If the kids are going to learn a few lessons through video, better it be from What Kids Want to Know About Sex and Growing Up, than from that copy of On Golden Blond you have hidden behind the VCR. Hosted by two teens (Z Wright and Stephanie Yu), this hour-long program (which is also airing as a 3-2-1 Contact special this month on PBS) uses explicit animation and frank discussions with high-comfort-level sex-education counselors to explain how both boys and girls mature physically — and how they’ll want to act once they do. The kids on camera ask questions about everything from wet dreams to menstruation to sexual intercourse, including safe sex. Intended for kids 8 and older, the program defines some sexual slang that grade-schoolers may hear on the playground, but words that double as curses are discreetly left out; you’ll have to explain those yourself. In fact, you’ll probably want to talk with your kids before and/or after they see this tape (what child wants to see illustrations of sex organs with Mom and Dad in the room?).
Speaking of embarrassment, you’ll be relieved to know that the tape has a section on how parents can help their kids deal with sex, so the kids can see that this subject is tough for you, too. A-