Birds, Bees, And Shaky Knees: How To Talk About Sex With Your Teen

Being asked about sex is the one moment in parenthood that some parents dread. If you want to stack the deck in your child's favor, it is important to speak with your teenager about sex and its consequences. Here are some ways to speak with your teen about sex and make sure that your house is a safe space.

Get used to the terminology

It is common in childhood for parents to use non-medical words for genitalia or sexual relationships. However, for your teen to be properly prepared, they must know the appropriate terms for STDs, genitalia, and sexual problems. Practice the speech that you plan to give to your child using the medical terms. Be prepared to offer up the medical terminology and its definition in case your teen is confused.

Institute STD testing days

If you are worried that your teenager may be sexually active, one thing that you can do to make them aware of their status is to institute STD testing. Every few months, you and your teenager can go to the STD clinic in order to get tested. Let your teenager know that you do not have to see their results and that the testing can be no questions asked if they would prefer. By going to an STD clinic, seeing the interior of the space, and going through the testing and results phase every few months, you child will get used to this process and can make it a part of their habits as a sexually healthy adult. Along with knowing their status, your teenager also gets the chance to talk to a medical professional about any of their needs without having confidence broken.

Offer the "cool adult friend" as a sounding board

If your teen has a cool uncle, aunt, or friend of yours that they look up to, they may be more likely to want to go to this person to speak about private matters. Instead of being offended by it, make it known that you encourage your child to go to this person. Have a talk with the adult and make sure they are comfortable having frank conversations with your child. If they are on board, let your kid know that they free to speak with the "cool adult" in their life if they ever feel uncomfortable talking to you. The goal should be making sure that your teen has someone trustworthy to confide in, and that knowledge will make both of you feel more comfortable.