Depending on your personal background with puberty, sex and the often avoided topic of masturbation, having open conversations with your kids on these topics may feel daunting.

You may want to avoid it or get “the talk” over and done with as quickly as possible. Or maybe your kids are really young and you don’t want to think about it right now. My guests Mary Flo Ridley and Megan Michelson walk us through why starting early talking with our kids about body awareness and establishing our family story about sex is so important.

What we’re trying to get rid of is this idea that this is a one-time conversation in parenting. The world that we are raising our kids in has changed so drastically that the way we as parents talk about sex has to change drastically as well. We can have multiple age appropriate conversations and a little-by-little approach where we establish a conversation pattern where we are the loving authority in our child’s life on this topic.

They have great book recommendations and advice on talking with your pediatrician so you know when puberty is imminent for each child. We cover ways to pursue conversations with your kids and how to talk to them calmly without overreacting.

Finally, we dive into the deeper waters of talking to your older children about masturbation, dealing with our emotional baggage when it comes to sex and how to strike the difficult balance of teaching what is normal and beneficial.

We’re hearing from a lot of youth ministers and pastors that work with college kids that this is an epidemic of a great addiction. So there needs to be more of a warning of how this is normal, but not beneficial. That why it’s such a difficult topic. You can say, yes, honey, this is absolutely normal. You’re learning about your body and how it works, but it can become a habit of comfort. And if this is where you go when you’re upset or when you’re angry, if this is how you comfort yourself, then this is not beneficial to you in your future.

What we chat about :

  • Introducing Mary Flo Ridley and Megan Michelson from
  • Why we need to have consistent, intentional talks with our kids when they are young to lay the foundation for them to learn about sex and their bodies from us as parents
  • Starting with our young kids will make the conversations leading up and into puberty less awkward
  • Giving your child space to read an age-appropriate book on puberty and changes and chatting with them about it
  • Books and resources the Mary and Megan recommend so you can have a game plan to stay ahead of where your kids is developmentally
  • Talking with your pediatrician about puberty and where your child is in the process
  • Pursuing these conversations even if your child wants to avoid them
  • Using a matter-of-fact, calm tone when we talk about touching their bodies and not overreacting
  • Addressing masturbation. Normalize the behavior, but talk about how it isn’t beneficial for it to be a habit or a comfort measure
  • These hard topics of puberty aren’t just one-time conversations, we want to keep an open dialogue and focus on relationship over rules
  • Masturbation can train you in selfish and false intimacy which will affect your future relationships
  • Bringing these topics to the light takes away the guilt and shame

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