Tips for Talking to your Teen

Assess your own values first.

It’s time to decide what you believe. Before you can talk with your kids about your beliefs and values concerning sex, you’ve got to know for yourself. Think about what you’ve learned in life. Think about the things you value in relationships. When should teens be allowed to date? How should people behave when they disagree? How do you feel when others treat you with respect?

“I think we should talk about sex.”

You want a conversation starter, here’s a real grabber. Blurt that out and instantly you have their attention. Now you can’t say your kids never listen to you! And you can say what’s on your mind. Remember, it’s a conversation so don’t spend all the time talking.

Listen.

Talk to them while driving and doing errands. Ask them what they think – about something you’ve seen on TV together, their view of our culture’s ideas about sex and dating, what’s happening with their peers, etc. Don’t criticize them for their views or for having questions that may concern you. Kids see unusual things in the media that they want to talk about. No one in the world cares more for your child than you. Make sure they know that, too.

Say what?

Need tips on what to talk about? Here are some examples:

“When do you think a person is ready to date?” “When do you think a person is ready to be a parent?” “When do you think a person is ready to have sex?”
“We believe abstinence is the healthiest choice for teens because it is the only 100% effective form of contraception.”
“One of the many reasons I’m concerned about teens drinking is that it can lead to unplanned sex and potential STDs or pregnancy.”