No matter what you plan to say when you talk to your teens about sex, you're going to forget to mention something important, or you may decide in the moment to skip a planned discussion topic. On the other hand, they're not going to give you 12 hours of their time for a record-breaking attempt at "Longest Embarrassing Talk in Teen History."
Seek out solid sources of information before talking to your teens about sex, and make these available to them. Start off with a talk, and afterward, provide them with (age-appropriate) written information about sexuality. Later, discuss the materials and content with them. However, be sure to discuss sex with your teens instead using educational literature as a stand-in.
By doing this and the other tips we've discussed, there's a very strong chance you'll be able to talk to your teens; however, you'll probably still embarrass them. It's unavoidable. Hopefully, these tips will ensure that an actual conversation -- and some sex education -- occurs in the midst of that mortification. Give it your best, because your teens will carry forward your knowledge, wisdom and advice about sexual relations, and they'll know that if they can survive "the talk" with you, they can survive any talk with you.
See the next page for lots more information about talking to your teen about sex.
- Allen, Kim, Ph.D. "Talking with Teens about Sex." University of Missouri Extension. May 27, 2009. (Oct. 22, 2010)http://missourifamilies.org/features/adolescentsarticles/adolesfeature12.htm
- Children Now. "Talking with Kids About Tough Issues: Sex & Relationships." 2009. (Oct. 22, 2010) http://www.childrennow.org/index.php/learn/twk_sex
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. "Sex education: Talking to your teen about sex." Nov. 14, 2009. (Oct. 22, 2010)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sex-education/CC00032
- Morales, Tatiana. "Talking to Teens about Sex." CBS News. Sept. 26, 2005. (Oct. 22, 2010)http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/09/26/earlyshow/living/parenting/main885473.shtml
- MSNBC. "Experts: How to talk to teens about sex." Jan. 26, 2005. (Oct. 22, 2010)http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6870839/
- Palo Alto Medical Foundation. "Talking to Teens about Sex." 2010. (Oct. 22, 2010) http://www.pamf.org/teen/parents/sex/talksex.html
- Planned Parenthood. "Info for Teens." 2010. (Oct. 22, 2010)http://www.plannedparenthood.org /info-for-teens/
- Walsh, David Allen and Nat Bennett. Why Do They Act That Way? -- A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen. Free Press. 2004.
As The Who would have said, the kids are all right. See the results of a survey on teen behavior at HowStuffWorks.