The True2You team attempts to provide helpful, factual answers to your questions about sexual health and lifestyle choices. However, we are not medical professionals and will not provide diagnoses or treatment advice. We encourage you to see your health care provider for any medical concerns.
How often do I need to bring the conversation about sex up?
The answer is, more often than you think. Despite the uneasiness felt by most pre-teens when parents bring up the subject of sex, most kids this age say they prefer to learn about sex from their parents. In one study of 11- and 12-year-olds, 60 percent of the respondents wanted their parents to bring the subject up more frequently. Remember the insatiable curiosity you had when you were young? Meet the curiosity head-on so that it is not quenched elsewhere. Bringing the subject up often allows you to maintain control of the message. The truth is that ignorance about sexual issues is simply too dangerous for our children today. Although abstinence is gaining momentum as an option, not all abstinence messages can be trusted. I have a book published by a reputable Christian publisher in which the authors advise parents to teach “safer sex.” Some abstinence programs teach that students should refrain from intercourse, but allow for other sexual activities such as mutual masturbation and oral sex. We hear a lot about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, but not much about the human papilloma virus known as HPV which is just as dangerous. “Condoms, the armor of the safe-sex mentality, provide little protection against most sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). HPV is the most common viral STD, causing more than 2.5 million new infections each year. HPV is incurable, uncomfortable, and gross. It causes genital warts and more importantly, it causes more than 90 percent of all cervical cancer. Guess how much protection a condom provides against HPV? None. How safe is that?” In addition, some STDs can be passed on through oral sex, mutual masturbation, and other sexual behaviors that appear “safe.(www.Pure Freedom.org)
What if my teen has had sex?
For parents who discover that their teen has been sexually active, it is important to handle the situation in a healthy way. Parents should become more involved in the couple’s relationship and set boundaries to help the couple avoid sexual temptation. For instance, parents could refuse to allow the couple to spend time alone together or to be in a room with the door closed. It is extremely important that parents exhibit forgiveness and help their teen stop this behavior.
When should parents sit down for that all important "birds and bees" talk?
We often think to small when it comes to sex education. It’s not realistic to expect that everything about sex, love, and relationships can be summed up in one conversation. It is rather an ongoing conversation or more of an unfolding process, that over time our kids will learn what they need to know. Sometimes we may look for ways to plan the talks and the content, and other times it will happen naturally as we look for teachable moments throughout the day. Since it is not a one time event, begin the conversation with them while they are young and continue it on through their adolescent years.
When is the best time to start talking to my children about sex and sexuality?
Start while they are young, as your child grows that conversation can get more thorough. What a great privilege for you as the parent to get the first impression. You may be thinking, oh I’m too late. Don’t worry its never too late. YOU want to be the resource if your child has a question or concern. When communicating be open and most importantly remember your child’s experience is not your own. Sharing your own fears and experiences also helps to break down the barriers and allows your child to start to talk openly and honestly with you.. sometimes listening is just as important as talking.