Many years ago, when you held your tiny baby girl for the
first time, the last thing you were thinking about was that one day that sweet
little bundle of sleeplessness would grow up and have sex. You may have envisioned her first steps,
first day of school, her wedding day, and maybe even her having babies of her
own, but probably never thought past that to the mechanics of that. Every parent chooses what age is appropriate
to have “the talk” about the birds and bees, but by the time your child is a
pre-teen or teenager, she should at least have a basic or moderate
understanding of her body, what will happen as she enters puberty and what
sexual intercourse is. Statistics show a
recent drop in the proportion of teens having sex before the age of 15, but by
the age of 19, 44% of females and 49% of males have had intercourse. 79% of females aged 15-19 used contraceptive
the first time they had sex, compared to 49% in 1982, and 68% of females
reported that a condom was the contraceptive of choice in that situation. While these statistics are positive, it still
proves that it is critically important to have open and honest talks with your
teens, especially in our oversexualized culture.
We know that talking to your teen about sex can be awkward,
here are a few tips to make it a little easier on both of you.
Carpe Diem- If a news report, TV program, or
random conversion can help open up the topic, take the opportunity and have the
discussion. See what your teen knows,
and depending on how open your relationship is, ask if your teen has any
questions or situations they need advice with.
Honesty is the best policy- be honest, if you
feel super uncomfortable with the conversation, it’s ok to admit that to your
teen, it might help her feel more comfortable knowing that you both feel weird
in that moment.
Be Open- A clinical understanding, such as the
names and functions of various body parts is important, but it’s also vitally
important to discuss the emotions, attitudes and values that go along with
sexual intercourse. Lecturing and scare
tactics are not typically successful.
Keep the conversation going- Keep an open
invitation with your teen to discuss any questions or concerns, and thank her
when she does come to you.