When should you talk to kids about sex?

Clara Chow

Ask my almost-10-year-old son, and he will vouch that my timing has always been terrible.

Take, for instance, that time I decided to read him and his younger brother, 6, a book about puberty while they were having breakfast. Flipping through It’s Perfectly Normal, Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley’s classic text on growing up and sexual health, I read aloud bullet points on how their bodies change as they become young men.

“Body sweats more,” I intoned seriously.

“Eww,” said the almost-10-year- old, his spoonful of Coco Pops in mid-air.

“Hair grows in the armpits,” I went on, undeterred. He rolled his eyes.

“Hair grows on chest,” I finished, triumphantly.

“Mummy!” he protested. Next to him, his younger brother’s shoulders shook with silent giggles at…

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