Did you know that October is national Let’s Talk Month (LTM)? Let's Talk Month is a national campaign that helps young people and parents talk about important issues. I hadn’t heard of it before, but I think it’s a great idea to help families figure out a way to talk to each other about topics that could be uncomfortable for everyone involved.
When I was in high school, I was really fortunate to have a mom who was really kind and easy to talk to. That was great, because it meant that I knew if I had questions about sex or birth control, she'd be willing to give me advice. However, even though we had a great relationship, it was still really awkward to talk to her about my sexuality! Every family is different, and you know your family dynamic best. But just in case any of you are like me and felt a little uncomfortable, I wanted to share some quick tips to help you start the conversation with your parents when you feel ready!
Why Talk with Your Parents?
- They love you, and want you to be in great health. This includes your sexual health as well!
- Parents were young at one point too (I know, hard to believe!). So chances are any questions that you may have, they have also had at one point.
- Sometimes, the media and entertainment can give us false perceptions of what sex actually is, or not provide enough information regarding all of the consequences. Talking with your parents can help you develop responsible and accurate attitudes about your sexuality.
- Talking with your parents about your sexuality NOW ensures that the communication door is open for future discussions. This means that when you have more questions down the line, you know you can trust them for help.
How to Approach the Subject
- Think it through and know your stuff. Take time to think about all of the information you know already, and what questions you would like to ask. Not only will this show your parents what you already know, it can help save you from awkward silences! I actually wrote questions and topics down when I first had the conversation with my mom, and that might work for you too.
- Use a general starting point. When it comes to talking about sex, it may be easier for everyone involved starting with a general question or sex-related subject as a point of departure rather than just saying “I’m ready to have sex”.
For example, you can ask your parents something like, “What do you think teens should know before they start having sex?” Or, you can use a popular TV show or book as a point of conversation. For example, “Did you know that Edward and Bella have a baby in the Twilight series? How do you feel about that?”
- Be patient and listen. Just like you may be a little freaked out to have the conversation, your parents may feel nervous as well. When I finally approached my mom, she was relieved! She wanted me to talk to her. So be patient with their initial reactions, and make sure to listen to the advice they share with you. A positive reaction from you will encourage a positive reaction from them!
- Be truthful. Be honest about what you know, what you don’t know, and what expectations you have for your sex life. This will help them give you accurate and necessary information.
Overall, talking to your parents or an adult you trust about your sexuality helps increase communication and trust between all of you, it can strengthen your personal bonds, and it ensures accuracy and responsibility in the decisions you make. Want more proof? Watch this cool video on other teens sharing relationship advice they have gotten from their parents.
So good luck, and go for it! Have any advice you want to share? Comment below!