talk to your teen about sex

In today’s society, children are bombarded with sexual overtones and innuendos. Music, magazines, the Internet, movies, sitcoms, and even television commercials are filled with sexual images. Because of this, children are discovering sex at much younger ages than in the past. Often, parents are their last source of information. By the time a parent actually talks to a child about sex, the child may already be well versed on the topic.

How and when should you talk to your child about sex? Ideally, your child will come to you with questions as her curiosity grows. Typically, though, this is not the case. Instead of coming to you, your child will probably seek out and listen to her friends. Unfortunately, she may not get the adequate information she so desperately needs. Because your child may be too embarrassed to come to you, you will have to go to her.

You should have already talked to your child about how her body will change as she approaches puberty. Explain to her about all of the changes she can expect. This holds true for boys, too. As you talk about the changes that will occur, you need to go ahead and explain why these changes are happening. If you are unsure about how to approach the topic, there are several wonderful videos that you and your child can watch together. You can also buy some books that deal with discussing sex with your child.

Talk to your child about why it is necessary that her body changes. While some parents like to use animals as an example (thus, the term “birds and bees , but you really need to stick to humans to give her the full idea. If your child is a girl, you’ll need to cover topics like menstruation, body hair, and breast development. If your child is a boy, you can talk to him about body hair, facial hair, and voice changes.

Explain to your child that her interest in the opposite sex will probably increase as she enters into the volatile period of puberty. Talk to him about how his body will experience certain sexual urges that may be confusing. Explain that this is perfectly normal and natural and that he shouldn’t be embarrassed.

As you talk to your child, try to keep your tone as matter-of-fact as possible. Do your best to keep any embarrassment you might be feeling hidden from your child. You want your child to feel comfortable talking to you, so that if he ever has a question about a sexual issue, he can come to you. Talk to him just as if you were talking about any other normal topic. Don’t treat this topic as something that should be whispered, hidden, or avoided.

Once you have covered topics such as menstruation, puberty, and reproduction, it is just as important that you talk about the serious consequences that can happen because of sex, such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Your child should understand that sex is a serious issue. If you are seriously concerned that your child may be contemplating becoming sexually active, you may have to be more graphic by using images in videos and books. You may also want to schedule a doctor’s appointment and ask your doctor to talk to your child about the consequences of sex.

While you obviously want to keep your child as innocent as you can for as long as possible, you need to keep in mind that if you don’t tell her about sex, someone else eventually will, and you may not like the version they give her. Once you have decided that it is time to educate your child, make it as easy as possible on you and her.

Initiate the conversation while the two of you are spending time together. Take a bike ride, or go on a hike. It may be easier for her to talk to you if she doesn’t have to sit down and talk face to face. Try to keep the atmosphere lighthearted. Stress to her that you are always there for her to talk to.

If you begin talking to your child while she is still young and fairly nave, you may be able to keep the lines of communication open as she matures. If you do find out that your child has become sexually active, think before you react. She will need you to do the right thing now more than ever. Above all, let her know that you love her.

You can’t stop your child from having sex, but you can arm her with the knowledge that she needs to make an informed decision.

You can’t stop

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