Talking to your teens about sex is extremely important I have two teens both who have had all these tips and advice I am going to give you trialled and tested on them. You will learn where I went wrong and as a parent and which bits I actually found quite useful when I began to talk to my teens about the dreaded “SEX” word.
Hopefully, our Teens will learn the facts about safe sex and the use of condoms at School. As parents we can not rely on Schools to teach them everything they need to know to educate them on safe sex, it is our responsibility to also educate them and promote the use of condoms and pass on our knowledge.
How to Talk to Teens about Sex
Even if you do not think your teenager is sexually active or if you are against your teen having sex, It is important that they have the right advice and tools to keep them safe. Sex educating your teenagers can make a whole lot of difference and knowing the importance of using a condom could shape your teens future!
That being said it’s difficult approaching your teen about practising safe sex and I fully understand that. I learnt the hard way being a young mum myself. I have approached my own teens and passed on useful advice which will give them a better understanding of protecting themselves from STDs and teen pregnancy related issues.
Talking about sex and relationships with your teenager may be embarrassing, but just a chat and giving advice could save your teen from unplanned pregnancies and STDs. The more you chat about the subject of sex and contraception, the importance of STD screening and which home STD test brands to use, the easier it will become.
Some parents may think their teens are way past the “BIRDS AND THE BEES TALK” but if you haven’t had the sex education talk with your own teen yet, how can you find out what they already know about safe sex? If your teen is anything like my two then they kind of skip telling you about these types of lessons when they get home from school! I guess that’s because it’s probably quite an awkward subject for them to approach too.
Watch how naturally these parents tell their children, granted they are younger but I love the way they describe it to them and it also shows the different approaches parents take. Plus the kids have some really cute answers!
Here are my top tips for making sure you have the knowledge to approach your teens and make sure they are armed with sex education knowledge they need to know.
1. How to educate yourself
You may think you know everything about safe sex, but do you really? Spending a little time to educate yourself before you have a chat with your teen is extremely important. The more confident you are the better your teachings will come across to your own teen whilst you are talking to them. Take time to educate yourself about STDs and safe sex so you are ready to answer questions your teen may have. You can learn so much from forums such the Sex education forum or maybe download parent’s guide to sex ed pdf. So much may have changed since we were at school and this is why you need to stay current and up to scratch before sex educating your teen!
2. Take control and be approachable!
Approaching your teen to talk about sex and contraception can be a struggle for both the parents and the teens. The majority of teens would rather avoid talking to their parents about sex at all cost and to be honest, most parents will find it uncomfortable too. What parent wants to think about their child all grown up and considering sex or already being sexually active.
Just remember once you have broken the ice you just need to come across as comfortable and confident as possible. Long gone are the days parents would turn the TV over when a sex scene comes on the box, so don’t get all embarrassed. I came across quite confident although I really didn’t want to approach the subject when my teen asked me to actually have his girlfriend sleep over. This was an awkward subject but because teens are more mature than the used to be, my son listened to what I had to say.
3. It’s their hormones and feelings, not yours!
Parents need to understand that by talking to your teen about sex and sexual health that you are not encouraging your teen to have sex. Their hormones and feelings make them have sex! Just because you have taught your teen to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases and avoiding pregnancy only helps them make the right decision for them.
4. Be prepared for Questions!
Ok so I am no Sexpert but my teen asks me a question I genuinely draw upon my own experiences and things I have learnt. There is no right or wrong answer you just have to be open and honest and give your best answer. Do not go made with them and make yourself unapproachable.
5. Teens worry what parents think!
Often, Teenagers would rather talk to friends or search the internet for advice rather than approach their parents. So, it is our job as PARENTS to approach them. Many teens are worried their parents will judge them or just not understand, I think they forget that we were teens once too! Even if you teen doesn’t seem to listen, deep down they most certainly will.
6. Don’t be shocked & Don’t Judge!
As parents, it can be shocking and upsetting to know or suspect their teen may be sexually active, but as parents we must help teens develop a healthy attitude about sex and taking responsibility for their own sexual health. If your teen discloses to you they are having sex then try to keep your cool. Firstly, you have to understand that if they do then you most certainly have a great relationship with your teen.
It’s easy to judge them too quickly and although finding this out could upset you, think about how you felt when you were a teen. Would you like to be shouted at for disclosing something so difficult. If you suspect they are having SEX then approach them, awkward I know but you have to check they understand they are to act safely.
Let your child know your opinions, at the same time reassure them that you trust them to make good choices and decisions
7. Promoting Safe sex
If the subject of sex and sexual health is brought up, try and keep it in a calm environment. We all know are own teens and for some having a chat in a quiet one to one setting would work for some, an informal chat whilst making the lunch may be better for others.
Talking about sex and relationships with your teenager may be embarrassing, but just a chat and giving advice could save your teen from unplanned pregnancies and STDs. The more you chat about the subject of sex and contraception, the easier it will become.
8. Educate your Teen on contraception
It is very important to talk about why it’s important to use a Condom to protect against STDs and pregnancy, where they can get them from and the importance of not only boys but girls taking responsibility for having safe sex. Some teens will find purchasing condoms embarrassing, you can make them aware that they can get contraception free from their G.P surgeries and sexual health clinics. Girls can also have the COIL, but this doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted diseases. In the UK, you can find the nearest Sexual Health Clinics on the NHS website here by simply entering your postcode.
For some teenagers, even this will be too uncomfortable and they will take the risk of not using contraception rather than purchasing them from a store or approaching a professional. You do not want them under no circumstance to have sex with no protection, so what can you do as a parent?
9. Pre-Prepared condom protection
It may sound like a rather unorthodox idea, but purchasing products like Durex Condoms to give to your teen in advance can be a really great idea. This will give you some peace of mind knowing they have protection handy. You can simply pop a packet of condoms into their sock drawer with a post-it note saying “Keep Safe” I used this approach, and it seemed to work!
If you have an older teen that might be intending at music festivals this year encourage them to read COVER UP: SAFE SEX AT FESTIVALS before they go. This is a guide which will provide them with the necessary information for staying safe and not getting caught up-in the moment at festivals in the UK. They can have fun, but it’s far better when they have no worries or anxiety afterwards.
Remember not to judge your teen but to listen carefully and calmly even if what they talk to you about shocks or surprises you. You don’t want your teen heading out into the world unprepared!