50% of Tulsans think local parents and guardians are uncomfortable talking to teens about sex.2019 Public Perception Polling (Amplify + Strategies 360)
Teens want their parents to talk to them about love, healthy relationships, and sex
Having these talks with the youth in your life can help them be prepared to make healthy choices and plan their entire future.
Inform your child if they are not comfortable talking with you, you can help them find another trusted adult to talk to. Additionally, you might consider skipping the intimidating face-to-face conversation; teens will open up more to their parents if it’s a relaxed, casual conversation.
Tips For Talking With Youth
- Know where your child is receiving their information
- Know what health messages your teen is learning and if they are medically accurate and factual
- Research for yourself what you think they wants to know so you can be prepared to answer their questions
- It’s never too early to start having these conversations
- Have age-appropriate conversations about the developing human body early in life and continue through different life experiences
- As they grow older, inform them about safe sex practices to prevent unplanned pregnancy and STIs.
Be an “ask-able parent”
- Have open communication with the young people in your life. Let them know they can come to you with any problems they are facing, whether it’s about their relationships, sexual health, or their sexual preferences
- Do not be judgmental when they are being honest with you about themselves, you want them to trust you and come to you with any problems they are facing
- It’s okay if you don’t know all the answers yet. You both can research to find out the correct information
Be a support system and trusted adult for your child or their friend
- Respect young people’s views and beliefs by listening. Share your own throughout these conversations.
- Reassure young people there is no bad question and you are glad they came to you to talk
- Consent Conversation Starters
- Sexual Health Conversation Starters
- Talk With Your Kids (PDF)
- Talking With Your Teens (PDF)
- Amaze Junior: Little kids have big questions. Amaze Jr. brings parents age-appropriate sex-ed resources about talking to young children and fun videos to share with your children.
- SexPositiveFamilies.com: Melissa Carnagey’s book is a bestselling comprehensive guide that helps caregivers create the kind of bond that keeps kids safer, informed and empowered in their sexual health. The book walks you through over 150 conversation starters, reflection exercises, and activities you can implement at every age and stage on topics such as bodies, feelings, safe and unsafe touch, consent, relationships, menstruation, pleasure, online porn, gender, sex and more.
- AmplifyTulsa.org: Amplify Tulsa has a free lending library, in addition to book recommendations broken down by age range on their website. Books are a fantastic tool for talking with your child about sexual health, consent, safety, puberty, and relationships.