Talking to your kids about birth control may be an uncomfortable situation but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of ways to set the stage for an inviting conversation, so don’t put it off. It’s better to start the conversation early, even if you don’t think—or know—that your teen is sexually active. The goal is to make sure they are ready when the moment does happen.
Look for Teachable Moments
There is less pressure put on you and your teen if birth control is brought up naturally. If the TV show you’re watching together mentions using condoms, mention the importance of condoms to protect against unwanted pregnancy and STIs. Even if it came up casually, your teen will still remember this moment and know you are available to talk in the future.
Image Nicki Varkevisser
Listen carefully when your teen is talking to you. They may mention relationships or certain details during everyday conversation that hint that they are ready to have the talk. This applies to when you do have the talk with them, as well. Give them your undivided attention and listen when they talk back—you’ll be able to pick up on what they already know and what they still need to learn.
Don’t Limit Them
It may be very important to you that you’re the one to deliver the birds and the bees talk to your teen, but it can be useful for them to talk to others, such as an older sibling, relative or friend if they have a sex-related question. Don’t be offended if this is the case. Instead, look at as a positive that your teen is reaching out and wants to make safe choices. Help them out by offering suggestions of good people to talk to.
If you and your teen decide birth control is a good option, offer to go with them to the clinic or front the bill for condoms and contraceptives. Seeing a doctor about birth control can be scary and is likely a new experience for your teen, so having a parent’s support will be important. Being in the room will also fill you in on any decisions made and let you ask any questions you may have.
Featured image Writing on the Mall