One of the most difficult and awkward moment in parenting comes around when it’s time to talk to your teenager about sex. As a parent, it must be you who is educating your child about such a sensitive topic to ensure your teen is under no misconceptions and whenever it comes to it, they can turn to you for any questions. It has also been noted that when parents talk openly with their children about sex education, chances of risky sexual behaviour reduces greatly. Therefore, however difficult and awkward it may seem, it’s something you need to tackle head-on.
What’s the Challenge: The challenge most parents face when they want to address this topic with their teens, is the availability of the right opportunity to have this discussion. Keep in mind that waiting for the right opportunity may delay the conversation and you might end up being a little too late to address this with your teen. Any opportunity, like sorting out the groceries together, conversations with your child before bedtime – are all opportunities you can capture to talk about sex. A good opportunity may present to you if you are watching a movie or a commercial and the topic of sex or sex education comes up.
What do I cover: When talking about sex with your child, a number of issues need to be addressed. It could be menstruation, STDs, homosexuality, the importance of safe sex and most importantly, consent. A good plan of action can be to read up on these topics beforehand so in case there are any misconceptions you yourself have unknowingly, or if there is a question you may be unprepared for, you can be in a better position to tackle those.
How do I answer questions: The most important thing to keep in mind is to not shy away from talking about anything. This would send a message to your child that you may not be prepared to handle any situation or query they may later have. Instead, if there is something you do not know the answer for, tell them that you will find out about it and get back to them. If they ask an uncomfortable question, be as open as possible and answer in the best way you can. You can share with them your opinions on different topics. Do not discourage them if they ask you about something that doesn’t agree with your personal values.
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