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Be prepared and informed
Before you start these conversations, it’s important to consider and get some information about:
Tips to help the conversation go smoothly
Here are some strategies for a more helpful and successful talk:
Prepare and plan, but don’t script!
Be supportive and don’t judge
Actively listen and support
Provide resources about safe sex
Don’t lecture or pressure them for information
Use the proper names for body parts and bodily functions
Give them chances to express their feelings and thoughts
Make it a conversation that is informal and relaxed
Help them understand that sex is a big deal
Choose a time where distractions are minimal
Be honest and open with your thoughts, values and concerns
Give accurate and balanced information when you can
Key points to cover while talking to your teen about safe sex
Feeling confused about what to say and how to say it?
Here are some key points to start with:
Find out what your teen knows – be interested in their views on sex and correct any misinformation they may have.
Present the risks objectively - including emotional pain, sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy.
Find a teachable moment – look for opportunities to talk about sexual topics in everyday conversations.
Stress the importance of safe sex - make sure your teen understands how to get and use contraception.
Discuss contraception - support your teen to make an appointment with a doctor to choose the best option for them.
Talk about values - explore their feelings, values, beliefs and attitude around sex. Discuss what sex might mean to them.
Be open to any questions – it’s ok if you don’t know the answers. Role model how to find information safely.
Use media to spark conversations – when TV shows or movies raise issues about sex and values.
Explain that oral sex isn't a risk-free alternative - using condoms or dental dams are important to avoid STIs.
Help them understand consent - both people need to agree and they can stop or change their mind at any time.
Talk about relationships - sex is a relationship with another person. They’re about respect, affection, trust and honesty.
Listen carefully - understand your teen's pressures, challenges and concerns, before talking them through.
Sex isn’t the only way to show affection - kissing, hugging, and holding hands are good ways of expressing love.
Don't rely on scare tactics – talk about sex in a balanced way, discuss both the pros and cons.
If your teen is already sexually active – check that they’re being safe and encourage them to get a sexual health check.
Let your teen know that it's ok to talk with you about sex
Ask them to come to you when they have any questions or concerns.
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