HPV can be transmitted through a variety of intimate activities involving contact with genitalia, mucous membranes, or bodily fluids even if the infected person has no signs or symptoms. Yet frank conversations about the pleasures of having a body and of respecting and enjoying it can bring a dose of realism to the distorted images of pleasure in the media. The lessons teens learn today about respect, healthy relationships, and what is right or wrong will carry over into their future relationships.
CPS mounted a full investigation, eventually exonerating the mother, but the accusation left her feeling bruised and uncertain. Sex education is an ongoing process — short and frequent conversations are better than the big, one-off talk. It is important, therefore, to start the conversation early, and to make it clear to your children that you are always willing to talk about sexuality — whenever questions come up for them, or when a "teachable moment" occurs. HPV can be transmitted through a variety of intimate activities involving contact with genitalia, mucous membranes, or bodily fluids even if the infected person has no signs or symptoms. When a TV program or music video raises issues about responsible sexual behavior, use it as a springboard for discussion. Things to avoid include: Parents are encouraged to approach conversations with their children about sexual orientation with an open mind and to listen more than they speak. Parents may encourage abstinence and share their values around their support, but this strategy is not advised in isolation. A hysterical response will probably guarantee your child may never risk asking you anything about sex again. When communication is too difficult Sometimes, talking about sex seems impossible. Older children, particularly teenagers, tend to be a less willing audience. But plenty of informal, impromptu conversations about sex are also happening at home. Parents tend to leave boys in the dark about female sexual issues such as menstruation. If you feel like giving them advice, first tell them why. Stress the importance of safe sex, and make sure your teen understands how to get and use contraception. Avoiding the conversation stoppers Certain reactions are likely to stop the conversation or turn it into an argument. Sexual orientation A thorough discussion of parent-child communication about sexual orientation is beyond the scope of this article, and sexual orientation, specifically, is addressed in a separate future issue of this journal. He or she is probably listening. Why do we teach teens about sexuality? One mother had her teen daughters sign contracts promising to abstain from sex until they had graduated from high school, but she also took them to Planned Parenthood and has talked with them about contraception. This list includes some additional tips and advice not covered in the previous sections. Use your own experience — if you feel comfortable, illustrate particular points with stories from your own experience. If talking with your teen about sex is difficult for you, admit it. Changes in some boys may start in the next few grades, and understanding the process enough to be respectful and supportive of others is part of this conversation. This guest post was written by Dr.
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