As a parent when I think about my girl as a teen and sex a chastity belt comes to mind. You know those medieval contraptions used by husbands going off on a crusade. They would put them on their wives, take the key and go away for a few years. Now I am not thinking about this to keep her from having sex, but to keep other people from having non-consensual sex with her. I figure that if I did my job right I don’t have to worry so much about her decisions but other people’s actions.
As parents we need to have the sex talk with our children, both boys and girls as early as possible. This way they will hopefully have a good idea of what sex is, what is ok and not ok, and the consequences like pregnancy, Aids and other STD’s. We cannot stop our teens from wanting sex, or even having sex. All we can do is try to make sure they make the best possible informed decisions. So how do we start the conversation?
There are a lot of ideas of how to start the sex conversation with your teen. Here are some different tips on talking to your teen girl about sex:
Let her know that you are there for her, and will be glad to answer any questions she has and then wait for her to come to you. This lets her pick the topic and the time. Only problem is most teen girls are not going to turn to their parents for answers about sex.
If your daughter is not a teen yet, start the sex talk by teaching the different body parts. Discus private parts and where babies come from. The earlier you start the easer it is to have the bigger sex conversations as she becomes older.
When explaining about menstrual cycle and what to expect include sex information. Discus how her “parts” work, what they are designed to do, and how and why people have sex. This is a great opportunity to have the big sex talk, and find out what she already knows, and what she has already done.
The best way to start a conversation about sex with you teen girl is to ask some questions or make some observations in a non-accusatory or non-aggressive way. Here are some examples:
When watching TV or a movie as a sex scene comes on, like kissing ask what she thinks about it? Has she kissed any one yet? Who would she like to kiss? Why would she like to kiss them? Does she know what happens after people kiss? This can open the sex conversation, or just help you have small conversations that give the information you want them to know or leads up to the big sex conversation.
When a commercial for contraceptives or safe sex products like condoms is on ask if she knows why people use them. What purpose do they have? Is it important to use them? This will give you the chance to discus consequences of sex such as pregnancy and STD’s. You may even find out she is using them. You can also fix some myths like using a candy bar wrapper is just as good as using a condom to prevent pregnancy and STD’s or that oral sex is not real sex, or that you can not get pregnant your first time. Awareness commercials for Aids are also a good way to start the conversation. Ask if she knows how people get aids.
There are some great talk shows like Dr. Phil and Montel Williams that cover sex topics. Watch them with your teen. Use whatever information or open questions on the show to start the sex conversation with her. Some times the show will do all the hard work for you. You may need to watch more then one show with different sex topics but it all helps. Find out what your daughter thinks about the show and the information given. Talk about what happened to the people on the show or other people you know.
When talking with her about her day or her friends ask if any of her friends are dating. Who she likes and if she has a boyfriend. This is a good way to find out if she likes boys yet, if any of them like her and how she feels about it. This is a good way to steer the conversation to find out if her friends are having sex, or what her friends have told her about sex. Very good way to find out any misinformation she has about sex and for you to clear it up.
There are some great story books out there that you can read as a story to your pre-teen or read with your teen that open the conversation about sex. It lets you be comfortable talking about it and hearing about it from your little girl. It opens the door way for the hard topics and questions; like how do you have sex, why do people have sex, does sex feel good, are you having sex (question for your teen), and what the consequences of sex are.
All these tips can be used to open the conversation. Make sure you have books or some thing to help you answer any questions or explain things. Have honest truthful answers and explanations ready. Give her real explanations about the why and how’s of sex. She cannot make good informed decisions if she does not have the right information. Sex is a good thing at the right time and place.
What we need to make sure our teen daughters understand is that teen boys and even grown men want to have sex with them. Yes even when a teen girl is only 13 guys are trying to get into their pants; they don’t just want to be fiends. For the most part teen boys and men will tell her what ever she wants to hear to try and have sex with her. Others may go a more direct rout, using drugs and alcohol to get rid of her inhibitions, and make it easer for them to convince her to have sex. Others will use alcohol, and drugs to cause her to be unable to fight them off as they rape her. If you are passed out it is kind of hard to say “NO”. Others will just rape, with or with out the use of drugs and alcohol. Our daughters need to know this, not some sanitized version of life. They must understand that this can happen to them, it does not just happen to other people.
We also need to build our teen girls self-esteem so they don’t need to turn to teen boys and men to feel better about them selves. Girls with low self-esteem often turn to sex to become popular and mistake the attention they are getting for love or as giving them value. Others with low self-esteem will let people treat them badly, even selling them to others for sex because they don’t think they are worth more or deserve better. We as parents need to do what we can to stop this from happening. We must let them know they are valued and loved by us, just the way they are.