Emphasizing pregnancy prevention is not enough, and neither is tossing out scary statistics about sexually transmitted diseases. Remind teens that sex is about relationships. When parents talk with their teens about sex, they tend to focus too narrowly on the dangers and downsides of being sexually active, experts say. They usually stress the downsides of sex, she says, and often focus on pregnancy prevention. But such limited exchanges are not enough to help kids cope with the sex lives they may have already begun or will soon be starting, says Dr. She cautions parents not to try to terrify their kids with the damaging effects an STD can cause.
Talk with your teenager about sex
How to talk to kids about sex: An age-by-age guide
Some of the most important and influential discussions we can have with our children involve sex and sexuality. It is important, therefore, to be thoughtful and intentional about our approach. You may be fortunate enough for your tween to come directly to you with questions. It might be when you learn that the topic will be taught in health class, and you want your child to know you always remain a trusted resource as well. Once you get started, each further discussion will feel more comfortable. That puts way too much pressure on the topic.
Talking with Your Teens about Sex: Going Beyond “the Talk”
Adolescence can be tough enough to get through without questions of sex, sexuality, and sexual identity. But adolescents are humans, too — no matter how alien they may seem to their parents at times. Sharing factual information with and giving good moral guidance to your teenager is a vitally important part of helping your teen understand herself or himself. It can help your child avoid devastating, and possibly life-threatening, errors in judgment.
When parents communicate frequently and openly, teenage children feel closer to them and more able to communicate. Being intimate with other people requires a certain level of maturity so that they can make the best choices for themselves. Sex is a big deal — help them understand that. Remember that your child is going through many physical and emotional changes and it is usually quite an awkward time.