If you’re like many parents, just the thought of discussing sex with your teen makes you squeamish and jittery, and you’re likely to try to find any means possible to avoid the topic altogether. Whether you’re ready or not to have discussions about teen sex, it’s a responsibility of parenting that you simply cannot and must not avoid. Even if you have very strong religious beliefs, or simply believe in total abstinence until marriage, teen sex is a reality parents cannot afford to ignore.
Statistics show that children are having sex for the very first time as young as 10 to 12 years old, making it very obvious that discussions about sex needs to start when they are very young. Like it or not, teen sex is a hot topic amongst teens and their peers, and leaving it up to their friends or school system to teach your children about sex is, quite frankly, not good parenting. When it comes to teen sex and sexual health, there are things that every parent and teen should know about sex, because education is primarily the parents’ responsibility.
Some parents are concerned that talking about sex with their children or teens will lead to sexual experimentation and exploration well before they are ready for the responsibilities that go along with being sexually active. A far greater risk is not having taken the time to personally (and correctly) educate your children and teens about sex, in a manner that respects your family values and morals, only to learn later on that your child or teen has already “done the deed” and is now pregnant or has contracted a sexually transmitted disease.
Teen Sex – Taught By Whom?
While I believe discussions about sex should be a joint effort amongst parents, with fathers teaching sons and mothers teaching daughters, this is often not possible with the ever-increasing numbers of single parent homes. Some parents may not have been properly taught about sex by their own mother or father while growing up, or are simply ill-equipped to teach their children to have a healthy, responsible and respectful view of sex. How to Talk With Teens About Love, Relationships, & S-E-X: A Guide for Parents is a book for parents of children over the age of 8, because you’re going to need it sooner than you think. If sex and sexuality is treated as a taboo subject, all you’re doing is teaching your children and teens that sex is secretive and something to be ashamed of. Is that really what you want?
As I’ve mentioned before, I have six children, three boys and three girls. With each and every one of my children, I was the one who discussed the changes that would go on within their bodies as they got older. Yes, including the boys! I was the one who discussed puberty, reproductive organs, sex, safe sex, birth control etc, because their father wouldn’t discuss these topics with the boys while I did so with the girls.
I read a lot of books about changes that take place within growing boys because I wanted to be sure to educate my sons correctly but more importantly, I was not going to have my sons thinking something was wrong with them when changes started happening. Fortunately I had already established an open and communicative relationship with my children, thus allowing calm and frank discussions that were not uncomfortable or embarrassing for me or my children.
Teen Sex Resources and Information-
One of my favorite and highly recommended resources is a book called: Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They’d Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child’s Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens, and I cannot recommend it enough to parents. I’m a big believer in reading book reviews before purchasing a book, and reviews of this one give it very high marks.
Another fabulous resource is Ten Talks Parents Must Have with Their Children About Sex and Character accompanied by more great reviews from readers. The authors believe that discussions with children need to begin well before they enter their teen years, and I wholeheartedly agree.
Whatever your opinion is of teen sex and teen sexuality, your parental responsibility is to educate your children and teens in how the real world is. That includes the good, bad and the ugly. The more effort you put into raising your children and teens with correct information, the better chance you have of them reaching adulthood and beyond knowing you had done everything possible to raise them right.
What are your thoughts on teen sex? What have you done to educate your children on this important topic?