Parents talking to their teens about sex
A challenging subject for most any parent is talking to a teen about sex. It can be an uncomfortable conversation to say the least. However, a topic that must be talked about because as Dr. Logan Levkoff states on the Rachel Ray show on October 28th, “It’s definitely difficult, but it’s our responsibility as parents because the fact of the matter is if we don’t do it, imagine all of the source that are willing to!” Certainly an even more scary thought.
Dr. Levkoff is the author of the new book Third Base Ain’t What It Used to Be. Her book is meant to be a help to parents of today to be able to bring the topic up with their teenager. It is interesting to note that despite what most people think, many teenagers are willing to wait until they are at least 17, but they need knowledge to help them be guided in their every day decisions.
One of the most important ways to talk to your teen about sex is to keep an open line of communication. It may be difficult for the teen to talk to the parent as well. So, if the parent approaches the subject as if it is a normal part of being a human being and nothing to be embarrassed about, the teen will more likely to be open to talking with the parent.
Dr. Levkoff gives a few guidelines when it comes to talking to your teens about sex.
• How to approach the conversation
• How to help teens make a good decision for themselves
• Remembering to talk to both the boys and the girls
• Go into the discussion with an open mind
• Try and relate to their experiences to find common ground
Approaching the conversation, the parents need to determine what it is they want for their teens.
Do they want the teen to grow into a sexually healthy adult? How do they want this to happen? Then the next step is to help the teen make good decisions for themselves by giving them the tools they need to be empowering for their teen such as giving them the facts about what a good relationship is and teaching them about speaking up for themselves. Dr. Levkoff suggests asking a question like this: “Can you speak up for yourself? Are you embarrassed to buy condoms because, guess what? If you’re too embarrassed you’re probably not ready!”
Talking to both girls and boys is important. The discussions should be the same with boys and girls. Girls and boys have the same issues that need to be discussed. Parents teaching their teens about sex should also remember to go into the conversation being open to the teen. Let the teen know that parents are willing to listen and talk when the opportunity arises, as well as letting the teen know that if they do not want to discuss sex at that time, the parent will be there when they are.
The final way to talk to your teen about sex is to share some experiences with them. This does not have to be a deep dark confession, Dr. Levkoff states. However, sharing how a parent may have dealt with certain experiences may help the teen to be able to handle similar problems and concerns in their own lives.