And experience with him or her together, so you can discuss it and use it to build trust between you.”So when is the right time to start talking about sex with your child?
It’s a good idea to start laying the groundwork for these conversations long before the onset of puberty.
But at the same time, let the adolescent know what your views and values are.
Know the difference between facts and your opinion, and be clear about both.”But how to do it in a way that helps keep the channels open? “The key is to let adolescents know that you love them no matter who they become,” Dr. “They may turn out tall, short, heavy, thin, healthy, or sickly — but you’ll love them no matter what, no matter what decisions they make.
By providing your child with a solid framework of information and values, you’ve taken a large step toward making sure that when he or she becomes sexually active it will be with the knowledge, preparation, and maturity that will mark the transition to sexual activity as an informed choice, not a risky accident.The good news is that as many as half of all adolescents do just that.But that leaves the other half at risk — many of them engaging in unprotected sex, exposing themselves to potentially grave disease and unwanted pregnancy.“The most important thing to teach your child is responsibility,” Dr. “Discuss how to make decisions and understand what the consequences of decisions will be. Use this moment as an opportunity to teach and encourage, not to pronounce a harsh, dismissive judgment.“Never let them forget that your love is unconditional,” Dr. “Tell them, ‘I am here with you, and I love you and I will be here with you no matter what through all of this.’ Yes, it’s much easier said than done, but no less important.”So what should you talk about?
Perhaps start with how sexuality is portrayed in the media and, far more importantly, how it “works” in real life — the potentially bad consequences and catastrophes than can be a result of sexual activity, as well as the pleasure and positive results of responsible sexuality (remember: the job here is to be honest.) “You see a character in a TV show who’s made a decision with regard to sex,” Dr. “Start the discussion there, but don’t make it your soapbox.Carefully preparing children for the normal changes in their bodies as well as the endless assault of peer pressure, media glorification of irresponsible sexuality, and advertising come-ons is the only way to create a sense of security for parents and children alike.The only foolproof approach to sexual safety, of course, is to say “no” and defer sexual activity until later in life.“It’s very important to get the facts straight from the start, and share those facts with your child,” says Dr. “That builds trust, and that trust is critical to guiding your adolescent through these challenging times.”In particular, be specific and accurate about the risks or pregnancy, the effectiveness (and limitations) of different types of birth control, and the variety of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and their effects.