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Teens and Sex

Talking About Sex to Preteens and Young Teens: What do you say?


Caucasian mother and daughter looking at cell phone together
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It is never too early to start talking to your child about their body and their sexuality. However, these talks need to change as your child gets older and moves towards becoming a teen. Here are five tips on talking about sex to young teens:

  1. Make sure your teen knows the basics.
    If you haven’t already explained to your teen where babies come from, now is the time, as they most likely have heard it from their peers. You may need to see what information they have and then, give them the truth. Young teens are notorious for misinformation on sex.

  2. Talk about body image and other issues.
    During adolescence, both boys and girls are concerned with the way their bodies are starting to change. They will have concerns about what is and what isn’t normal. Let them know that they are very normal and everyone that is going through this time in their lives has the same valid concerns. Share some of the concerns you had when you were their age.

    Try These 7 Tips for Fostering a Positive Body Image.
    Find Out if Your Daughter Has a Positive Body Image.
    Read More on Body Image.

  3. Discuss the consequences of sexual behavior.
    Young teens are learning about Newton's third law in science class at school: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It is not too far a stretch to relate this to their lives in other ways. Some consequences can be wonderful when they happen at the 'right' age. Pregnancy is great, when your child is all grown up and married. It makes life very hard though, if your child should get pregnant at a young age. Share these feelings with your teen as you discuss these tough issues.
    Learn more about teen pregnancy, how to talk to your teen about pregnancy and STDs.

  4. Give your teen every possible perspective.
    It is beneficial to your teen if you are able to get sexual information and perspective from both a woman's and a man's point of view. Moms can shed some light on what girls are all about to their son and Dads can impart an observation or two about boys to their daughter. If you feel uncomfortable - that’s okay. Most likely, so does your teen. Try to keep these conversations light and with some humor.
    Try Top Books for Parenting Teenagers with Humor.

  5. Tell your preteen that your door is always open.
    Most importantly, encourage your preteen to talk to you often about any questions they may have about sex. Remember that you are their person of choice when it comes to valuable life information. Your preteen does realize that they are facing choices and they will come to you with questions. Let them know that you will be there for them.

    Remember to bring up the fact that open communication with you about sex does not in any way imply that you condone sexual behavior at their age or maturity. Saying this will clear any confusion your teen may have and calm some of your own concerns.

    Read More on Communicating with Teens or Active Listening Skills.

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