Talking to Teens about Sex
Talking to teens about sex is not easy. Sex and sexuality are some of the most significant and impactful conversations we can have with our kids. Therefore, parents must take a deliberate and considerate approach when discussing sex.
You might be lucky enough for your adolescent to approach you directly with inquiries. You’ll need to take advantage of talking points as they arise. It might happen as you’re listening to a well-known song about a failed relationship. It could be when you catch your child’s eyes lighting up when they spot someone they find attractive. Or perhaps it will happen when you suspect your kid might be sexually active. Although we hope you have “the talk” before it occurs, here are all the things you should keep in mind when talking about sex.
Sex Talk or Ongoing Conversation about Sex?
Let’s not pretend that discussions about sex and sexuality are easy, although we recognize their fundamental necessity. That means that you will probably not be able to cover all sex-related topics in one talk. That puts the subject under far too much pressure. Sexuality and sex talk should be topics for further discussion. You should aim to develop these topics over time and remind your child of values and beliefs that you consider important.
It’s crucial to teach young people how to make healthy and safer sexual decisions in addition to the relevant sexuality-related information. Parents who are upfront with their children about their sexuality have a greater impact on their sexual practices as they mature.
How to Communicate about Sex with Your Teens
It varies from person to person how comfortable they feel talking about sexual health issues. We can admit that discussing sex is uncomfortable as long as we also admit that we transmit our discomfort to others. It will go more smoothly, and your youngster will feel more at ease approaching you if you can get more comfortable. Also, remember that there are numerous concerns related to sex and sexuality. It is OK to address certain concerns on your own and to rely on other dependable adults in your community, especially specialists, to address situations that are outside of your comfort zone.
While talking with your child is crucial, it’s equally important to know yourself and what constitutes emotionally healthy behavior for you. Be aware that your conversations may become more difficult if your own sexual past includes actions or decisions that you now regret or that are emotionally difficult to relive. Talking about the things you can do will help you take care of yourself. Remember that you can engage with your child about issues you find difficult to discuss by involving other people in your social network (co-parents, grandparents, and friends). Additionally, there are experts in your child’s life who are knowledgeable on these subjects, including teachers, counselors, doctors, and nurses.
Start Talking Early
We must have constant conversations with our kids from an early age. Even young kids need to learn about respecting themselves, using acceptable touch, and respecting others’ feelings and boundaries. When your children reach puberty and begin to experience sexual feelings, it will be easier to bring up these subjects when they feel like an integral part of the principles you often discuss.
Teens find it simpler to talk about values and safety issues regularly than only after something has happened. If your conversation does not begin before a first date or prom night, you will feel much more at ease, and your adolescent will be much more receptive. Ongoing discussions can be treasured as chances to explain values and consider how to make judgments since they have the feel of education. Conversations that are “emergently” held may feel motivated by fear, “controlling,” or “demanding.”
As a result, even the best-laid plans can go wrong. While talking with your child is crucial, it’s equally important to know yourself and what is an emotionally healthy behavior for you. Your conversations may become more difficult if your own sexual past includes actions or decisions that you now regret or that are emotionally difficult to relive.
Talking about the things you can do will help you take care of yourself. Remember that you can engage with your child about issues you find difficult to discuss by involving other people in your social network. Also, there are experts in your child’s life who are knowledgeable on these subjects, including teachers, counselors, doctors, and nurses.
Talk about Your Values
Your tween or adolescent can find out about the specifics of puberty and growth in a variety of settings. The internet, books, and health classes are among the examples. You must ensure they pick up these principles of healthy sexuality from you. If you and other responsible people don’t discuss these issues, they will get their morals from the internet, TV, and music. In the worst situation, they might pick up harmful and uncomfortable portrayals of sex and sexuality through internet pornography. Additionally, they will pick up values from their friends, which may be positive yet are not always seasoned by life.
Explain Respect and Why It Matters in Sex
We know teenagers value their parents’ advice and that instilling parental knowledge in children is essential to setting them up for future success. We also know that teenagers reject parental advice when they feel it intrudes on their privacy, yet cherish it when it helps them negotiate the world shrewdly and safely. This information is essential in guiding our discussions about sex and sexuality, which can feel extremely personal. So, if you discuss particular relationships, you’re probably getting too intimate.
Similarly, if you inquire about your teen’s specific sexual activities, you are likely entering uneasy territory and risk provoking a rejection. On the other hand, keeping conversations casual enables you to have extremely serious conversations more successfully and comfortably. Young people believe that it is the responsibility of their parents to keep them safe, and we often talk about healthy sexual practices while discussing safety issues.
Where to Start
As a parent, you might feel overwhelmed by the idea of talking about sex with your teen. However, it is crucial to do it. Many people will struggle to find adequate information to guide them during these talks. One of the most recommended sources is Scarleteen, a sex education website with comprehensive and inclusive information for teens and parents. This would help you to understand the perspective of teens on sex as well. So, when you start talking to your child about sex-related topics, do it right. Don’t judge or yell at them. Instead, offer compassion, support, and guidance.
About Life Coaching and Therapy
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