Children seem to be exposed to sex earlier and earlier nowadays with television, movies, the internet, and social media. While we can try to protect them as long as possible, inevitably, it’s time to have “the talk”. When it’s that time, here are some tips to make it go smoothly.
1. Listen more than talk
While many children might feel uncomfortable talking, there are ways to get them to talk. Ask questions about what they know and what they’ve learned from other kids and the media. Ask them if they know what safe sex is, what STDs are, and what having sex could mean. When they start to talk, be open-minded and don’t get mad. Answer all questions honestly instead of avoiding them or sugar-coating them.
2. Talk about the right way to do things
You want your children to be prepared when they are ready to have sex. Instead of preaching abstinence, talk about how to be safe when they do decide to have sex. Talk to them about birth control as well as how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. Explain that only condoms protect from STDs. Also, explain to them how important it is to get tested regularly. Give them the resources they may need to identify a potential problem and get tested if necessary. Finally, encourage them to come to you with any problems so that they don’t go through anything alone or ignore a problem.
3. Talk about healthy/ unhealthy relationships
One aspect of “the talk” that most people don’t consider is going over healthy relationships. Your children need to learn what is healthy and unhealthy in a relationship. Of course, you want to demonstrate this with your own relationship from their birth. You then want to explain that pressure and abuse are completely unacceptable. Healthy relationships involve good communication. They also understand and demonstrate patience. Let your children know that if anyone tries to push them into something they are not ready to do, that’s a sign that they are in an unhealthy relationship, and it may be time to leave.
Having unsafe sex too soon or being in an unhealthy relationship can ruin your child’s life. While you can’t make every decision for them, you can help them make the right decision by giving them the knowledge they need. Even if it’s uncomfortable, sit down with your children and talk about sex.
Author Bio: Paige Jirsa– I work with https://stdtestingfacilities.com/, which provides users same day STD testing in a discrete and proficient manner.