How to Have "The Talk" with your Parents

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By Dani, Peer Health Educator

Yes, talking to your parents about sex can be nerve-wracking, but remember, your parents were once in your position, and may know a lot more than you think about sexual health issues.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you are considering talking to your parents about sex!

Tip #1: Talk to your parents individually. Sometimes, talking to both of your parents at once can be intimidating. Talk to one parent first; this will allow the conversation to feel more personal.

Tip #2: It’s okay to be nervous. This is a very new topic to be discussing with your parents! Let your parents know that having this talk is not the easiest thing for you to do. Keep in mind that not only is this discussion new and nerve-wracking to you, but it may be just as nerve-wracking to your parents as well.

Tip #3: Timing is everything. Make sure to pick a time when your parents can give you their full attention! Pick a place to talk that is private! For example, bringing it up at a family dinner with your younger siblings present is probably not the right time and place!

Tip #4: Let them know that you are very serious and mature about the issue. Sex is a very mature topic! Remember what they say, “if you are not ready to talk about sex, you are not ready to have sex!”

Tip #5: Go in with a plan. Go into the conversation knowing what you want to say, and what message you want to get across to your parents! If you approach your parents without an idea of how you want the discussion to go, the conversation is more likely to flow well and go better.

Tip #6: Do not get discouraged. Some parents may not handle this discussion the way you would hope they would. That’s okay! Give to conversation time to settle in, and bring it up to them at another time! Keep in mind that this is a big concept for them to handle.

Tip #7: You do not have to be having sex to talk about sex! Many teens that are not sexually active talk to their parents about sex so that they are ready and knowledgeable if and when they make the decision to have sex.

If your parents do not take the conversation well, talk to someone else you can trust. For example, you can always talk to an older sibling, aunt, friend’s parent, doctor, counselor, or teacher. You can also find a local clinic near you with someone you can talk to about sex.You can also send your parents to talkwithyourkids.org if they need some help!