Posted by William on October 22, 2012
Parents often feel perplexed and even threatened by their teenager’s emerging sexuality. If you are the parent of a teenager, it is best for everyone if you can come to terms with your child’s sexuality, show your trust, and give him or her any help needed.
Your child may receive education about sex, family life and sexually transmitted diseases at school. However, do not rely on the school to explain all of the complexities of sexual relationships that you want your child to know. No matter how awkward it may be for you, you have a responsibility to know what your child learns about the facts of life. If you are unsure how to present the facts, it may help to consult a book or suggest one to your child to read. You can also ask your physician or other trusted persons for help.
If you are like most parents, you want your child to delay the start of sexual activity until after he or she has reached an adequate level of emotional maturity. This is a sensible goal. Unfortunately, however, it is not always achieved. If your adolescent becomes sexually active, denying or ignoring that fact will not resolve the conflict you have with the situation and with your son or daughter.
Well before your child starts sexual activity, he or she needs your support and assistance in understanding sexual feelings, defining sexual behavior, and learning to respect himself or herself as well as others. Respond honestly and in a straightforward manner to your child’s spontaneous questions. If your child never asks any sex-related questions, do not assume that he or she is not interested. Bring up the subject when the opportunity presents itself.
Do not use only scare tactics in discussing sexual behavior with your teenager. By doing this, you put your child at risk of having insufficient knowledge about sexual situations. A purely negative approach may be less likely to discourage a teenager from embarking on a sexual relationship than providing a basic understanding and perspective from which to make sensible and responsible decisions in sexual matters. In addition, scare tactics may cut off the parent as a future source of information for the teenager.
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