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Sex Talk Tips for Parents

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February 17th, 2009

  1. Teens need accurate information and decision-making skills to help protect them from pressure to have sex, unintended pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  2. If talking with your teen about sex is difficult for you, admit it. Keep a sense of humor.
  3. Use TV, movies, articles, and real-life situations such as a friend’s pregnancy to begin talking about sex.
  4. Share your values regarding sex. If you believe a person should save having sex until marriage, say so. Accept that your teen may choose to have sex despite your values.
  5. Don’t assume that if your teen asks questions about sex, he or she is necessarily thinking about having sex.
  6. Ask your teen what he or she wants to know about sex. If you don’t know an answer, admit it. Find answers with your teen in books or other resources.
  7. Talk with your teen about reasons to wait to have sex. Remind your teen that he or she can choose to wait (abstain) even if he or she has had sex before.
  8. Reassure your teen that not everyone is having sex and that it is okay to be a virgin. The decision to become sexually active is too important to be based on what other people think or do.
  9. Talk with your teen about ways to handle pressure from others to have sex. To feel comfortable talking openly with you, your teen needs to know that you will not punish him or her for being honest.
  10. Leave age-appropriate articles or books about teenage sexuality around your home (see Resources). Teens will pick them up on their own and read them.
  11. Your first talk with your teen about sex should not be your last! Talk with your teen about sex on an ongoing basis. Let your teen know that you are always willing to talk about any question or concern he or she may have about sex.

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