Melissa Joan Hart is having brave conversations with her teens about sex and we’re on board with her honesty.
As the actress and mother of three told People this week at Steven Tyler’s Grammy viewing party, tackling the sex talk with her sons, ages 16, 14, and 9, is multifaceted, considering their age differences. “I want them to feel like they can come to me with questions,” she told the outlet. “But I also don’t feel like I’m wanting them to feel like, ‘Oh my God, mom,’ close the ears and shy away because that’s a little creepy too if your mom tells you too much detail.”
Hart adds that her eldest “wants to know nothing” from his mom while her middle child will engage a little. “The little one is like, ‘Tell me everything…” she adds.
The Sabrina star has a good slant on this rite of passage. Addressing sex with adolescents or teens isn’t always a straightforward conversation about conception and factual information isn’t guaranteed, even from doctors. An American Academy of Pediatrics study from 2021 found that less than one third of adolescents discussed sex and reproductive health topics at their last checkup, which was “a missed opportunity for adolescents to receive screening, education, and guidance.”
And parents aren’t necessarily a resource— a 2020 paper by the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications said parents and kids in the study were embarrassed or uncomfortable around the discussion or wasn’t used to sex talk within their culture.
But no matter how parents have “the talk,” we all do it differently. When Kate Hudson was young, her mom Goldie Hawn led their conversation with honesty. “I said, ‘I want you to understand something about Mommy. I’m not a prude. I love sex,'” Hawn told People. And Jennifer Garner studied up before discussing sex with her daughters Seraphina and Violet. “I want them to see sex as something joyful, as a gift, as a celebration of love and of their bodies. And it makes me feel really cool and hippieish to think of it that way,” she told Time.
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard teach consent when speaking to their young daughters Lincoln and Delta. “I do not want my daughters to have sex so that they can get approval from somebody,” Dax said on his Armchair Expert podcast.
All the best to Hart as she crosses this path at home!
Here’s how some of our favorite celebs address “the talk” with their kids.