Suddenly becoming a teen is scary. I remember my father trying to have The Sex Talk with me, the first time I had my period, and the first time I had ‘those urges’. Scary is the only way I can accurately describe those moments.
If your child has reached the teen phase too then it’s probably time you have The Sex Talk with them. That, for you as much as for your teen, is not only necessary but terrifying. STDs, HIV/AIDS and unplanned pregnancy are just a few of the things your teen could run into, and that’s why having The Sex Talk sooner rather than later is safest.
If you're not sure on how to broach the subject, then hopefully this guide on the ABCs of safe sex will be able to help you. Keeping it simple and taking your cue from your child should make the experience a positive one for both of you.
A is for Abstinence
There is no better way to ensure that pregnancy or disease doesn't occur than by abstaining from sex. Sadly this may be one of the least used forms of safe sex, but it is by far the safest and most fool-proof.
If that doesn’t work and you have a Twilight-loving teen you could always remind them that Bella waited…
B is for birth control
Whatever we may like to think about our kids, the truth is that they are more than likely going to lose their virginity as a teenager. And there's not every much you can do about it. There is one important thing you can do, especially if you have a daughter – get her onto birth control.
And that doesn't let your son off the hook. One of the biggest rules regarding safe sex is responsibility. That means if your son is going to be having sex with his girlfriend, he better be ready to take responsibility for birth control too.
C is for condoms
A simple condom could be the thing that saves your child's life. Boys may be really uncomfortable talking about using condoms or how to put one on but don't back down. Make sure that your son knows exactly what he's doing.
Your daughters need to be educated too. Let her practice placing a condom on a banana and make sure that she insists on her sexual partner wearing one. In cases like these, knowledge is power!
Here are some tips on talking to your teen from LoveLife:
- Make sure you have the facts
- Don't interrupt
- Watch your body language
- Don’t threaten your child
- Whatever happens, make sure they know you will be there
For each child and for each parent, broaching the sex subject is different. You know your son or daughter best, so don't put off having the talk but do it in a way that suits you and your child best. Explain to your teen what you value - whether it is abstainance, safe sex, being faithful to one partner or whatever else you believe about sex and relationships.
Here are some useful links that may help you and your teen:
Society for Family Health
What are your tips for having the sex talk with a teen? Share your experiences with us