How Do I Talk to Teens About Sex?

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Talking to your teen about sex can be just as nerve-racking for you as it is for her. Openly discussing sex and all that comes with it can help your teen get the facts and feel more open to talking to you about any issues, problems or questions she has. Get comfortable with the topic, because it should be an ongoing conversation between you and your teen. Even if you don’t want to think about your little girl being sexually active, it’s best if she feels that she can come to you without being judged.

Step 1

Time your conversations so it links to something relevant that’s happening, such as a love scene in a movie or one of his friends being busted for making out at school. You should be able to talk freely without distractions, such as while riding in a car or taking a walk together. These conversations are likely easier for you and your teen if he can’t get distracted but doesn’t have to look at you while talking.

Step 2

Openly discuss sex. Explain what it is, how it’s done and different aspects of the act. A book or instructional video may help. Besides the physical aspects, explain about the emotional issues that come with it. Let her know that “no” means “no” and that drugs and alcohol can influence decisions and make her more susceptible to date rape.

Step 3

Give your teen alternatives to having sex. Perhaps suggest that he and his girlfriend go to a park rather than hanging out at her house alone. Tell him it’s okay to go into the bathroom and regroup when things start getting too hot for him to refrain.

Step 4

Discuss your values, such as waiting until marriage or whatever you believe in. However, remain open and nonjudgmental if your teen has other ideas.

Step 5

Teach him about different contraceptives, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Show him how to use a condom — on a cucumber, and with a laugh, of course — and how and where he can get birth control.

Step 6

Ask her questions and answer any questions she may have. If you don’t know the answer to something, look it up with her or get back to her with the answer.

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