Depending on where you live your teen may not have had comprehensive sex ed in school. You know; multiple classes that teach abstinence as the best method for avoiding STDs and unintended pregnancy, but also includes discussions about condoms and birth control. Let’s be honest, even with class instruction, your teen may not understand EVERYTHING they need to know to make informed choices when it comes to sex.
So this is where you come in. Talking with your teen about sex doesn’t have to be awkward or intrusive. As a nurse who works with young adults, I can say with certainty, your kid still wants your input with their decision-making, even about sex. You might think that talking with your teen about sex will give them the green light to “do the deed.” WRONG. In fact, research actually shows the opposite.Teens who talk with their parents about sex are more likely to postpone the act and ultimately, that is what you want, isn’t it?
Ready to the plunge?
Here are 5 tips to acing “The Talk” with your teen:
Honesty is the Best Policy
Your teen wants to know the truth. Now, you may not be comfortable sharing ALL the details about sex. To keep it 100, you might feel hella awkward and that’s ok. Let them know! I’m sure it might be a tad uncomfortable for them to discuss intimate acts with their mom. My point is, be as open and honest as you can. If you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s ok to say you don’t know. This gives you the opportunity to do a little research or you can use this as a teachable moment and look up answer together with your teen.
Explain Fact from Fiction
Talking with your teen about sex gives them accurate information about sex and sexuality. Face it, your kid might be hearing information about STD’s, birth control and relationships from less-than-credible sources like social media, random internet sites, or their friends. You can take steps to ensure the information your teen is getting is factual and medically accurate.
Need a couple of go-to sites?
Check out The CDC or The American Academy of Pediatrics. They have great resources. Don’t forget to touch on feelings, attitudes and values on how these impact a sexual relationship during your conversations.
Don’t Be all Preachy
Ladies, do remember this is a discussion. Don’t talk at your teen and certainly don’t go into lecture mode. Oh, and scare tactics- also off-limits. Instead ask questions and more importantly, listen carefully. Try to become more understanding of your teen’s everyday pressures, challenges, and concerns.
Keep Your Sense of Humor
It’s perfectly acceptable to laugh during the conversation. Throw in a couple of jokes to keep the mood light and prevent it from becoming too tense and uncomfortable. This will help your teen open up for a more meaningful conversation.
*** Bonus Tip***
Keep the Conversation Going
I’m sure you already know this, but it’s important to have these conversations early and often. You don’t have to wait for the perfect moment to have “The Talk.” I mean, is there such a thing?
Praise your teen for sharing his or her feelings. Even if you think they aren’t interested in what you have to say. Say it anyway! Even if they don’t show it, chances are they are listening.
How do you initiate conversation about sex going with your kids? Comment below and don’t forget to subscribe!