How to talk to your teen about sex

Parents are one of the most important factors when it comes to sex education for their children. However, it can be a difficult subject to approach, often leaving both parents and teens embarrassed and awkward. This often results in a young person getting their information elsewhere, such as peers or social media which can lead to confusion and misinformation. This is why it’s important for parents to get in there first. You don’t need to be an expert to have a meaningful conversation about sexuality, respect, safety and relationships. Here are some helpful tips and facts about talking to your teen:

  • Parents play a crucial role in the sexual education of their children.
  • You don’t need to be an expert to share your values concerning sex and relationships.
  • You need not worry about talking about sex leading to your teens experimenting. Research actually shows that those teens who have talked with their parents go on to postpone sexual relations and use contraception when they start.
  • Young people with higher self-esteem are more likely to make sensible decisions regarding sex.
  • Talk about the importance of contraception for preventing common STIs. If your teen seems concerned about their health, think about Home STI kits London from

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Your teen might have covered some of these topics before, at school or with friends but here are some important areas to talk about with your teen to ensure they haven’t been subjected to any myths or mistruths:

  • Both male and female reproductive processes
  • What might happen during sexual intercourse
  • Pregnancy
  • Choosing to postpone or practising abstinence
  • Alternative ways to show affection
  • Contraception
  • Sexuality
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Emotional aspects of sexual relations
  • Sexual Assault
  • Alcohol and Drugs and their effects on decisions

It can feel like your teen is highly uncomfortable talking with you about such issues. Here are some ways you can avoid alienating them:

  • Try to avoid preaching
  • Foster a sense of pride and self-confidence
  • Don’t give up – keep the conservation going
  • Don’t lose your sense of humour

Think about what your values and thoughts are before you begin the conversation. Ensure you have factual information to hand and maybe some information about other organisations they can contact if they feel like it.

Be sure you are not sending out mixed messages and that you are an example of practice what you preach. You can further confuse a young person if your values don’t match the way you behave. Some common values to focus on include equality, responsibility, respect, honesty and safety. Being a good role model is crucial if you want your teens to get a clear message about sexual relations.

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Remember to have a conservation and talk with your teen, don’t talk at them. Ask them how they feel and what they think about different elements of the topic. Praise their knowledge and give lots of encouragement. Don’t forget that such conversations don’t have to be all straight-faced and tense. You can laugh and make jokes, as long as the central aim is met.

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