While few parents relish the idea of talking to their teenage children about sex, don't shy away from the subject, advises the American Medical Association.
Here are some tips to guide your talks:
- Give your teens accurate information. They need the facts if they are to protect themselves against pressure to have sex, unintended pregnancy, and HIV/Aids and other sexual diseases.
- If talking with your child about sex is awkward for you, admit it. And keep your sense of humour.
- Share your values regarding sex. If you believe a person should save having sex until marriage, say so. But accept that your teen may make different choices.
- Don't assume that if your child asks questions about sex, he or she is necessary having sex.
- If you can't answer all of your teen's questions, research the information together.
- Reassure your child that it's OK to be a virgin. Emphasise that the decision to become sexually active is too important to be based on what other people think or do.
- Your first sex talk should not be your last. Talk about these issues on an ongoing basis.