One of the things that I am by far the most passionate about is properly educating not only ourselves about our body’s and safe and enjoyable sex but also educating teens and kids. It’s unfortunately a highly politicized topic (which I won’t get too much into on this blog because I know that everyone has their own opinions and I respect that whether I agree or not. But it may pop up here and there).
Sex ed in schools is controversial and debated to no end. But in my opinion, sex ed is super important especially for teens. If you think your teenager isn’t sexually active in one way or another…your nuts. What our definition of sex is compared to what their definition is completely different. Either way they need to have the appropriate information and the CORRECT information.
I’m not going to tell you what to tell your kids, but you should be telling them something. Even if it is uncomfortable for them and for you. Because where they are getting the information isn’t always reliable and may not go along with what you want to teach your kids.
Teens are learning about sex from their friends, the media, the internet and unfortunately porn. None of those sources are 100% reliable and may give kids the wrong information, bad expectations and some crazy ideas. Would you really want your kid’s friends giving them the 411 on sex? When they themselves are probably just learning? I don’t think so.
Getting over the Hurdle of talking to your teen:
- Its awkward. They don’t want to know from you that you…you know…have sex. Its weird for you, weird for them. But it doesn’t have to be. Just your kids knowing that they can come to you and talk to you comfortably about it without fear of judgement or shaming is a HUGE step.
Thats how my mom was. My sisters and I had the understand that if we had questions, needed protection or just someone to talk to, our mom was always there for us, without judgement. She was also very realistic and understood that no matter how much they encouraged us to wait, it was bound to happen before we got married. She was right too.
If I have kids and if my sisters have kids we will be sure to have that same attitude with our teens. That there’s no judgement and that we would rather them be safe, smart and educated rather than blind-sided with teen pregnancy or an STD.
- Give them the right information. Do your own research! There are books, websites and organizations that can help provide you with the correct information to give your teen. Here are a few great resources:
Scarleteen.com – A great resource from Dr. Madeleine Castenellos of Reclaim Your Sexuality is a Licensed Sex Therapist in New York and is an excellent resource not just for teens but for yourself. I’ve met her! She’s Awesome!
Dr. Logan Levkoff Her website doesn’t necessarily focus on how to talk to your kids, but this is what she primarily focuses on. I’ve taken a course on how to talk to your kids about sex and it was by far one of the most enlightening courses I’ve taken. Her books are definitely worth a read!
Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health Now this is a local organization in Chicago but I’m sure if you do your research there are similar groups in your area. They not only offer courses for sex educators, teachers and therapists/counselors but also have some fun events you can attend.
Advocates for Youth is another, more national program similar to ICAH. They have a lot of different resources if your browse their site.
As my blog grows and the more posts I write, I’ll compile a HUGE list of great resources for yourself, for your teen, for your relationship. So stay tuned for that!
Do you have any great tips on talking to your teens about sex?? Post them in the