“Someone will, shouldn’t it be you?”
Parents, have you had “that talk” with your youngster about…S-E-X??? You know how important it is, but are you reluctantly waiting for that “right moment”? Of course, there is no single moment for this discussion. It is an ongoing process, beginning as soon as possible, and, of course presented in age appropriate language. When rearing your child, look for that “teachable moment” when something that you are seeing, doing or experiencing brings up the subject in a natural way. Just make sure that your counsel is not too little, too late. The significance of this supportive relationship regarding sex is indisputable.
Part of your discussion, as your teen reaches high school, is instruction of the significance his/her day to day social, nonsexual interactions in public; avoiding so called sexual harassment. Your teen may regard such behaviors as inappropriate words, touching, body language and locker pinups as innocent, but school authorities may regard them differently.
“Studies confirm that kids who share a good relationship with their parents, and can honestly discuss their concerns about sex, dating, and love, are less influenced by peer behavior regarding drugs, alcohol, and sex reporting less depression and anxiety and more self-reliance and self-esteem. They are also more successful in school and develop more meaningful relationships.
We know that the physical changes of puberty ignite the lightning rod of transformation for your child in so many ways. Teens, in these situations, do not always communicate that they prefer spending time with their parents, nor can be expected to express lucid explanations to questions and issues that they have not sorted out for themselves. By sharing quality time together in settings that are comfortable for both of you, you permit your child to reaffirm trust and open up.
Clear, open conversation about sex, intimacy, and love are essential. If your kids avoid speaking with you because they “already know everything about it” (whether from health class or their friends), invite them to share what they know so that you may understand what they’re thinking—and develop your discussion from there; anatomy, sexually transmitted infections, condoms, pornography, sexual arousal, masturbation, romance, kissing, hugging, dating behavior, oral sex, menstruation, birth control, rape, homosexuality, bisexuality, sexting, abstinence, sexual values.
It’s healthy for kids to challenge their (and your) values and beliefs. This is a natural sign of maturing. Sometimes our kids’ thoughts and actions may have us questioning if this is the same child we raised. While interpreting the meaning of moods during the roller coaster of adolescence is slippery, the most stabilizing antidote for uncertainty is achieved by your assurance of love. It’s important that your child walks away feeling that your care is what drives you, and that sets the stage for what they want to retain in their life. Remember, our kids make their own choices (not ours). Stay the course: the values and beliefs that you instill are nurtured and will eventually bear fruit healthfully as a result of understanding and positive encouragement.”
(*Excerpts from John T. Chirban, Ph.D., Th.D. a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of How to Talk With Your Kids About Sex in Psychology Today)
Need further support? We at Counseling on Demand can help.
Sometimes these attempts can be overwhelming just to get started. If you have begun the process there could come a dead end. Talks could even spiral out of control. This is where Counseling on Demand comes in. You need not go through this alone. We are well versed in marriage and family counseling. With our support, you can get back on track and on your way.
And… You needn’t leave your favorite/private place-home, office, etc. Nor must you wait for an appointment. We are there 24/7. You can begin in 24 hours or less. We also offer emailing and texting between sessions for questions, comments or tracking progress.
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