Tweens Pre Teens

It can be a sharp awakening when you realize your teenager is having sex. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Open the communication channels long before you believe it’s time. Teach your child about sex and its possible consequences, and the responsibilities that come along with it. Not only will this delay the onset of your teenager’s sexual expression, but it will make you more comfortable with it when it does happen. Your teenager will feel more able to talk to you about sex and ask you questions about it, whether they do talk to you or not, and you can feel good about providing him with accurate information that he might not get elsewhere.

The best way to make sure your teenager either doesn’t have sex, or thinks rationally about the possible consequences and safeguards against them, is to remove the mystery and stigma from sex. Speak frankly about sex. Don’t let your teen see that you are weirded out by him having sex. Make sure your teenager understands that sex isn’t a dirty secret. People who think sex is a dirty secret shouldn’t be having sex because they are not in the position to weigh the pros and cons of the variety of birth control options and often end up not using birth control at all when the time comes.

Tell your teen that, if he does not feel comfortable talking to you about sex, there are many other places he can go for information. This is important because the wealth of misinformation circulating around high schools is appalling. The free clinic will screen for STDs, give out birth control pills, depo shots, and condoms. They don’t charge anything and everything is completely confidential. It will make your teenager far more comfortable about practicing safe sex if he knows that his parents will not be told that he is doing it. School clinics often give out free condoms as well, though there are still parents out there who find this practice unacceptable and will step in to prevent it. This is short-sighted. If your teenager wants to have sex, he will have sex. If he doesn’t have access to birth control, he may just have sex without it. As a parent, you should rest easier knowing that your teen can gain birth control because, if it’s available, he will use it.

* The article applies equally to females as to males despite the male pronouns used throughout.