TALKING TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX
Teenagers and sex is one issue all parents have to face sooner or later.
But when is the right time to raise the subject of teenagers and sex and who should do it.
If you’re beginning to have concerns about your teenager and sex, here are a few pointers.
Teenagers & Sex – is Your Teen Thinking About Sex
Many of us prefer to pretend our teens are not thinking about sex, but you were a teen once yourself, and at what age did you become interested in sex?
The same questions, fascinations, fantasies and myths that you experienced, you can be sure your teen is going through the same thing.
Whether your teen is sexually active or just thinking about it, sex should not be a taboo subject in your home but something your teen can come to you and talk about if he or she needs honest advice.
What is the Right Age to Talk about Sex?
There is no right age to talk about sex.
The subject of sex should be something of an ongoing conversation and if you child is old enough to ask, then generally they are old enough to know.
This does not mean you have a sexually explicit conversation with your three year old about where babies come from, it means you answer the question on his or her level of understanding knowing that as time progresses you can expand on the details as is appropriate.
When it comes to teenagers and sex there is the question of how much do they know and how much do they need to know versus what you want them to know.
In reality, there are just too many places for your teen to get information about sex including the misguided and often incorrect revelations they will pick up from their friends.
So ask yourself the question.
Would you rather your teen thinking they are unable to become pregnant on their first sexual experience, or would you prefer to make talking about teenagers and sex something that is natural for both you and your teen?
Teenagers & Sex – Things to Discuss with your Teen
The subject of teenagers and sex can be equally embarrassing for teen and parent, but it doesn’t have to be so.
The main thing is to not make a big issue of it and make it a topic that your teen feels comfortable discussing with you.
Teenagers and Sex – Things You Should Talk to Your Teen About
• Everybody’s Having Sex Except Me.
Teenage boys and girls often feel under pressure to become sexually active because they believe their friends are.
Talk to your teenager about the intimacy of a sexual relationship and the importance of sharing it with someone special, especially the first time.
• Alcohol and Drugs
Warn your teens about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Make them aware that if they are under the influence of either it will affect their ability to think clearly making it easier for people to force them into comprising situations.
• Unprotected Sex
Make sure your teen is clear that the only guaranteed way to prevent pregnancy or getting a sexually transmitted disease is abstinence.
Impress upon your teen the importance of practicing safe sex and the need to always make use of a condom.
Your teen needs to know that having unprotected sex just once can lead to pregnancy, genital herpes, genital warts, HIV and AIDS none of which can be cured.
• What Constitutes ‘Real Sex’
Ensure that your teen knows that oral sex and anal sex is real sex and subject to the same risks as penetrative sex.
Teenagers & Sex – Talking About it and How
Teenagers and sex is not a subject you should seek to avoid but one you should discuss with your teenager and be relieved that they feel able to come to you and talk about it.
Do all you can to continually improve your teens confidence and raise their self esteem as this will be the best defense in their ability to not give in to peer pressure.
Equip your teenager with the correct information. This will empower them making it impossible for others to try an undermine them.
Your teen will have their own opinions on teenagers and sex and with the right guidance from you no one will be able to force them to become sexually active before they are ready to do so.
For additional information see Facts For Families:
#31 When Children Have Children
#30 Children and AIDS
# 9 Child Sexual Abuse, and
#63 Gay and Lesbian Teens.
See also: Your Child (1998 Harper Collins)/Your Adolescent (1999 Harper Collins).
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