Talking about sex with your teen is normal
Recently I have noticed my teen’s interest in boys grow. I have overheard her talking to her friends about which boys are cute and holding hands at lunch. I am not sure that she has a boyfriend, but I know that this seems to be the way things are heading. If there is anything, I know it is that the sooner I talk to her and open a dialogue about the topic, the better. I know that she had sex education in school and that she is aware of how it works, sexually transmitted diseases, and where babies come from. I am more concerned with making sure that she can come to me and talk about the emotional components of sexuality and relationships.
I have been trying to decide how to bring up this topic for some time now. I have researched this topic recently, and here are the areas that seem essential to cover. I have also realized that this is not something that is a one-time conversation. It is more of a process and creating a safe place for your teen to talk to you.
The first thing that is important to set up is access to medical care. I have made my daughter her first appointment at an OBGYN. I will allow my daughter to decide if she wants me to stay in the room, but I will make sure she gets some time alone with the doctor.
I have also had conversations with my daughter about birth control and how to access contraception, and I will ask the doctor to discuss these options with her again at her appointment. If I have learned anything from my experience and research, making sure that my daughter has all of the information needed doesn’t mean that she will go out and do it.
It is also essential to discuss consent with teens. Teens can often feel pressured into behaviors that they are not comfortable with. I need to make sure that my teen knows that saying no and making sure her partner is aware of her boundaries is okay.
Last, I have learned that taking the time to know your teen’s significant other is important. I will make sure that they are comfortable in my home and provide them with a safe environment when this time comes. This helps us as parents see their relationship and step in with any concerns because we are aware of what is going on.
Overall it is most important to allow your teen to have an open dialogue with you about sex. This doesn’t mean that you are encouraging them to have sex. You can still share your expectations and limits as a parent while helping your teen learn correct information, safety, and what being in a loving, positive relationship looks like.