Giving our children honest, up-to-date, age-appropriate, and accurate information about sexuality is one thing we can do to help them stay healthy as they grow up. If you start by talking with very young children whenever they ask questions or have concerns, and then continue the dialogue through adolescence, there’s a good chance they will hear what you are saying and continue to bring you their questions and concerns.
If you don’t know an answer or how to answer, tell your child you need to think about it and will answer very soon. If you’re uncomfortable discussing sex with your kids, ask someone you trust—a health professional, a relative, a friend or a clergy member—to talk for you.
—Robie Heilbrun Harris ’62
Harris (www.robieharris.com) has researched, written, and updated three award-winning children’s books on healthy sexuality, including It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health. She lives in Cambridge, Mass.