For Parents

4 Ways to Talk to Your Kids About Sex


  • Start a conversation that creates an environment for openness. Be a calm, listening ear and stay open to what they have to say. It’s possible that they have heard nothing about sex or they have some serious knowledge about it. All teens are different and have varying pressures, challenges and concerns. Your teen’s physical appearance may differ significantly from their social development.

Avoid Judgement

  • Most teens enter adolescence with a clear perception about the world. They perceive things are explicitly right or wrong. They rarely focus on long-term effects beyond the present. When talking to your teen, manage and suppress any semblance of judgment. Stay clear of the lecture tone. Parents and adults who begin with a lecture are less likely to have the message received. If your teen is used to talking via text messages, it can be uncomfortable for them to sit in a quiet room and talk to their parents face-to-face. Try to start the conversation via text and encourage them to ask any questions without fear of your non-verbal cues. This will make them feel like they can ask the questions they want to know in an approach that they are most comfortable with. Give them accurate information even if they are silent. It’s important that you address any questions they maybe too embarrassed to ask.


  • You have to meet your teen where they are. Use pop culture and their interests to open up the conversation about responsible sexual behavior. Music, movies, and TV shows with sex scenes or sexual undertones are a great launching point to start the conversation. Talking about their interests and letting them drive the conversation can be disarming and can open the door to a meaningful exchange. Try to remove any fear
    from the conversation. Emotionally, teens can go back and forth about wanting your attention and turning away. However, everyday moments, such as riding in the car or putting away groceries, may be great opportunities to start a conversation.

Be Consistent

  • Talking to teens about sex might not be easy. In the event your conversation fails, try
    again. This is an important conversation to have with your teen – Don’t give up! Let them
    know the door is always open.

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