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Talking to your teenager about sex

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Talking to your teenager about sex is probably a subject not every parent feels comfortable talking about, but with the increase of teenage pregnancies and spread of sexually transmitted diseases, talking to your teenager about sex is really important and keeping channels of communication open at all times will enable your teen to feel they can speak to you about any concerns. For some parents, talking about sex with their kids will be perfectly natural but if for you it’s a little awkward, try different approaches to the subject which will suit you and your teen best.

Opening conversation

You might want to wait until they ask about something sex or relationship related and use it as a platform for further discussion. If they can see you are willing to talk openly, they will be more likely to ask questions or confide in you. If for example they mention condoms, ask if they know what they are and how they should be used correctly, where they can get them from and the benefits of safe sex. Try not to be shocked or disapproving of anything they might say or criticize them, this may make them less inclined to talk to you in the future.

Little and often

You don’t have to make it a big deal, most teens probably would get rather embarrassed if their parents sat them down at the dining room table and announced they need to have ‘the talk’! Make it a subject that’s never off limits and talk about it little and often. Even if your child hasn’t reached their teenage years, the subject is bound to come up at some point so have little chats before so it’s never made out to be a ‘big deal’.Talking to your teenager about sex

TV programs which have a story line that might be relevant can often be used to open conversations with your teen. Ask them their opinions on the subject, what they may do in a similar situation. Listen to what they have to say and try not to be judgemental. Let them know that you’re happy to answer any questions they may have and can talk to you about anything.

School and friends

You can ask your child what they are learning about at school with regards to sex and relationships. Ask them if they think the sex education lessons are any good, have they answered all their questions or is there anything that still isn’t clear? Ask about their friends and how they feel about it. There may be a teenager that is pregnant in school or you know of a young mum – that could be a good topic to open with and discuss. You could speak to them about your concerns when you were their age, your fears of getting pregnant or waiting to find the right person. Ask if their friends are claiming to be sexually active and how your child feels about that?

Contraception

Check they know about contraception and the different types available and how they all work. You might suggest they carry condoms with them if they are sexually active and if you have a daughter you might want to discuss the various forms of contraception specifically for girls such as the pill, injections, coil or implants. For parents of daughters, one of the biggest worries will be unwanted pregnancies but it is also just as important to discuss sexually transmitted infections and the importance of using different forms of contraception to stay safe i.e condoms as well as the pill.

Ask your teen if they know what the different types of infections are, the symptoms and effects they can have if not treated. If your teen feels they are responsible enough to start having sex, they should also be responsible enough to use contraception.

Sexuality

You should also talk about sexuality and whether your teen feels they may be gay or bisexual. They might feel totally confused with emotions and hormones but regardless of their sexuality, they should still know about practicing safe sex and that as a parent you will love them unconditionally, no matter what their sexual preference is.

You should listen to your teen’s opinions on the subject and when they feel they might be ready to have sex. You could ask them whether they feel it’s important to wait until they are in a steady relationship with someone they care about and who cares about them and ensure they don’t feel pressured into having sex because they think they should or because their friends are. Often they may think all their mates are at it when they really aren’t.Talking to your teenager about sex

Making the right choices

You should empower your teen and give them the confidence in themselves to trust their own decisions and only do what they feel comfortable doing and when they want to.It’s probably a subject not every parent feels comfortable talking about with their teenager, but with the increase of teenage pregnancies and spread of sexually transmitted diseases, talking to your teen about sex is really important and keeping channels of communication open at all times will enable your teen to feel they can speak to you about any concerns. For some parents, talking about sex with their kids will be perfectly natural but if for you it’s a little awkward, try different approaches to the subject which will suit you and your teen best.

 

 

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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