It’s Always Time For “The Talk”
Conversations regarding sex and healthy relationships need to start early and continue throughout adolescence. If you’re not sure how to start these conversations or what to say, you’re not alone! Get the conversation started with these four questions and thoughts:
ARE THEY IN A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP?
It’s important for young people to understand that the most important sex-related question to ask themselves isn’t “Am I ready for sexual activity?” or “Am I in love?” A healthy relationship is fundamental to sexual safety.
ARE THEY REALLY READY?
It’s important not to wait for a teen to tell you that they’re ready for sex but to instead watch for signs that they might be thinking about it.
- Are they expressing more interest in relationships?
- Are they asking questions or commenting on peer relationships?
Resist the urge to talk AT them. Instead, be present, listen and share with them.
IT’S OK TO NOT BE READY.
It’s important for teens and youth to understand that it’s OK not to know when it’s the “right time” for sexual activity or become involved in a sexual relationship. There’s no magic age and it’s always their choice.
THEY’RE REALLY READY. NOW WHAT?
Your teen or youth has decided that they’re in a healthy relationship and ready for sexual activity.
You may not agree with your adolescent’s decisions around sex, but your teen needs medically accurate sexual health information, including available resources. Do they have access to birth control or other forms of protection (contraceptives)?
Have the talk at any age by visiting talkwithyourkids.org
- Does your partner consistently show respect for themselves?
- Does your partner consistently show respect for others? How?
- What are some signs of an unhealthy relationship?
- What would you do if you were in an unhealthy relationship?
- Have you and your partner ever talked about sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?
- Have you and your partner ever talked about birth control or other forms of protection (contraceptives)?
- How do you think a pregnancy would affect your life and future plans?