Advice about how to talk with teenagers about sex from the Freedomhealth clinic
Teenagers are under a huge amount of pressure these days, whether it be due to exams and tests at school, peer pressure to look good or buy certain brands of clothing or stress related to relationships and having sex.
Teenagers and sex
The reality is that children are exposed to sex these days, through television programmes, films and video games and studies show that teenagers are having sex earlier than ever before. Today’s teenagers look more mature and they dress in a much more grown-up manner than teenagers of previous generations, but this does not necessarily mean that they are more mature and many older teens will admit that they lost their virginity as a result of pressure from their friends, rather than wanting to sleep with somebody they cared about.
Helping teenagers to cope with peer pressure
Parents have a very difficult task these days; they are damned if they try to protect their children and shield them and damned if they are too liberal; peer pressure is one of the biggest challenges facing parents today because they want to ensure that their children are safe and happy, but they also don’t want to put their child at risk of missing out, being bullied or being ‘different’ from other children. It is very difficult to find the balance between wrapping children up in cotton wool and exposing them to issues that should not really be associated with children.
Sex is a difficult talking point for parents; most parents find it hard to accept that their children have grown up to a point in their lives when they are ready to have sex and it can be very awkward to approach the subject of sexual relationships with a teenager.
Confidence is a major issue when it comes to peer pressure; confident, assured and strong children are able to buck the trend and stand up to their peers, while those who are less confident and lack self-esteem may be persuaded to do things they are not really ready to do. Try to be open with your children, encourage them to think independently and stand up for themselves and ensure that they are aware that they can always talk to you, whatever the issue. Try to reassure teenagers that they should never feel pressured into doing something and encourage them to be honest with you and tell you if they are being bullied or being made to feel like they have to have sex.
Promoting safe sex
It can be hard to come to terms with the fact that your son or daughter is having sex; however, the most important thing is to ensure that they are happy with their decision and that they are aware of the implications their decisions may have. Encourage your teenager to practice safe sex and talk to them about the risk of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy. It’s best to double check that your child is up to speed with everything, rather than relying on the fact that they were paying attention in sex education classes. Be prepared to answer their questions and encourage them to come to you if they have problems. If you have a problem to discuss, take the opportunity to visit this private sexual health clinic.