So how do you talk to young people about sex and relationships?

Most teenagers would like to talk to their parents or carer about relationships and sex. It might seem difficult, but there are lots of benefits if you can.

 

  • Don’t have one big talk about sex. Make it an open and ongoing topic, it is best to have lots of little talks whenever the subject comes up.
  • If possible start before your child is a teenager.
  • Let your teen know that they can talk to you about anything that’s on their mind.
  • However you bring up the topic of sex and relationships, listen to what your teenager has to say.
  • Try to keep calm, even if what they say surprises you or you disagree. Let your child know your opinions, but reassure them that you trust them to make their own decisions. If you lose your temper or criticise them, they might feel that they can’t talk to you in the future.
  • Young people need to have accurate information about sex and sexuality, try to avoid using jargon and slang as words mean different things to different generations.
  • Check out that what you think you have communicated to your teenager is actually what they have understood from you.
  • If you think they haven’t understood, help them out by saying in a clear way how you feel, as well as showing it by your facial expression.
  • Notice when they are feeling stressed or worried and let them know you have noticed.

 

Talking about sex and relationships with your teenager won’t make them want to start having sex, but it will help them look after their sexual health when they do.