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Talking With Your Child

Updated on 8/20/2010 04:57:56 PM

Barriers to Communication

  • Finding Time
  • Lack of Patience
  • Lack of Information
  • Feeling Guilt/Shame
  • Disconnected with Youth
  • Embarrassment/Discomfort

You may be experiencing one or all of these feelings and they may be coupled with you having little experience with your parents discussing topics on love, sex, and relationships with you. You Are Not Alone! It’s natural for you to fear being inaccurate and also desiring the right moment. What’s most important is that you play a significant role in your child’s sexual attitudes and behaviors. Studies show that they want this information from you!

Starting the Conversation

  • The direct approach is best. – “Hey, I have a problem with your late phone conversations. We need to address a curfew.”
  • Talk with your teen and communicate your feelings. – “It really bothers me when I hear people refer to females that way. How do you feel about it?”
  • Share a story and ask what they think. – “When I was driving to work yesterday, the DJ was talking about…. Some of the callers were saying…What do you think about that?”
  • Be honest about your concerns and be willing to share your own experiences. – “Hearing that some of your friends are sexually active makes me nervous. I’m scared that you might do something that may lead to serious consequences. I did (not) wait for love and I found that…”

What Teens Want to Know

  • When is it ok to have sex?
  • How do I say no to sex without making my partner feel bad?
  • How do you know when you’re in love?
  • Where can I find information about contraceptives?
  • What’s the best contraceptive method?
  • Can you tell if someone has an STD?
  • Can you get pregnant the first time you have sex?
  • What is (reproductive term) and what does it do?

Other Tips

  • Ask questions
  • Plan for quality time with each other
  • Speak with authority and compassion
  • Focus on building a strong connection with your child
  • Communicate a positive vision for their future
  • Do some reading so you are aware of what current literature is reporting
  • Remember what it was like when you were young