By Carmen Yu, Huckleberry Youth Peer Educator
Believe it or not, your parents can be a helpful resource to learn more about dating, sex, stress, school, reproductive health…the list doesn’t end. Most teens think of their parents as unapproachable when addressing sensitive/personal topics, but your parents really are there to help you. Here are some ways to prepare to talk with your parents about these topics:
1) How to build a better relationship with your parents
- Remember, it’s never too late to begin building a relationship with your parents regardless of your current situation
- Try and find common interests or hobbies with your parents...sometimes just spending time together is a good first step
- Find a time to talk when you are not distracted
- Try to ease into sensitive topics by talking about less uncomfortable topics first such as school, friends, etc.
2) How to accept and respect their ideas and values:
- Know that your parents might have a very different opinion than you do, but remember, their opinion is coming from their own lived experiences!
- Don’t try to purposely disobey your parents, they won’t be happy and you won’t be happy
- If you and your parents have clashing views, try to change their minds about the subject by using facts and info
There are many ways you can prepare to talk with your parents about these issues. Try to find a method that works for you and your parents. Last of all, don’t be afraid to go to your parents, they are here to help you, not hurt you!
The Huckleberry Youth Program, Peer Health Educators (PHE's), are community health educators who work with other young people. The PHE's are committed to decreasing high-risk behavior among youth and empowering youth to make healthy choices in their lives. The PHE's (strive to) do this by: creating safe and friendly spaces for youth to come to for support, educating their peers and increasing youth’s knowledge of health issues, increasing awareness, providing resources to youth and serving as a resource when needed and creating opportunities for youth to work toward self-sufficiency. PHE's go into the high schools and educate teens on topics like birth control, healthy relationships, STI's and condom use. They are a terrific resource to their peers and the greater Bay Area community.