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Difficult Situations: Talking to Your Parents About Sex and Relationships

Post Date:12/19/2023 3:32 PM

From Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest 

It can feel like it’s never the right time for teens and their parents to talk about sex and relationships. Both of you may feel apprehensive about having "the talk." But the truth is that most teens say they want to have these conversations. By talking with their parents, teens learn accurate and comprehensive information about consent, unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and unhealthy relationships.

First, it’s not weird to talk about sex. But we get stuck in the awkwardness of how to start. So congrats on being brave!  

Here are a few tips:  

  • · Choose the right time and place. Find a quiet, comfortable space where you won't be interrupted. Pick a time when your parent is relaxed and not in a rush. The car or while walking are good when you feel awkward (no eye contact!).  
  • · Begin the conversation with something like, "Hey, can we talk about something that's been on my mind?" This signals that you're about to discuss something important.  
  • · Share your feelings and thoughts honestly. Use "I" statements to express how you feel without making it sound accusatory. Sometimes it helps to write down your thoughts beforehand.  
  • · Be clear whether you want advice, help, or just someone to listen.  
  • · Consider starting the conversation on text if that feels more comfortable. 

What We Are Reading

Sure, we love our phones as much as the next person, but we also know that that relationship may not always be healthy. The New York Times published some interesting articles recently about teen smartphone use and the link to mental health. Consider this a friendly reminder to think about your relationship with social media and your phone. Just like you would with a friend or romantic partner, consider whether your relationship with your phone makes you happy and your best self, or if you need to set some boundaries. Get more informed about how to be healthy online with our Online Safety or Sex in the Media: What You Need to Know courses. 

 Are You an Educator?

This teacher-facing site has classroom activities, ways to boost your own knowledge, supplemental videos, and copy-and-paste directions for assigning the student-facing course and bite-sized courses to boost your effectiveness as a sex educator, from answering student questions to trauma-informed sex ed to our newest course on the basics of sexual harassment. Find it all here.

Making a Difference

SEX ED TO-GO has now reached more than 10,000 users! And people have signed up for more than 30,000 Sex Ed To-Go courses! We are thrilled that so many of you have found Sex Ed To-Go a useful resource and are using it to bring effective and inclusive sex education to so many young people.




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