Ignorance about sexuality can lead to teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/Aids, dropping out of school, and other psycho-social problems.
If parents do not provide the guidance and education about sexuality, children will seek information from friends and the media.
This information can be misleading, incorrect and blatantly glamorised.
The following tips will be useful as you engage your teenagers around the topic of sex: (Ref: Stutter Health)
Teenagers need accurate information and decision-making skills to help protect them from the pressure to have sex, unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Don’t make the conversation tense. Keep your sense of humour.
Use examples from TV, newspapers, magazines and real life situations to begin talking about sex.
Share your values and what your faith/culture/tradition says about sex. Practice what you preach.
Talk with them about reasons to wait to have sex. Remind them of the option to wait (abstain) even if they had sex before.
Discuss ways to handle pressure from others to have sex.
Instill pride and high self-esteem in your children. This will help them make responsible decisions about sex.
Have a close and loving relationship with your child so that he or she can confide in you and not be afraid or embarrassed to talk to you about sex.
Leave age appropriate books and articles about teenage sexuality around your home. They will pick them up and read on their own.
The topic of sexuality should be on-going just as we talk about other issues of interest as our children grow.
When in doubt or you are unable to talk about sexuality, seek advice from a professional.