Having “The Talk” with your teen can be a great source of stress for you as the parent, and a source of awkward and uncomfortable feelings for your teen. But it is important to have this discussion because your teen will seek out information from the Internet and from their peers. So when is the best time to start talking with your teen about sex?
Breaking the Ice
The books your teen reads and the shows they are watching are full of explicit material. Because of this, your teen knows more than you realize, so the sooner you start the dialogue, the better. Not sure how to bring up the topic? Pay attention to the books your teen reads or the TV shows they watch. Recently, I was watching Pretty Little Liars on Netflix. The show is geared towards teens, but there are several scenes that involve the main characters having sex during their high school years and one character dates her English teacher. Watching the shows your teens watch and hitting the pause button following an applicable scene is the perfect time to start the dialogue. Ask your teen to share his or her thoughts and opinions. Ask them if they have any questions about sex. Here are a few things to keep in mind when talking about sex with your teen:
- Your teen has questions about sex. You are the best person to answer their questions.
- Be open and honest about sex including oral sex, pregnancy and STD’s.
- Avoid judgment and criticism. Your teen will shut down if they feel they are being judged or criticized for their feelings.
- If you don’t know the answer to one of the questions, that’s okay. Be honest with them.
- Help your teen understand the consequences of having sex at a young age.
- Be open-minded.
- Avoid making the conversation tense. Relax and use your sense of humor.
Why Should It Come From You? The bottom line, your teen has questions and they will seek out answers from unreliable sources such as their peers and/or the Internet. You are the best person to help them. Talking about sex should not be limited to one conversation. Touch base with your teen about the topic and keep the dialogue open. Are you struggling with talking to your teen about sex? Contact me to schedule an appointment and let me provide you with guidance and support as you work with your teen.