How to Talk to Your Parents

We can hear it now, "Talk to my parents about sex? Are you crazy?"

But remember, your parents are people, too. And they actually were teens themselves, once! They have had to make choices about sex at some point in their lives - when to have it, with whom, how to protect themselves. Plus they know you and care about you a lot and they have your best interests at heart. They may even be relieved that you brought the subject up.

Here are some tips for talking with your parents:

  • Timing is everything! Pick a time and place where you will not be interrupted and your parent is not busy with other things. You can even make an appointment "Mom can I talk to you after dinner tonight?"
  • Be prepared. Know what you want to ask or say. Do you want to ask general questions or do you want some specific information?
  • Listen! Your parents will be more likely to help you if they can see that you are listening to their opinions.
  • Don't yell or argue. You might disagree but if they see that you are respectful of their opinions you will earn their respect as well.
  • Take advantage of their experiences. "Dad, did you ever feel pressured to have sex when you were a teen?" Finding out how they handled a situation might help you handle a similar problem.
  • Show responsibility. If you are thinking about having sex for the first time, be sure that you have all the information you need about how to protect yourself. If you act in a mature and responsible way, they will see that you are trying to make good decisions for yourself.

Remember your parents are probably just as nervous as you are to talk about these topics, but research shows that teens who talk to their parents about sex are less likely to experience an unintended pregnancy and more likely to use contraception when they become sexually active.