Pre-teen and teen years are difficult for kids. Their bodies change, and hormones are all over
the place. Young girls and boys often become more conscious of their bodies and may struggle
with the changes that they experience. As a parent, you have the responsibility to impart sex
education even though it may be uncomfortable for you to do.
How to Initiate the Talk?
Sex education is not just talking about birds and bees. In modern times, sex education must
encompass issues that affect pre-teens and teenagers.
By the time your kid becomes a pre-teen or teen, you need to keep talking about the changes
they are experiencing. They need to understand that it is normal and not something strange or
weird. Some kids develop faster than others, and this can make them extremely self-conscious.
Let them know that there is nothing wrong with developing quicker than their peers.
Also, since kids today have access to the internet, it is wise to talk to them about online safety.
For instance, tell them it is wrong if someone forces them to send inappropriate pictures of
themselves. They should immediately let you know if something like this happens as it is illegal.
This period is the correct time to speak about sexual choices, behaviour, and safe sex. Here are
a few ways to begin and talk with your pre-teen or teen.
Make Use of Opportunities
If you are watching a TV program together with a few sexual scenes, use them to begin talking
about responsible sexual behaviour. You must seize everyday moments to talk about sex and
responsible sexual behaviour.
If you are embarrassed or uncomfortable, don’t shy away from your feelings. Instead, let your
kid know and, at the same time, emphasize the importance of talking. In case you do not know
something, don’t brush it under the carpet. Let your child know that you don’t have the answer
right now, but you will look it up and let them know.
Do not talk about storks, magic, and cabbage patch. Be direct about sexual intercourse. That
will help them get the right information. Also, speak about STDs, oral sex, emotions, and
unplanned pregnancy. It is important to explain to your child that oral sex comes with risks.
Hence, they should not think of it as an alternative to sexual intercourse.
Refrain from Lecturing Your Child
Don’t try to scare your child to discourage sexual activity. Keep an open mind and learn to listen
to what your kid has to say. You need to understand your child’s perspective and the challenges
and concerns they have. That will enable you to work with your child to find a solution.
While sex education should include honesty and facts, you should also discuss attitude, feelings,
and values. Speak about your religious and personal beliefs so that your child understands
responsibility and ethics in that context. Above all, let your teen or pre-teen know that they can
always come and talk to you if they feel like it.