What can parents do? We hope you've been able to talk with your children about sexuality as they're been growing up. If not, start now. It's never too late! Here are some tips for discussing sexuality with your teen:
Seize the moment.
While doing a job together, or watching TV, talk to your child about a sexuality issue. Choose a night, choose a TV program, and watch with your child. Many of the TV scenes can lead to a good talk about sexuality.
Be alert to moments to teach.
As your teen's body is changing, use this chance to discuss the subject. An easy opener could be, "You are really growing up. One of the experiences you may soon have, or already have had, is..."
Get to the point.
Answer your teenager's questions without boring them or jumping to conclusions. Don't accuse them of having sex just because they have a question; they may only be curious. If you don't know an answer, say so. Offer to find out for them. Buy them their own book on teen sexuality. Talk with them about the books.
Honor their privacy.
What your teen tells you should remain confidential. Don't tell your friends or relatives what your teen has told you.
Discuss, don't dictate.
You can talk about what you think is important while respecting your child's view.
Be aware of your own values, beliefs, ideas and fears.
Thinking about what matters most to you is the first step towards being able to share your own beliefs and concerns with your teen.