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How to Choose a Sex-Ed Program

The best way to talk to your kids about sex is to be open and honest.

Sex is a topic that parents struggle with when talking to their kids. It doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out process. Here's what some parents ask and what I suggest.

Lisa Blaisdell: What are the most important elements to look for in a sex-education program for my kids?

Jill Greer: One one proven way of helping our children make healthy and responsible decisions about sex is by having positive communication with them. I would suggest finding a program that you and your child can participate in together. Sex education is more than teaching kids the facts. It is important for kids to feel they can communicate openly and honestly with their parents. Most parents want to be their child’s primary source of information regarding sex, but most parents admit they have difficulty with the topic. Finding a program that bridges the gap between the desire to talk with children and the discomfort discussing the topic is important. Additionally, find a program that meets your needs.  Start by examining what your sexual values and beliefs are, and find a program that is consistent with that. I believe the best programs teach the facts but remain relatively value-neutral, allowing parents the opportunity to discuss their beliefs and expectations with their children.

Lauri Wilson: How do I define the word “sexy” to my 11-year-old daughter? She seems to think of it as a “bad” word.                                                                           

Jill Greer: Dictionary.com lists the following definitions for sexy:

 1. Concerned predominantly or excessively with sex; risqué: a sexy novel.

2.  Sexually interesting or exciting; radiating sexuality: the sexiest professor on campus.

3. Excitingly appealing; glamorous: a sexy new car.

I would suggest discussing these definitions with her and explaining that some people might consider "sexy" an inappropriate word for children to use but that it has several meanings and can be used in different ways, some of which are perfectly acceptable.

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