The Most Important Things to Tell Your Teen About Sex

Talk to your teen about sex.
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Don't wait until you think your child is sexually active before you bring up the subject of sex. It's important to start talking about sexuality long before your teen hits puberty. The content of your sexual discussions should change as your teen matures.

It's also important to remember that you shouldn't have one "talk" about the birds and the bees. You should have ongoing discussions with your teen about sexual issues over the years.


Here are five things you should address when talking to your teen about sex:

1. Discuss the Basics of Where Babies Come From

If your teen still thinks a stork delivers babies, it's time to have a serious discussion about where babies come from. If you don't explain it, your teen is likely to hear about it from peers.

Or, she might be tempted to go looking for information on her own. The information she might discover online could involve pornography, which isn't the information you want her to have. So be open and frank about reproduction.

2. Address Body Image Issues

During adolescence, both boys and girls are concerned with the way their bodies are starting to change. Many of them have concerns about whether the changes they experience are normal.

Tell your teen what to expect throughout puberty. Validate feelings of uncertainty, embarrassment, or confusion. 

While many females feel pressure to be thin, many males experience pressure to have big muscles.

So talk about body image issues and how insecurities can be problematic. 

3. Discuss the Potential Consequences of Sexual Activity

Make sure your teen is well aware of the potential consequences of being sexually active. Unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and regret are just a few potential issues.

Additionally, make sure your teen understands how becoming sexually active is likely to affect his emotions. Discuss how having sex before he's ready can be problematic.

4. Give Your Teen More than One Perspective

It's helpful for teens to hear messages about sex and sexuality from more than one person. If your partner, an aunt or uncle, or another trusted adult feels comfortable discussing relationships with your teen, it can be a good idea.

Your teen may also be open to hearing more information from a doctor. Allow your teen to meet with his doctor privately at times so he can ask questions or get answers about his body that he might not feel comfortable asking you. Give your teen a reminder that it's OK to ask a doctor any questions that he might have.

5. Make Conversations Ongoing

Tell your teen that he can ask questions or address concerns with you at any time. Bring up topics related to sex often. When there's a movie that involves sexual activity or a news story with an allegation of sexual assault, to discuss sexual issues with your teen. 

Don't be afraid to state your opinion. Tell your teen that you don't approve of being sexually active at a young age. Making your opinion known can deter to your teen from becoming sexually active.

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