The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #50: Mom, It’s Time We Had the Talk

This is Amanda and her son Callum. Callum is 8.


Last summer, when their neighbor became pregnant, Callum was overcome with questions: Where do babies come from? How does sex work? But where does the baby come out?

Of course, he brought those questions to the most logical person: his mom.

But Amanda didn’t want to give Callum the version of “the talk” that she got from her mom—a single mortifying conversation at the age of 12. Instead, she wanted to engage Callum in an ongoing dialogue about sex. And ongoing is what she got. Now, sex is Callum’s favorite topic of conversation. Which leaves Amanda talking about sex all day long.


Callum finds creative ways of working sex into everyday conversation. For example, when he and his mom were drawing map of their town, he added a “sex bar” (see above), which he says is where people go for “romance.” These sorts of things baffle Amanda and leave her feeling like she’s constantly needing to help Callum refine his definition of sex.

Listen to this episode to hear a mom having a real live birds and the bees talk with her son. Plus, Callum’s silly songs about sex, and the sex metaphor that Amanda sternly asks him to revise.

Also in this show: your answers to your childhood misconceptions about sex.

Resources for talking to your kids about sex
Amanda is a librarian, and she helped us put together a list of books for both parents and kids that should help those dreaded talks go smoother, including the one she gave Callum: It’s So Amazing! by Robie Harris. So check that out.

And here are some online resources we like.

One thing Amanda found herself having to discuss with Callum way earlier than she’d expected is the concept of consent. The Good Men Project created a guide on how to discuss consent with your kids at any age.

Listeners recommend Birds + Bees + Kids, which has videos, webinars, and an extensive list of resources about talking to kids about sex. For teens, check out Scarleteen and Rookie’s Sex + Love section.

And if you’re looking for a sex therapist or educator near you, you can find one at AASECT.

How have you talked to your kids about sex?
What worked? What didn’t? Did they bring it up? Did you? Details, please. Also, your favorite resources. Can never have enough.

Photo of Amanda: Jun-Kai Teoh

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