Parenting Teens

THE BIG TALK…This will probably be the most uncomfortable conversation you have with your child. So try and make it more casual than into a lecture or a health class. Try and bring it up in a different conversation. Depending on what kind of relationship you have with your child, this may be easier for some parents and harder for others. Try to talk to them as a friend and do not be judge mental toward them. Be open and encourage their questions, let them know this is a safe conversation, that will not be used against them and that they can openly tell you or ask you anything they may want to get out. it is difficult for teens to communicate with their parents at this time in their lives so make them feel comfortable as possible.

Start with the basics…Ask them how much they know about sex or what their personal views are on the subject matter. let them know that it is okay for them to tell you how they really feel, many teenagers have already been engaged in sexual contact with another person by the time their parents have “the talk” with them. keep in mind you may hear some very surprising things so be prepared. Explain your views on the topic and maybe even your past experiences or maybe even regrets. No need to go into detail nobody wants that I’m sure.

Although most teenagers have already learned body parts and functions in school, it doesn’t hurt to go over them again. You can describe it more in detail and maybe there is something they might want to ask that they don’t feel comfortable asking in class. Let them know the truth about sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy risks. Make sure they understand, so that they know what risks are involved. Many teenagers are confused about many myths or things they hear from other teens, like “you can’t get pregnant if you have sex standing up…” things that some idiot made up and the rumor still lives on.

Make sure the understand other consequences besides the obvious, like the emotional and mental changes. Remind them about the negative pressure from their peer’s. Many teens are pressured into sexual acts that they later regret. Also some teens gain a “bad reputation” in some cases rumors are made up or girls are caught up in bad situations and are forced to live with it. make sure they are strong enough and smart enough to decide when they are ready and to be sure of the partner they choose. Sexuality can mean many things, not just sex. Let them know the consequences of other sexual acts also.

Most importantly, PROTECTION….They have to know to use protection when the time comes, because no matter what whether you want to admit it or not most teens are sexually active and I think we would all rather them be protected then not at all. Explain condom use and let them know that nothing is really 100% protective against pregnancy or STD’s. Talk about birth control options for teens already active or thinking about it. Not to encourage but you cannot control them and one way or the other they will be sexual if they really want to, wouldn’t you rather they’re protected. Keep a close relationship with your teens, and hopefully they will be open and honest with you. Explain what STD’s and STI’s are.(STI’s sexually transmitted infection)All I can really say is tell them everything, you do not want to leave out something important.

Review to yourself what you will say ahead of time, and be prepared. There is no one way to do this it all depends on each individuals situation. One suggestion would be to spend a day with your child alone doing something they enjoy, like go to the mall, take them out to eat, or something at home like renting a video and ordering pizza. Set the moment by asking how things are going for them at school, with friends, etc. Spending time with them alone having fun may let them think of you as a companion rather than an authority figure or their parent; they just might open up, and who knows maybe one day they will thank you for “the talk” and advice you gave them and make the right decision for themselves.