- The "sex talk" does not have to be a certain time and place. Think of this important topic as an ongoing conversation as opportunities arise as you are watching movies, listening to music, observing a commercial, or the hearing something on the news. Keep the conversation lines open so opportunies are not missed.
- Seize the Moment, as the Mayo Clinic, says, when you hear a topic come up during the day, via tv, books, music, etc.. Use that moment as a kickstart to a conversation the next time you are alone with your teen... Maybe a ride in the car, doing dishes, outdoor chores, etc
- Be open and honest with your child. It is ok, that you do not have all the answers. Dont be afraid to tell them that you are not sure, and maybe look the answers up together. You will gain respect and your own knowledge!
- Listen, Listen, Listen... Just like all communication with your youth/teen, dont just lecture, listen and respect their feelings. Listen to their challenges, worries, and concerns. Don't forget, if you are a respectful listener, guess who will come back to you in the time of challenges? You got it... They wont feel the need to hide their actions or troubles.
- Be very specific on certain areas such as oral sex, intercourse, and the risks for sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancies and the emotional toll engaging in sex can have.
- Let your youth know that they are always welcome to come to you with any questions or concerns regarding sex, and you will listen and be there for them. This type of openness will invite more conversation.
Common topics that may come up for conversation are :
- How will I know if I am ready for sex? There are many factors that can come into play that may make teenagers feel pressured into having sex such as peer pressure-curiosity and lonliness. Let your teenager, know that sexual intercouse in for when people are at a mature age, and that is i OK to wait. There are many things that you can do in place of sex. Taking nice long walks with great conversation and laughter, going to movies and events, dancing, kissing, touching, hugging, holding hands, listening to music, joining church teen groups, volunteering etc..
- My boyfriend wants to have sex and I dont want to!- NO means NO at all times. Sex should never be performed under pressure for fear. Any forced sex is rape regardless if the aggressor is a stranger or someone that has been dating the vicim. Let them also know that drugs and alcohol impair judgements and reduce inhibitions that lead to the higher rates of date rape.
- What if I think I'm Gay?- Let your child know that it is common for many teens to wonder if they are gay or bisexual and that they are just starting to understand their sexual attraction. Make sure that your teenager knows that you will always love them unconditionally, give them a hug and praise them for coming to you with these concerns.
Talking with your teen about sex. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://patiented.aap.org/content.aspx?aid=5059. Accessed Nov. 1, 2011.