Q&A: Must I Have the Sex Talk with My Son?

Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman on why mothers are as capable as fathers to discuss sex with preteen sons.

Q. My 10-year-old son is asking me a lot of questions about sex. I managed okay with our daughter but was hoping my husband could handle this one. My son says he feels more comfortable talking to me. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Here's the deal: If your son wants to talk, you talk. Yes, it can be awkward. My personal favorite, from one of my boys, is, "Wait, do people have sex even when they don't want a baby? Why would they do that? Do you and Dad do that?" Even if you're blushing, tell your son how glad you are that he approached you, and reassure him that you're happy to discuss whatever is on his mind.

But when the conversation is winding down say, "I also want you to feel good about going to your father, so next time the two of you are hanging out, ask him your questions too." Then privately let your husband know he's on deck.

Originally published in the August 2010 issue of Family Covers magazine.