For many parents, it’s the dreaded topic to discuss with their teens: sex. It’s still an important one to address and there are ways you can approach it to make the situation less uncomfortable. Here are a few things that to avoid when discussing sex with your teen.
1. Avoid Putting it Off
Studies show that parents who talk to their teens about sex, birth control and relationships have a significant impact. These conversations lead to teens beginning to have sex at an older age, practicing safe sex when they do and having better communication within their relationships. By avoiding the topic of sex, you’re making it an “unknown” that your teen might want to explore unsafely or making it a “taboo” that they won’t know how to approach openly or maturely when the time comes.
2. Avoid Extreme Reactions
“You did what?!” “You’re thinking about that?!” Reacting strongly with extreme anger, disapproval or surprise can quickly put an end to a conversation with your teen about any topic—sex included. Instead, it’s better to remain calm, ask clarifying questions and let your teen share their entire perspective or circumstance. As much as you may want to, you can’t control your teen’s actions so it’s better to approach sexuality from a place of guidance and support as much as possible.
3. Avoid Making Assumptions
Be sure to hear your teen out when approaching the subject of sex and ask questions for clarity. Don’t assume what their thoughts, understandings or experiences are. This goes for their friends, too—try to avoid making assumptions about what their friends are or aren’t doing in regards to sex. Instead, it’s best to talk to your teen, trust them and guide them as much as you can to make safe and healthy choices.
Although it may be difficult to bring up the topic of sex with your teen, it is extremely important. Discussing how to practice safe sex will lead to more positive choices in the future.
Featured image Carolina Ponce