Talking about sex with a parent or another caring adult shouldn’t be a one-time, big talk. Instead, turn it into an ongoing dialog by leaving the door open for further discussion. Thank your mother, father, or whoever you talk to for taking the time to help.
Talking to Parents about Sex
- “I heard someone say…” (Fill in the blank with your question.) Then follow with: “Is that true?”
- “Some of the kids at school are doing… (Fill in the blank again.) I want to know what you think.”
- “I saw this… (movie/TV show/article/ad) about… (Yup, fill in the blank again). What does it mean?”
- “What was dating like when you were my age?”
- “Did your friends try to pressure you into having sex or doing something you didn’t like?”
- “Our sex-ed teacher told us about… (You know what to do here.) and I have questions I’d rather ask you.”
- “I’m worried about my friend (Don’t fill in the blank.) and want to help him/her. What do you think I should I do?”
- “I’m wondering what the right age is to have sex. Can we talk about it?”
- The best way to ensure that your side of the discussion will be respected is to show respect to theirs. It’s natural for you to have differing opinions; acknowledge it and respond tactfully: “I want to think more about what you’ve said. Can I ask you a different question?”
- Be polite. Good manners help keep the conversation on a high level of respect and can even elevate it to a higher level, especially if one of you says or does something “wrong.”
- Be truthful. What’s the point in asking questions if you don’t want real answers? Besides, you know what happens when you’re not honest. Somehow, sometime it comes back to haunt you. So just say what you mean.
- Be direct. If you want to know about birth control or sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STDs/STIs) infections or homosexuality or any other sensitive issue, ask. The only way to get a clear answer is to ask a question clearly.
- Listen. You might be surprised by how much they know and how good their advice is.
- Try to pick a time when neither of you is in a hurry or a bad mood. “Not now” is not the answer you’re shooting for.
- Choose a place that’s comfortable and private. Your bedroom, the car or a park are all good options. The idea is to minimize distractions and interruptions.