STD’s are common among teenagers. Of all STD cases, teens make up around half.
As a parent, you know you can’t rely on others to tell your teen about sex. You’re the only one who can make sure your teen is practicing safe sex. That’s why it’s critical for you to be there, talking to them in the right way.
Teaching Teens the Art of Practicing Safe Sex:
Talking about the birds and the bees is one thing. But telling your teens how to have safe sex is different. It’s about telling them the risks and giving them the means to be safe.
1. Don’t Judge:
The number one thing to remember when talking to teens is to not judge. Teens are already afraid of going to their parents about personal subjects. If your teen thinks you’re going to get angry, they won’t come to you.
Being open and honest about sex is what will protect them more than anything. When they feel safe to talk about hard things, it’ll be easier for them to seek help.
2. Be Informational:
It can be difficult to talk about the details of sex and safety. But, if you’re afraid, where do you think they’ll learn about it?
Don’t shy away from giving them options for safe encounters. This includes ways to get out situations or reminding them about contraception.
Be informative about the risk of STD’s. Teens aren’t thinking that far ahead, and they need direction. You can even go so far as helping them with searches such as “STD Testing Near Me.”
Why? So, they’ll know what to do if worse comes to worst. The more open you are to them, the safer their experiences will be.
3. Teach Communication:
Consent and sexual safety start with communication. Where do teens learn their communication skills? They learn from their parents and their peers. Bad communication can set them up for difficult relationships.
Teach your kids the importance of permission, and the critical nature of communicating. Talking to a partner about safety is one of the most important lessons a teen can learn.
4. Keep the Past Out of It:
Sex makes us vulnerable. And a lot of people have had bad experiences with sex. It’s easy to let those insecurities and experiences affect how we talk about it.
As much as you can, try to keep the past in the past. Your experience doesn’t automatically mean your child will have the same. If you feel it’s important, warn them against some of the mistakes you made. But keep yourself out of it.
The reason is that you want to give your teen a clean slate to explore sex in a healthy manner. If they’re worried about your warnings, they might not feel free to figure these things out.
Be the parent you wish you’d had when talking to your kids about practicing safe sex. Teens aren’t going to learn on their own; they need guidance. The guidance of an understanding and knowledgeable parent, to be exact.
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