Parenting, Children and Teens - Spotlighting Teen Issues for Parents
Are you an “ask-able” and connected parent? Providing your teen with information on sexuality is one of the most important responsibilities of parenthood. Research shows that too many parents avoid talking openly with their teen about sex and health because they’re embarrassed or don’t know how to start the conversation. Despite your understandable discomfort with the subject, you can’t afford to leave sex education to televison, magazines, movies or other teens. Also, not having these important discussions leaves teens vulnerable to the unrealistic sexual messages they get from advertising, music and videos every day.
Parents should be a teen’s best and most accurate source of information about sexuality. You can help your teen separate fact from fiction, and you are in the best position to convey values about healthy sexuality and loving relationships. In many different studies, teenagers indicate that they really want guidance about sexuality from their parents.
Most teens feel uncomfortable asking their parents questions about sex. So, instead of talking to their parents, teens get most of their information about sex from friends, TV and the movies. Unfortunately, much of what they learn is wrong!
"SP681-C-Talking About Sex," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, SP681-C 7/07 07-0002, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexfami/52