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How to talk to your teenager about sex

Talking with your kids about sex and sexuality early in life really pays off once they’ve hit their teens. If you’ve established yourself as open to discussing those topics, “your kids are probably going to feel more comfortable talking to you and asking you questions”.

But if you’ve been quiet on the subject of sex up till now, she recommends sitting down with your teen and stating that you’re changing your ways. “Even just hearing that is really reassuring for most kids”.

While you generally want to minimize the lectures, teens need real talk about birth control, who adds that you might even want to supply condoms or set up a doctor’s appointment for hormonal birth control.

It’s also important to frequently discuss consent in sexual relationships. “You need to be thinking about how to help them protect themselves against pressure and dating violence,” adding that conversations around these topics should include the impact drinking and drugs can have on judgement.

Frequent conversations around healthy relationships are crucial. If your child is reluctant to talk about herself, it’s recommended that you talk about “friends at school” instead. You may also want to share relationship stories from your past.

Ultimately, when it comes to teens, you want to empower your child to be able to evaluate risks and make good decisions. “Helping kids understand that they have a gut, an inner voice, and they can and should listen to it, is a big part of what sex education is about”.

And by discussing the right topics at the right ages, you’re setting your child up to do just that.

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