Men's Health Australia

THE NEW RULES OF “THE TALK”

YOU NEED TO have “the talk”, and you need to have it before they go, my wife, Mary, implored. We’d recently moved west and our two sons, 14 and 12, were due to fly back to their hometown for a visit. Once there, they’d spend a month with their childhood friends, by far the longest they’d ever gone without our heli-parenting. The older boy had hit puberty, adding a ruler-length in height and amusing us with voice-breaks.

A few nights later, on another gloomy afternoon here on the coast, he and I sat together on our back deck, and I began what I assured him would be an awkward but necessary conversation. Lately, he’d been asserting himself as a freethinker,

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