Perusing the internet for ideas for this blog, I could’t help but notice how MUCH interest teens have in sex. Not like it’s a surprise or anything…but they certainly are curious! So, parents, who’s going to fill them in? Their peers are certainly giving advice, much of which you wouldn’t agree with. TV shows aimed at teens tell them what’s “supposed” to be normal…often not messages you’d like your teen to absorb. Or they may look online, and that would open up a whole world of mostly bad ideas. SO…how about YOU giving them some answers? You could wait forever for your teen to approach you. So be proactive. As always, look for opportunities, and be prepared by thinking through how you want to address questions you teen might have about sex and dating. Here are some questions teens have, according to National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy:
- How do I know if I’m in love?
- Will sex bring me closer to my girlfriend/boyfriend?
- How will I know when I’m ready to have sex?
- Should I wait until marriage?
- Will having sex make me popular?
- Will it make me more grown-up and open up more adult activities to me?
- How do I tell my boyfriend that I don’t want to have sex without losing him or hurting his feelings?
- How do I manage pressure from my girlfriend to have sex?
It wouldn’t be too hard to think of a LOT more questions teens have, but this is a good start. Remember, expressing a strong expectation that your teen will wait to have sex, makes it more likely that he or she will! But helping teens think through the reasons WHY waiting is healthier is the best way to make your advice hit home.