Tips for Talking to Your Teen

Talking with your teens about sex and birth control does not mean you are giving them permission.

In fact, parents who talk to their teens about pregnancy, sex and birth control have teens that start having sex later and are more likely to use birth control and condoms when they do start. 

Here are some tips on talking with your teen. 

  • Do not get upset when your teen asks you about sex. If they get a bad reaction from you they may not ask again.
  • It does not have to be "The Talk". Take teachable moments to talk about things like family values, teen pregnancy and condoms. Start the conversation early and often to keep the conversation open.
  • Ease into the conversation. Start with small talk about common interests to help make everyone feel at ease.
  • These conversations are ideal moments for discussing topics like the importance of respect in relationships and communicating about consent.
  • Prepare questions in advance. Ask your teen questions like:
    • What are your dreams for the future?
    • How would having a baby change those dreams?
    • How do you think having sex can change your relationship?
  • Talk about the emotions that come along with a sexual relationship. Do not just focus on health and safety. 
  • If you don’t know an answer to a question, be honest and look it up together.
  • Tell your teens the reasons why you want them to wait. They will listen. 
  • Stay informed about your teen’s life. Where are they hanging out when not at home or school? Who are their friends? What are they doing online?
Sarah Saxbe shares tips for having "the talk" and uncomfortable conversations with your child.