One of the hardest challenges of raising daughters is talking to them about sex, relationships, and their changing bodies. The discomfort factor can lead a lot of moms to put off such conversations, hoping that their daughters get enough information from sex ed class, books, or conversations with their pal. But there’s nothing like a mother’s voice in guiding girls towards appropriate decision-making (even if it seems that they never listen to you). Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever (Bayou Publishing, $14.95) offers the following tips for creating the proper settings to get the conversation flowing.
• Take a ride in the car listening to music. The lyrics can often trigger great dialogue.
• Take a meandering walk and let the conversation be just as freeform.
• Pick up your daughter after school and head to a local coffee house that has comfy seating and a quiet atmosphere.
• Knit together at a local knitting shop where the owners often have created cozy, quiet knitting corners. The atmosphere, along with the two of you keeping your hands busy with the knitting, can make conversation easier.
• Enroll in a yoga class together and get a smoothie afterward. Yoga is a great relaxer and will put you both in good moods.
• Have a “spa day” at home. Buy a facial mask and give each other manicures and pedicures.
• On a sunny spring or summer day, pack a picnic basket and head to a nearby park.
• Work out together. Side-by-side conversations on the treadmill mean that your daughter might tell you things that she wouldn’t if she had to look you directly in the eyes.