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Parenting: Talking to your teen conversation tips

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Talking to your teenager about Sexuality & Sexual Health
Conversation Tips
We know talking to your teen about sexuality can be difficult. But as a parent, it is your responsibility!
To make it easier, we've put together some examples to make the conversation happen! These can be said in person, or through other modes of communication, like texting!
Keep this in mind when starting the conversation. We know it can be difficult, but as a parent you want to ensure that talking about healthy sexuality regularly with your teen remains a priority.
Remember: teens who talk with their parents about sex tend to delay being sexually active.
Video Resource: Parenting Tips: A Tool for Talking about Sex
TEACHABLE MOMENTS
A good way to start a conversation is to simply ask, 'What do you think about that?':
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A peer/family member learns they are pregnant A TV show discusses teen relationships A popular song talks about sexuality
ENGAGE YOUR TEEN
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If your son/daughter answers, 'I dunno', you could say, 'well, let me share what I think.' Don't lecture. Just use it as a jumping off point to talk about your views and feelings.
Resist the urge to talk AT them. Instead, share WITH them. Let them know how you felt and the challenges you faced when you were their age.
By making your teen feel comfortable, they are more likely to talk to you when issues arise in their life.
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SHOW INTEREST IN THEIR LIVES
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It was great meeting your [boyfriend, girlfriend, partner] last night. It felt great that you wanted me to get to know them. I'm always here to talk about the relationships in your life.
'You have always done things when you were ready for them, not on anyone else's schedule. Keep being true to yourself! Thanks for being honest with me about _______'.
Thanks for making dinner with me last night. It was great to hear about what's going on with your friends and to spend time with you one-on-one. Love you!"
BE SUPPORTIVE & ENCOURAGING
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Messages like this lets your teen know that honesty should be celebrated, not punished
Research shows that 38% of teens report their parents have the most influence their decisions about sex. What about their friends? Turns out, only 22% of teens report their friends have the most influence on their decision. Take this as a positive thing, and keep on talking!
YOU INFLUENCE THEIR DECISIONS!
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Eastern Health, 2016
1. US Office of Adolescent Health (2016) 2. Albert, B. (2012). With one voice: America's adults and teens around off about teen pregnancy.
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