Adolescence is a tumultuous time with a myriad of physical, emotional and developmental changes. A teenager goes through a sea of changes at this time. As a parent, you have to understand your teen and help him or her go through this difficult phase. One of the most difficult discussions at this time is sex education. It is not only complicated but requires skills on the part of you, as a parent so that your teen feels comfortable enough to have this discussion with you.
So to make your job a little easier, read on for
11 Tips on How to Talk to Your Teen about Sex
Starting the discussion
Getting your teen to talk about sex is not going to be easy. So you should try to use every opportunity to get the conversation started. One of the ways to being this talk in a natural way is to look for a starting point. For example, an intimate scene in a movie or television serial may be used as a beginning point to start talking about intimacy and love relationships.
Do not be hesitant to broach the topic of sex
Parents themselves are usually reluctant to talk about sex themselves. Some parents believe talking about this taboo topic will lead to teens having sex or indulging in promiscuous behavior. On the contrary, talking is the way to dispel myths and misinformation about sex that a teen is exposed to through social media and friends’ conversations.
Talk in a casual and natural manner
Since sex is such a controversial issue, it is uncomfortable for parents to talk about it. Talking about sex or intimacy in hushed tones or talking your teen not to talk about such things, will be counterproductive. Be comfortable and talk frankly to your teen about sex so that they also approach the issue of sex in a casual and natural way. Shrouding the topic of sex with secrecy makes a teen feel that there is something ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ about sex. Sex should be treated as a normal part of life, without making it a hush – hush issue.
Honesty is the best policy
A lot of information is conveyed about sex to a teen via social media, friends and television advertisements or online content. This information may not always be accurate and may give teens misleading ideas about sex. So when you talk to your teen, try to give correct and accurate information as far as possible. And answer all questions posed by your teen with candor and sincerity, without hiding the facts.
Use real life examples
You can talk to your teen about people in real life as examples of good relationships and healthy sex habits. Taking the example of known people with good relationships, you can explain to your child that sex completes one’s close relationship with another person. Married people with happy relationships such as the teen’s parents, aunts and uncles or family friends can be used as examples.
Sex is only one part of intimacy
In a teenager’s limited life experience, sex may seem to be the most important part of any relationship. Try to explain to your teen that sex is only one part of a relationship and many other factors contribute to a healthy and long lasting relationship as well. For example, you can use your own life as an example of how a relationship with a partner is made complete with not only sex, but also love and consideration.
Look out for a appropriate talk time
If your teen is worried about an exam or tired after a school day, he or she will not be interested in discussion a sensitive issue like sex. Look out for a time when your teen is stress free such as on a weekend or during holidays. Family trips, car drives or just relaxed television time can be used a perfect conversation times with your child.
Respect your teen
A teen is not an adult, but wishes to be treated like one. Respect your teen’s opinions and viewpoints. Let him or her express his or her views freely, without fear of being humiliated. Often, a teen’s viewpoints will clash with yours. However, let your teen communicate his or her feelings and then gently put forward your viewpoint.
Listening is the key
Listening is always more important that talking, when it comes to teens. A teen usually has strong opinions about his or her friends and people in life, so let them articulate their emotions. Once they are done speaking, wait for your teen to ask for your viewpoint. Then offer your perspective in a casual manner. Listening to a hundred statements patiently will reap rich dividends as you provide a safe space for your teen to express his or her views, giving you insight into his or her thoughts about sex.
Explain the importance of waiting
A teen feels that his or her friends are sexually experienced so he or she feels pressure. Explain the importance of waiting for the right time in the relationship to have sex. Further, having sex for the right reasons is important, rather than because of peer pressure.
What to talk about?
The first few times you talk to your teen about sex, it will mainly be an exploratory talk. This means understanding how much your teen knows about sex and his or her views on it. Gradually, you can address more crucial issues such as – being comfortable with one’s sexuality, the birth process, birth control, date rape, HIV/AIDS and sexual abuse.
As a parent of a teen, it is important to understand that a teen is halfway to being an adult. Teens have strong opinions of them and do not always take kindly to their parents’ advice. However, this should not be a deterrent to you, as a parent, and you should persist with your efforts to provide sex education to your teen. You are the best person to provide accurate sex information to your child because you always have your teen’s best interests in mind.
Knowledge is power; endow your teen with this power s soon as possible!