All too many parents do not realize just how important it is to give teenagers advice about sex and to teach that dating and sex do not go hand in glove. Unfortunately however many teens do assume that sex is a normal part of dating and, when you come to think about it, why wouldn’t they? Everywhere they look, whether at the movies, on television or in magazines they see pictures of teens having sex. So, do not simply assume that your teenage child knows the difference between dating and sex and take the opportunity to reinforce the difference as often as you can.
What To Tell Your Teenagers About Dating and Sex
Ensure that you teach your children from an early age that there is a difference between dating and sex and help your teenagers to understand that dating is all about getting to know another person emotionally and not simply physically.
Now this might seem silly, but you also need to talk to your teens about what they can do with their date. You will be surprised how many times sex comes up as an option because the pair are bored and cannot think of anything else to do. Suggest fun things that they might do together and, if they keep themselves busy enough, the question of sex will become far less important.
There are many different ways to teach your children to say no to sex and one favorite is to simply teach them to use an excuse. However, excuses tend to work only once and coming up with a whole string of excuses is not easy. The truth of course is that this is simply skirting around the issue and your teens need to be able to simple say no clearly and firmly without needing an excuse.
If your teen has already had sex then you might feel that it is too late to teach them to say no, but this is not the case at all. A lot of teenagers feel that once they have had sex with somebody they simply cannot then refuse. They need to understand that they should feel free to refuse sex for any reason at all if they feel uncomfortable. You should also take the opportunity to teach them that sex should be a very special experience and that this should apply not simply to their first sexual experience but should always be the case.
Now teaching your teens to say no is all well and good, but you also have to live in the real world and accept that many teenagers today are almost certainly going to engage in sex from time to time whether you like it or not. For this reason it is vitally important that you also teach them about safe sex. And, before you say that the school will do this for you, this is an assumption which you should not make. It is also worth remembering that, at then of the day, this really is your responsibility and not the school’s.
In these days of HIV and AIDS (and this is something that certainly doesn’t only apply if your teen is gay), as well as a host of other sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, teens need to fully understand the risks and know how to prevent them. It is also vital to discuss the whole subject of teenage pregnancy and its life-altering consequences. Teens need to know about the various different options that are available when it comes to birth control and both boys and girls need to understand their responsibilities when it comes to avoiding a pregnancy.
Education and teen advice about sex is the key to keeping your children safe and happy and this is one area of guidance which is best performed at home by a loving and caring parent.