Mayim Bialik is answering all the questions every young girl has about growing up in her new book, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular – but how does she talk to her own sons about puberty?
The Big Bang Theory star and neuroscientist tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, “We’ve always spoken to our children very frankly and in biologically appropriate terms.”
“We don’t want them to have shame about their bodies or fear about women’s bodies,” says Bialik. “While we tend to be a pretty socially conservative house in terms of how we dress and how we talk about modesty for boys and girls, we’re very matter of fact with them. We know that a daddy cell meets a mommy cell and all those things. ”
Bialik – who shares sons Frederick, 8, and Miles, 11, with ex Michael Stone – addresses female puberty taboos, as well as teen sexuality, body image and stress in Girling Up.
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The guide to how girls grow up was, in part, inspired by Bialik’s own youth as a “late bloomer,” and, she says, being “raised in a house where no one talked about any of this stuff.”
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Now, as a trained science communicator, Bialik says she approaches things with her kids matter-of-factly.
“[They] know all about genetic signaling, and when sex is determined and we’ve talked about the hormonal basis for gender identity and things like that,” she tells PEOPLE.
“And they have plenty of questions – my ex-husband tells me they only ask me and he’s grateful for that. I’ll text him late at night, like, ‘Guess what I was just asked!’ and he’s like, ‘They don’t ask me those things.’ ”
And, luckily, keeping things “frank” seems to have worked. Says Bialik, “Miles was my first editor!”
Bialik’s book, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular, is on sale now.
For more from Mayim Bialik, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.