While the idea of having “the talk” with your children regarding sex is no doubt cringe-worthy, a new study has shown that when teens do talk to their parents about this delicate subject, they are more likely to practice safe sex.
The results also showed that when mothers were the ones to address the issue, teens were more likely to listen, especially when mothers spoke with their daughters.
While parents are no doubt uncomfortable about thinking their teens could be considering sexually activity, it’s a fact of life for many their age and ignoring the topic doesn’t mean it won’t happen. According to Iwannaknow.org (a website dedicated to sexual education) 83% of teens are afraid to ask their parents about sex. Regardless of the discomfort, 51% of teens actually do ask their parents about this adult subject.
Tips for Teens
- Choose a time when the mood seems to be a light and cheery one and time is not a restraint.
- Be truthful and encourage and open and honest talk about your fears, concerns or questions.
- If you are curious about birth control or would like to start taking it, be direct.
- Be sure to listen to the advice they have, your parents are sexual beings (as much as the thought may disturb you), they have probably heard it all before and you will not shock them with your questions.
- Understand they are probably nervous too. That’s okay!
Tips for Parents (from Planned Parenthood)
- Don’t jump to conclusions or panic. Just because your child asks about sex doesn’t mean he/she is having it. Kids hear a lot of tings at school from their peers and it’s normal to be curious.
- Reassure them that their questions are normal.
- Let them know your values/beliefs on sex but understand that their own may be different.
- Don’t try to scare them in to not having sex. Let them know the facts regarding how to practice safe sex.
- Encourage question and don’t shy away from them when they are asked.
By following these few simple tips, you will be on your way to having a more comfortable talk about sex whether you are the teen or the adult. Just realize both parties are likely a bit nervous, but that’s okay! The important part is that the doors of communication are now open and that’s something you can’t put a value on.