Most parents fear the dreaded “sex” talk to their kids, but talking to them about it is crucial. Over 2000 teen girls get pregnant every single day. That means 3 out of 10 girls before the age of 20. It is not enough to tell them about the “birds and the bees” once during their childhood. It has to be a topic of open communication at all times. Your teen won’t like these talks either, but they likely hated vegetables at some point too. They are still important.
Here are some of the key tips, in talking to your kids about sex.
1. You can tell them you want them to wait. You should tell them why, you want them too. However, abstinence isn’t very realistic, or very popular, and whether you want to admit it or not, probably won’t be their choice.
2. Kids are smart. They are listening. The choice is yours whom you want them to hear it from. It can be you or the “cool” kids at school who already “know everything” there is to know, and have no problem telling all to your kid. I am betting you would rather they hear it from you, so open up.
3. Be honest. Again, your kids are smart. If they ask you about what you did or didn’t do as a teen, don’t hide the truth. That doesn’t mean you give every detail and every story. Part of who you were, makes up part of who you are now. Explain the life lessons and circumstances. Teach them that being able to look back now, you would not have necessarily made the same choices you did then.
4. Don’t try to lessen their feelings. Their love and desire is as strong to them as it is to you. Just because they are still kids doesn’t make it any less real. If they feel they are in love, they probably are. It may not be the love they grow up to feel, but in their current relationship, it is very real. Diminishing that won’t get them to listen to you.
5. Make sure they know how to be safe. You can talk, but they will do the walk. You want them to walk with all the knowledge you have given them. Knowledge is power. Explain that there is absolutely no way other than condoms to avoid STD’s, and even then, there is a risk. Go over all the myths. You can get pregnant the first time, you can get pregnant on your period, and oral sex is sex.
6. Be available to them. You don’t have to supply the condoms. They may not be comfortable with you knowing they want them, or how many they have taken. Let them know where they can get them, and where they can get them for free. Explain that they can’t keep them in their wallet or glove box, and that a girl being on the birth control pill is not enough.
7. Don’t stop talking. Check in every now and then. See how they feel in their relationship. Yes, you will get some eye rolls and grimaces, but with 3 out of every 10 girls getting pregnant in their teens, I’m betting you will get over it.