Everyone remembers the hilarious teen comedy, American Pie. Four friends Jim, Oz, Finch and Kevin make a pact to lose their virginity before they graduate. They all find ways, devious or not to get to their goal before the prom night. Jim invariably got into trouble as he was always caught masturbating in places and with things least expected. But his dad understood the phase and was always ready to give him sex advice. Not all parents feel free to talk about sex to their teenagers. It depends from culture to culture and family background. If parents do not give advice and have an open mind, teenagers are sure to get information and guidance from outside. Especially in this age, when media is quite explicit about sexual topics, children are overly exposed at an early age. It is important for them to get right information and what better way than from their own parents. This will also help in imparting values parents think their children should uphold. Teenagers are difficult to connect with. Though they may seem disinterested in taking advice from parents, it is essential that parents are available to talk whenever required. Talking about sex maybe difficult but has to be done. Parents should ensure not to embarrass their children but instead calmly introduce the subject in a casual yet matter-of-fact manner. Parents need to remember that talking about the subject should be casual but it is important to make your teenager understand the seriousness of the act. Some of the ways in which parents can talk about sex with teenagers are discussed further.
Talking About Sex With Teens
Apart from sex education which teenagers receive from school, it is also important for parents to offer advice regarding sex and physical intimacy. A few tips for parents are:
- First and foremost parents need to be good listeners. It is not sufficient to preach or have a monologue. Being able to listen and understand what your teenager is going through and feeling is important in building a connection of trust and reliability.
- It would be best to talk about the subject when it occurs naturally. Abrupt conversation makes the situation awkward for both. If the conversation is in context it will be easier for your children to comprehend what you are trying to say better.
- Learn to read your children better. If you feel they are hesitating to open up, ask open ended questions or give hypothetical situations to deviate the focus on them while still retaining the subject at hand.
- Try to relate love with sex and physical intimacy. This will teach your teenager to be sensitive and the importance of treating their partners and themselves with respect and care.
- If parents are giving advice they have to be clear about their own feelings. If they feel it is too early for their child to be in a physical relationship it has to be made clear. Confusion about decisions that need to be made, only give your child an impression that you are unsure about what you feel, think and say.
- Parents should not hesitate to go into details. If your teenager opens up and is willing to share and learn, you as a parent should be mature enough to understand and be open minded. Information about the use of contraceptives, birth control and other sensitive issues related to physical relationships should be discussed with ease and seriousness. This will only create a better bond and help your teenager get appropriate advice about how to deal with situations.