Did You Know?

Who influences teens the most when it comes to decisions about sexual activity?

Teens say that parents (47%) influence their decisions about sex more than friends (18%), religious leaders (7%), siblings (5%), teachers and sex educators (4%), or the media (3%).

(Source: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2007)

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Does “the talk” seem intimidating?

Here is one way to ease the pressure of talking to your kids about sex: Don’t talk at them, have a conversation with them. This means letting them ask you anything. You may be thinking that this would make you uncomfortable—and it may, at first. But, after a while, you will realize you are both gaining respect for each other and actually communicating.

Conversations about their bodies and relationships can begin early in childhood and throughout adolescence. Being comfortable talking about and answering their questions will make it less nerve-racking when they get older and begin to have questions about sex.

Be careful not to preach. The easiest way to avoiding this is by open questions that cannot be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No”. For example, ask “Who are the friends you are hanging out most with at school? And why?”

Another important factor in talking about sex is the ability to listen—really listen. Believe it or not, children and teens want to talk with their parents about sex. Don’t be so quick to judge and jump to conclusions. Just because they have questions about sex and are talking about it does not mean that they are having sex. Listening provides reassurance that you care about what they think and feel. For more help, click here.