The curricula in schools has changed over the years, and sex education is now considered an integral component of a child's development. However, despite sexual health education being covered in class, the chances are that your child might not understand or internalize the issue thoroughly. As a parent to a teenager, you should take it upon yourself to clarify any gaps that might exist. At first, it will seem awkward talking about sex with your child. However, by supplementing the material offered in school, you would be establishing a productive foundation for your child's sexual health. The following are tips to help you overcome the awkwardness associated with the subject.
Plan Talks Strategically -- There is no right or wrong time to talk to your teen about sexual health. It is your responsibility to find the perfect moment and take advantage of certain situations. For instance, if there is a program on television talking about responsible sexual health, seize that opportunity to start up a discussion on the matter. That said, never start a sexual health discussion whenever there are other people in the room. It will save you from a lot of embarrassment and your child from peer ridicule.
Maintain Honesty -- As a parent, if there is one thing you cannot escape from during sexual health talks with your teen, it is the awkwardness. Any feeling of embarrassment or awkwardness should, however, be considered normal due to the sensitivity of the subject. The only way to handle such a situation is to be honest about feeling uncomfortable. Nonetheless, you need to emphasize the importance of the issue. If your teen asks a question you do not have an answer, give an assurance that you would find an answer as soon as possible.
Listen to Their Perspective – Sex education with your child should not be a lecture. That is, you should not just provide information and expect teens to take your word. You are supposed to make it a discussion rather than a lecture. As you explain your points, give them time to absorb and react to what you are saying. You need to understand that teens have pressures and concerns that affect the way they internalize sensitive information.
Invite Further Discussion -- One study session will not provide your teenage child with everything they need to know about sexual health. Therefore, you need to make them feel that it is okay to have follow-up discussions on sexual health issues whenever they have a question. The aim is to let them know that they can approach you at any time.
For additional advice, contact a sexual health clinic in your area.