Have Regular Talks About Sex and Values
Between steamy movies and reality TV, teens are frequently exposed to sexual content in the media. And parents are right to wonder about the values their teens may be learning.
One of the most effective ways to instill positive values about sex is with ordinary, everyday conversations you have with your teen over the years. These chats should go beyond the basic "birds and bees." Talk to your teen about the need to:
- Learn the difference between fact and fiction. Let your teen know that on-screen romantic activity is far different from reality. On TV, for example, it's rare for a character to contract a sexually transmitted disease. Make it clear that your teen can ask you or a doctor any question about sex to get the facts.
- Have self-respect before being able to respect others. Some teens become sexually active because they don’t know how to say no. Teach your teen how to be assertive and to say clearly, “I’m not ready.”
- Wait to become sexually active. Teens may be physically able to perform sexually, but most are neither emotionally nor developmentally ready to deal with the results of that sexual activity.
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