It’s the part of parenting you dread: the sex talk. Yes, you have to do it. No, sex ed at school is not enough.
Your teenager needs to know your expectations of them regarding sex. Even if they disagree with your stance, they need to know it. Do you discourage sex at a certain age or life stage? Will you help your daughter get on birth control if she asks?
They especially need to know how to protect themselves and their partners. Because if we know anything about teenagers, we know they don’t always listen to their parents, but they care about themselves a lot.
Appeal to those selfish qualities as you educate your teen about:
When it comes to any kind of sexual activity, from kissing to intercourse, your teen needs to respect themself and their partner. That means not doing anything they’re uncomfortable with and not doing anything their partner is uncomfortable with.
How can you encourage this respectful behavior in your teenager? Talk to them about what they want in life. What kind of job or home do they want? Do they want a family? Then talk to them about how they can achieve those goals.
They’ll need an education and to work hard to have the career and home they want. And they’ll need to wait to start a family until they have reached certain milestones in getting those other things. Putting life in perspective may help them shift their priorities.
Waiting to start a family leads us to protection. Birth control and condoms are critical when anyone is engaging in sexual activities; birth control helps prevent pregnancy and condoms help prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy.
While it may be uncomfortable talking about protection with your teenager, it’s important to teach them the importance of protecting themselves and their partners. That protection is part of respecting themselves and their partners. Talk to your daughter about protecting herself from pregnancy and STIs and talk to your son about protecting himself from STIs and getting a female partner pregnant.
While teenagers have access to more information via the internet than their parents ever did, rumors still hold strong. Here are some popular myths that have stood the test of time:
When you talk to your teenager about the myths of protection and sex, present the facts so they are properly educated. If they won’t listen to you, you can always share the above links and ask them to research these facts on their own.
While an uncomfortable conversation, educating your teen on respect, protection, and sexual myths is an important parenting step. After all, it will greatly impact their present and their future.