Tips for Having the “Talk” With Your Teen
If there is one thing that sends shudders through the heart of even the most seasoned parents, it is the idea of having “the talk”.
Why is talking to your teen about sex so difficult? Maybe it is the idea that discussing these topics with your child means that she is growing up too fast. Another reason may be that you feel that they will not be your baby much longer.
Maybe it is the overwhelming issue of where to start. There are some things that you can do to make it easier on both of you and your child when it becomes necessary to have a conversation about sex.
First thing is first, find a spot or place where you are alone and where your teen feels safe. One thing that may be helpful for parents is to break the talk down into multiple mini-discussions. Instead of overwhelming your teen and yourself by having one monumental, all-encompassing talk.
It is probably more sensible to break it down into several talks that may gently lead into deeper conversations over the course of several weeks, months, or even years.
So, how do you begin?
The most difficult part, and one of the most important is keeping calm. If your teen asks a question, particularly if it is one involving some graphic or intimate aspect of the act, keep it cool.
A panicky response or a show of intense emotion, like anger, or embarrassment, might make him come unglued or give the impression that there is something uncomfortable or shameful about it.
Feel Them Out
If you can maintain a composed and relaxed disposition, but with a matter-of-fact tone of voice, early on, you convey to them that the act is a healthy expression of love. One of the most significant ones in which human beings can be a part.
Furthermore, your demeanor will send an important message to your teen: “You can talk to me about uncomfortable or embarrassing things. You don’t need to worry about how I will react.” It’s something we can feel comfortable discussing.”
Ask them what they may have heard or if they need clarification on anything. If you follow their lead, you will know what you need to discuss and perhaps correct their view on something that may not have come from a reputable or reliable source.
Promote an Open Relationship
It is important to establish an environment of openness and transparency. If you do, you will likely become your kids’ most reliable and trusted source for finding out what it means to be in a healthy relationship. Parents should know how to ask questions in a non-threatening way.
Being able to discuss these topics with your teen in a way that fosters openness and transparency is crucial. It helps them understand important aspects of relationships and how they impact their lives. You will need to cover such important issues as healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, abuse and the different forms in which it can be recognized. Also, teach them how to be respectful and communicate in a relationship.
It may be helpful to provide your teen with certain sites that can help them get important questions answered. Vulvar anatomy – as awkward as it is to talk about is important. Help your child learn about the vulva and all parts of the vagina. Especially ones that involve subjects too difficult or painful to discuss, like pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted infections. A site like this one may help.
Whatever you do, never shun your teen, even if they have made mistakes.
Let them know that no matter what they did or failed to do, nothing will ever stop you from loving them.
Do you have any additional tips?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela and partner and best friend to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.