Talking To Your Teen About Sex

It can be a challenge for some parents to talk with their teens about intimate topics, such as sex. However, the most successful parents are the ones that talk to their children about everything as intimately as possible.  The parents that fail to connect with their children on sexual matters are the ones that are saying “just say no.”
As a parent, you must guide your children empathically through conversations about sex and healthy lifestyles. In other words, you must be what you want to see.
  • Speak to your children specifically about your moral and sexual values. Be clear, speak often, intimately and early with your children about sex – giving age-appropriate information.
  • Use the empathic process which allows for a confluent exchange of information. In this way, not only will your children learn about your morals and values, but you will get insight into theirs.  This will allow you to make misinformation adjustments.
  • Take the time to listen to your children and keep the lines of communication open. In parenting, it is important to listen, to communicate, and demonstrate mutual value and respect for one another.
  • Remember: parents must parent. That means to know where your children are, what they are doing, and with whom.
  • Involve your children in establishing house rules and their consequences. In that way, they will feel invested and validated and more likely to obey. These house rules include curfews and expectations.
  • Pay attention to your child. Know their friends, their friends’ parents, and where they like to hang out with their friends.
  • Talk about patterns of risky behaviors and situations. Then give your children alternatives and empowering them in advance with substitutes of healthy behavior.
  • Monitor your children’s media exposures to both violence and sexually explicit entertainment.  Your TV is just an appliance and you have the power to turn it off – this applies to reading, music, the internet, and video games.
You have the power to parent your children, guide them, influence them, and help them set goals for themselves. If your children have plans for a self-actualized future in which they are liked for their contribution, rather than approval, they will be less vulnerable to peer-pressure.
Remember: you must be what you want to see. As the parent, you must model the authentic, healthy behavior that you want for your own children.