These tips will help make the dreaded conversation about sex with your teen a little easier
Research shows that talking about sex is an essential part of good parenting. It builds a bond of trust and respect between children and parents.
Research shows that talking about sex is an essential part of good parenting
Prepare yourself before starting this important conversation
Your teenager should know that they should never compromise on their safety - no matter what the cost
Talking to kids about their careers, studies, discipline, family and various other topics is not a problem for most parents. But talking about sex and sexual health is still daunting, even for the most educated and advanced parents.
This is because sex is not openly talked about in most societies. Even hearing or saying the word sex is embarrassing for most parents. And that is the reason why children are left to learn on their own when it comes to sex.
However, we should understand that sex is a very important and beautiful part of our life and is necessary for the overall happiness of an adult individual. Research shows that talking about sex is an essential part of good parenting. It builds a bond of trust and respect between children and parents. Answering your child’s queries about sex, love and relationships, body and body parts and keeping the communication open will help your child in his or her development.
Before starting 'The conversation'
Prepare yourself before starting this important conversation. Talk to your partner or your friends. Learn their views. Be ready with the right facts. Be confident; tell yourself that you are taking the right parenting step.
The following tips might help you to crack the right approach:
- Talk but don’t judge: Your reactions are important for your child, and they will decide the future course of your communication. Be sure that you talk without being judgemental. Stay calm and open to your child’s thoughts.
- Get your facts right: Give your child the correct information. If you are not sure about something, admit it. Finding the answer with your child will be fun.
- Use appropriate language: Use the appropriate language and terms while talking about sex with your child. This will help the child understand that sex is a serious and important matter.
- Tell them safety is most important: Your teenager should know that they should never compromise on their safety - no matter what the cost. Educate your child about the precautions they can take to avoid pregnancy and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Help them to know whether their partner really cares for them or is only trying to take sexual advantage of them. Empower them to say no to any partner, peer pressure or any sexual activity they don’t want to indulge in.
- Welcome your child’s questions: Encourage your child to ask questions. This will make your teenager comfortable enough to put even their strangest queries to you.
- Share your stories: You can share your experiences, too. Telling your children about your feelings, fears and curiosities when you were of their age might help them get over any awkwardness they might feel about their own thoughts and bodies.
- Treat your child as an individual: Your child has a personality - an identity quite separate from being your baby. Respect his or her thoughts and accept that he or she is not bound to agree with what you say or believe. Maintain your calm.
- Don’t undervalue their romantic feelings: Romantic feelings and attachments are very strong in a teenager’s life. Respect their feelings and encourage them to share how they feel about that person. This acceptance will keep you updated about his or her relationships and you will be able to guide him or her about the rights and wrongs.
- Tell them the purpose of your chat: Talk frankly with your children. Tell them that this exercise does not mean they have your consent to indulge in sex. Rather, this conversation is designed to answer their questions and to help them understand the sexual thoughts and feelings they might already be having at their age.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, read our articles on sexual health and sex education.
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