Talk about facts vs. If you don't know how to answer your teen's questions, offer to find the answers or look them up together. Telling adolescents that they are emotionally immature or that they only think they are in love if that is the case is not likely to make much of an impression. Move beyond the facts. The best approach with preteens is to emphasize the real risk: As teenagers move into adolescence , their desire for privacy increases. A routine checkup can give your teen the opportunity to address sexual activity and other behaviors in a supportive, confidential atmosphere — as well as learn about contraception and safe sex. About 70 percent of those surveyed said they wished their parents had talked to them about the emotional aspects of dating.
The emotional impact of unhealthy relationships may also be lasting, increasing the likelihood of future unhappy, violent relationships. For children Changes in You and Me: Remind your teen that they can choose to wait abstain even if they have had sex before. It's important to talk with your teen now about what does and doesn't constitute a healthy relationship. Sign up now Sex education: Remember to keep your sense of humor throughout conversations with your child — the conversation doesn't have to be tense and uncomfortable unless you make it that way. Did they use contraception? They may also feel uncertain about how to identify markers of healthy versus unhealthy relationships. Parents can also take advantage of the natural curiosity that little kids have. Defining harassment and discrimination In order to develop healthy relationships, teens need to understand what it means to be respectful in the context of sex and dating. Small children, especially, may not even understand what masturbation means. They needn't be a prelude to sexual intercourse. Also set and enforce reasonable boundaries, such as curfews and rules about visits from friends of the opposite sex. She explains how anal sex differs from vaginal sex, how to use lubricant, what the prostate is, and why using condoms is so important. Praise your teen for sharing his or her feelings. Ten- to year-olds are less likely to take the discussions personally and react defensively and more likely to say what is on their minds. Let them know you are interested in what they think and how they feel about any topic, whether it is sexuality, school, religion, the future, or whatever. That's where you come in. Asking questions about sex does not automatically mean that your teen is thinking about having sex. Instead, the researchers found that teens and young adults are confused and anxious about how to develop healthy romantic relationships. If your daughter takes you into her confidence , don't rush off to tell your husband or your best friend what she said. For example, if they mention condoms , check that they know why it's important to use them, where to get them and how to use them. By reinforcing and supplementing what your teen learns in school, you can set the stage for a lifetime of healthy sexuality. And some young adolescents are convinced they "know it all. But no form of contraception is percent effective. That's my fault, but I'd like to start now.
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How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex - Kenneth Adams, PhD
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