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
- What does a healthy relationship look like?
- What is a key to successful communication?
- What do people like about you?
- What do you like about yourself?
- What is your biggest dream?
- What does success mean to you?
- What’s the hardest part about being a child/teen?
- What made you proud to- Day?
- If you were a book, what would your title be?
- What is your biggest worry?
- What is something that you always wanted to tell me?
- What is the most important decision you will ever make?
- What’s one mistake you’d wish you could go back and change?
- What do you think is the best part about getting older?
- If you could go back and change one thing about today, what would that be?
- What examples of kindness did you see today?
- What challenged you today?
- How were you brave today?
- What makes a nice friend?
- If you were given the power to get rid of one thing in the world, what would you choose?
- What does consent mean to you?
- Tell me a time you were disrespected.
- What did you learn in school about sex?
- What did you have to learn about sex on your own?
- What would you do if no one could see what you were doing (i.e. invisible)
- What was the most challenging rule you had to follow?
- What or who made you smile today?
- What new things did you learn?
- Did anyone say something that surprised you?
- Is there a question you always wanted to ask me?
- 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?