Sex is a touchy topic for many teens and parents, but it’s an important one to discuss. Your teen is going through a lot of changes in their body, and they may be unsure of how to handle the hormones they are experiencing. Here are some tips for talking to your teen about sex.
Start by Finding Out What They Know
Empower your teen by offering more questions than answers. This can be difficult, as you might want to tell your teen exactly what to do to in order to keep them safe. Instead, try to engage your teen by asking them how they feel about what they see in the media, how they are dealing with changes in their body or what they understand about certain topics. Then allow them to ask you questions. This creates a platform for a dialogue, rather than a lecture.
Don’t be afraid to be practical. Talk about specific options, such as birth control or condoms. Teens who are more well-informed about these details are likely to wait longer to have sex and practice it safely when they do.
Answer the questions they ask truthfully and with helpful information. Don’t just provide them with half-truths that you think will discourage them from having sex. If you don’t have the answer to a question—be honest! Let your teen know that you can look it up and get back to them. Also be honest about your feelings towards your teen. Let them know that you want the best for them and want them to be safe and happy.
Let Go of Control
This might be the hardest obstacle to overcome, but as you talk to your teen about sex, it’s important to learn to let go of your sense or need for control over them. Try as you might, you do not have control over your teen’s sexual experiences. What you can do is provide them with helpful information to keep them safe and give them a sense of security if they need to talk to someone.
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