For most parents, the idea of talking with their kids about sex is enough to turn them into a panicked mess, but talking to your tween about sex is a must if you expect them to make safe decisions when faced with life-changing decisions, like sex.
Sex, and all the things that comes with it, is an important health and safety issue for tweens. The month of September is Sexual Health Awareness Month, which aims to promote awareness about sexually transmitted diseases, safe sex and sexual assault.
So where do you begin when it comes to talking to your teen about sexuality?
Key Tips on Talking to Your Tween About Sex
1. Birth Control
“Teaching young people about birth control — how it works, where to get it, how to get it, why it’s important — is not the same as giving young teens permission to have sex,” Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of NCPTUP (National Campaign to Prevent Teen Unplanned Pregnancy), tells Bustle. “It helps them be most prepared when they eventually do.”
2. STI Stats
As per the CDC, young adults (ages 15-24) account for approximately half of chlamydia and gonorrhea infections in the U.S.
3. Start the Talk Young
“You don’t wait to have the big sex talk until they’re 15,” says Jay Homme, assistant professor of pediatrics and director of the pediatric residency program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, tells US News. “Start young with age-appropriate discussions” and prepare them for what’s ahead.
4. Risky Situations
Talk to your tweens about how to recognize and get out of potentially dangerous sexual situations.
5. Sex Myths
From the pull-out method to showering to prevent pregnancy — make sure to dispel any myths about sex that could confuse your tween.
Not only do children benefit from hearing that it’s normal to explore their bodies but masturbation also allows teens to relieve sexual urges without sexual health risks.
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