Welcome!

How can you keep your children sexually safe and healthy?

How can you give them accurate, age-appropriate information about sex that will protect them from predators and help them to live healthy, loving, satisfying lives?

I wrote The Sex-Wise Parent because I want parents to feel empowered with knowledge and facts. There's a lot you can do—from preschool years through young adulthood.

I hope you'll buy the book.

And I hope you'll come back to this site frequently for news and tips about sexual health and safety. We also welcome and address the questions faced by educators, policy, and law enforcement professionals committed to these concerns.

You'll also find updates about my appearances and workshops with parents and professionals across America discussing my book, The Sex Wise Parent. You can order a copy of the book online.

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Apr
20
2014

Don’t give a predator an advantage!

On a beautiful Sunday morning, I was enjoying a walk in a park, admiring the views, the gardens, the art and the variety of people, when something caught my eye and took my thoughts right back to work. A mom was strolling with her two young children and both kids had their first names written in huge letters on the back of their tie-dyed sweatshirts. I think this is a dangerous thing to do.  Twenty […]

Jan
28
2014

Create a winning team for safety in youth sports — with parents!

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Fall means soccer, winter brings basketball, and then finally we get to play baseball; so go the seasons of childhood. As parents, we idealize the gifts that youth sports can bring to kids such as improving physical fitness, learning about teamwork, and experiencing the thrill of victory. But the Sandusky tragedy reminds us that even people who seem to have our kids’ best interests at heart may not. Parental involvement with kids’ sports has always […]

Jan
16
2014

There’s still time to make the Golden Rule your family’s New Years resolution!

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A very long time ago, I found my three-year-old son standing by the wheel chair of a frail, older family member four generations his senior, saying in a taunting tone of voice, “My Mommy says I don’t have to kiss you if I don’t want to.” At a previous family gathering he had been terrified when she removed her dentures, and he still hadn’t recovered from the sight. Part of his recovery involved me letting […]

Nov
30
2013

The complicated job of choosing a book explaining sex to your child

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Kids need to learn about their bodies and sex; parents know that. But most parents struggle to find the right way to teach them. A good book, carefully chosen, can help you teach sexual   health and safety, but where to start to find the perfect book? The local branch of a chain bookstore had sections for pre-schoolers and teens. In the area for very young kids, I found a few books with catchy titles and […]

Nov
11
2013

What parents need to know about pornography and kids

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If your children have access to a device with Internet access — and it’s a good bet that they do — it’s an equally good bet they’ve been exposed to pornographic images. A major study found that almost all boys and two-thirds of girls over age 13 have been exposed to online porn. Most exposure happens between the ages of 14 and 17, but thousands of children 13 and younger are exposed to sexually explicit […]

Oct
26
2013

Helping kids understand the meaning of Halloween costumes

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  Parents are in the final throes of preparing for Halloween, buying candy, decorating their houses and in too many families fighting over costumes that make a parent cringe. Whether the costume makes a politically-incorrect statement (ask Julianne Hough) or projects an image you can’t stomach (Miley twerking, anyone?) Halloween can present some important teaching moments.  Even if you ultimately ban the costume with a strong “because I said so” you can get a few points across […]

Oct
21
2013

A Sex Educator and a Parent: My essay for “Rage Against the Mini-Van” Mommy-blog

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As a sex educator, I’m used to being the odd person out. Unless hanging out with colleagues, I’m usually the only person in a group who will speak frankly about sexuality issues.  As a grad student, I’d get annoyed when peers spread misinformation and I’d freely offer corrections.  Luckily, I found an outlet working as a health educator and got paid for my advice and opinion. I recall providing workshops for foster parents struggling to […]

Oct
17
2013

All too often, bullying can begin at home!

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It’s heartbreaking to read about the death of Rebecca Sedgewick, the little girl who killed herself after bullies convinced her that her life was not worth living.  We  might imagine bullies as queen bees, mean girls or privileged jocks and like any stereotype there can be a grain of truth in those images.   But all too often, bullying begins at home.   A 2009 study found that “both sibling bullying and sibling victimization were associated with bullying […]

Sep
24
2013

What Parents Need to Know: The one “fact of life” that kids must learn early

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No matter how much discipline we try to exert over our bodies, in some ways they’re just going to do what they’re going to do. We breathe, we have reflexes, when we’re scared our bodies make ready to fight or flee.  And anyone who has ever diapered a boy baby has probably seen a tiny erection, a reflexive physical reaction. It is absurd to think that a baby’s genital feelings are sexual — babies have […]

Sep
17
2013

A lesson for parents from a pedophile

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A convicted child molester in Florida recently contacted a tv station to tell how he had succeeded in abusing two young girls in the same family over a two-year period, and several others in the same community. It’s hard to say why he came forward now (you can read about it here), and it’s hard to know how much of his story is true, but I worked with pedophiles as a counselor early in my career and interviewed others researching my book  for my book for parents, and his remarks certainly ring true to me. He offers one lesson you can take to the bank: Earning the children’s trust was easy because “If they believe that you will listen to them they start […]

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