank you for trusting me with your people. I just really feel so honored. So thanks so much for that.
[00:50:35] Hunter: Thank you so much for listening to this episode. So I have to give you an update since I have had this conversation with Amy that afternoon. It turns out my younger neighbor did not need a ride home to that day, so I had time in the car with my 12 year old and I brought some subjects up right away and she said to me, She's going on 13.
So she said basically mom, you're too late. , I know about all this stuff, but she's cool. And so I've been bringing up different things all throughout the week since then, here and there. And you know what? It's not that hard once you just say it. You just say it and it's okay. And in fact, we had a conversation after our first initial conversation.
We had a conversation about preventing pregnancy and how you. Contraceptives and things like that. And she asked questions so it can be done even if you're nervous. I was so nervous and I have to let you know that it was helpful and we're having conversations and it's opened things up. So that's exciting.
And I even had some conversations with my 15 year old who is often openly very hostile about these kind of convers. And we've had some more things. I said, I'm sorry, I should have talked to you, but I totally apologized and said I should have talked to you about this earlier. And she was funny though because she identifies as gay and she's, I went out and I got condoms and I got plan B and I have 'em now in my bathroom.
And she's there's no way I'm ever going to be that. She was laughing at me, but I said, okay, it's fine. It's even just if you're. Ever needed. Just, it's a source for you to have it here and and so it's opening up conversation. So that's my update since my conversation with Amy. It cute to me in the pants and we've opened things up since then and I feel really good about it, so you can do it too.
Let this podcast episode be your kick in the pants to have your own conversations, get her talk sex talks with tweens. I think it's incredibly valuable whether, get it before your kids tweens so you can read up and even if you have a teenager, it was very helpful for me to realize all the things that we need to talk about.
And anyway, I. Can't say enough about it. So helpful. So I know you have friends who feel squeamish about this. Cause I'm a, I feel like I'm a pretty open person and I felt really squeamish about this. So if, you have some squeamish friends share this. Episode, share this episode on your social media.
Text it to your friends and let them know, and let it start a conversation between you. And then we're gonna keep kids safer. It's all for the good. We can get over a squishiness. Or the good of our kids, we can do it. If I can join, you can do it.
[00:53:40] Amy Lang: Okay. All
[00:53:41] Hunter: right. That's it. Thank you so much for listening.
I'm wishing you a fabulous week. I'm wishing you peace and ease and some uncomfortable conversations and I can't wait to talk to you again next week. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening. I wish you well.
[00:54:08] Amy Lang: I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will
[00:54:11] Hunter: change your relationship with your
[00:54:12] Amy Lang: kids for the better. It will help you communicate better and just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse, it's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.
It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children and feeling like. More with them and not feeling like you yelling all the time, or you're like, why isn't things working? I would say definitely into it. It's so worth it.
It'll change you no matter what age someone's child is. It's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to.
Everything in your Parenting,
[00:55:12] Hunter: are you frustrated by parent? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?
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This is an opportunity to really discover your unique lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go. Mindful Parenting course.com to add your name to the wait list, so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment.
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