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Every year, I seem to get at least one phone call from a panic-stricken mom with a child in the fourth grade. It usually goes something like this (in a flustered whisper), "Help!! My precious, innocent little [insert child's name] just came home from school and told me that one of her friends told her what sex is.

When I asked her what she was told, her description included words like 'under the sheets,' 'wiggling,' and 'poking.' She seems upset and scared. Now what do I do?!?!"

That's the reality with late elementary age children. There will always be some kids in the class that have older siblings who have shared "the big secret" about sex. Or perhaps there's a precocious child who has developed his or her own definition...

One of our most frequently asked questions is, “When do we have the talk… You know, the sex talk.” The Girlology mantra, as well as my own, has always been eight is great. Great, that is, until this year when my youngest daughter’s eighth birthday was fast approaching.

She’s less mature than her sister was at that age, a circumstance that seems to be a common concern in many families.

Before either girl had turned eight, a friend shared a touching story about how she and her husband explained the secrets of life to their daughter on this birthday. It sounded magical and informative, such a well-rounded success, her father and I thought we’d do the same. We began with the facts, since that is where most magic is rooted,...