The Sex Talk: Advice for Parents
The biggest fear many parents have is watching their child’s life become altered by having a child of their own. There are so many different things that go through a parent’s mind like “What did I do wrong?” or “How could I prevent this?” The sad reality is that many teens want to experiment and see for themselves, and many of life’s lessons have to be from the school of hard knocks. Parents, there is a way for you to talk to your teen about sex without preaching to them.
Talking to Teens About Sex
First off, parents, you need to remember what it was like when you were a teen. If you do this one simple task, talking to teens about sex will be a breeze. For some, that may be hard to do. For others, maybe not so much but try to remember what it was like for you. All the emotions and hormones were coursing through your body, and the difference is for today’s teens they can get most of their questions answered by movies or television shows. In our time, we were still censored. Today’s world as parents we are competing with movies that were once labeled R are now PG-13. Violence and sex are what sells. Just look at Deadpool, I went to that movie to enjoy adult entertainment, what I got was a nine-year-old laughing at all the crude jokes and watching the characters having sex. If you think he snuck in, think again. The mom was sitting behind him with his younger sister of 7 and a baby.
Watching a movie is one way to introduce your children to sex. Let them watch it for themselves. However, many parents aren’t following through, they let the show or movie explain the “how” to have sex, but not the consequences of sex. It’s not like Hollywood is going to create a show that is about getting AIDS/HIV or Gonorrhea. The messy parts of sex are what the parents need to discuss with their children.
The best way to talk to teens about sex is to be blunt and straightforward. It’s hard to think of your daughter engaging in sex, but it is better for her not to sugar coat it. Explain why a condom is important and not just to help prevent pregnancy. Explain the harsh realities and show them pictures of what kind of diseases are out there. Our generation wasn’t exposed nearly as many STD’s as there is today, and it is important to tell your kids about these dangers.
Take time to sit down and watch a show you know is racy. Pause it during the show and ask your child questions. Movies and television are great icebreakers to get the conversation flowing. And when your child is being a “know- it- all” teenager who won’t listen, go to your computer and show them the dirty side of sex. Print out pictures of what certain STD’s look like. The more in your face your tactics are when explaining that STD’s are serious, the more your child will retain. They have grown up in a world of high-tech. Seeing to them is believing, and if you expose them to images and explain in a caring way, they will get it. It is better to equip your child with knowledge than to send them out into the real world unprepared. Watch movies, ask questions, show pictures, make the conversation, not about them but use “a friend of mine” to drive your point home. If you can disassociate the conversation and make it about someone else, sort of like gossiping, they will retain the information. You don’t necessarily have to lie, but try to get your point across in story form.
So how do you get through to your kids about sex?
– Watch movies
– Ask questions
– Tell them “horror” stories of personal experiences
– Use visuals
There are so many parents out there who want society to educate their children, so they don’t have to but by doing so, they are losing valuable bonding time. Imagine years down the road when your child is going through some traumatic, and they blame you for not teaching them. Some kids get it in their head of a fantasy world of what sex is. Disillusion them now so there is no mystery and no stone left unturned. Explain to your children the ugly side sex and leave nothing out. Explain how painful pregnancy can be, how childbirth hurts, how STD’s can ruin your sex life and what the STD’s look like. Visuals usually discourage many young impressionable kids. But most important, keep the lines of communication open. If your child comes to you, sometimes it may be wise to play dumb. That way they can explain the situation to you, and you can guide them in the right direction.