"This Might Be a Little Awkward for Us, But Here Goes ..."
It's tempting to project an aura of cool, calm, collectedness during an uncomfortable conversation with your teen. Such an attitude demands respect, right? But it's OK to acknowledge that a question is uncomfortable or that the discussion's getting a little embarrassing. That's completely normal, and showing you're aware of the situation's potential awkwardness will demonstrate to your teen that you're being honest. If your parents never spoke to you about things like drugs or sex, explain that to your teen. You can promise your child that you'll be doing your best because these kinds of conversations are important. If things become unbearably uncomfortable, ask for a timeout to collect your thoughts. A conversation between parent and child shouldn't be a one-time thing, but rather an ongoing dialogue.