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Sex & Knowledge

What Teens Really Need to Know About Sex

     Besides physiological facts and pertinent warnings about sexually transmitted diseases, there are five important, and all too often overlooked, facts that teens need to know about sex. This is what you might tell your teenager:

1. Sex is an acquired skill. People expect miracles when they first have sex, not realizing that people need time and experience and patience to grow in their capacity to give and receive pleasure.

2. Sex is best enjoyed by those who are grown up, emotionally as well as physically.

3. Men and women have some important different physiological responses to sex and it's important to be aware of these to avoid misunderstandings.

4. The anxiety of a first time ever or with a new partner can create problems with one or both partners. Patience, understanding and gentle reassurance are vital.

5. Finally, mature love and commitment can make sexual experiences much more satisfying. Tell your teenager that sex is best when one truly trusts and can be completely one's self with another.

If Your Teen Is Having Sex

     It is a definite shock to discover that your teen is having sex. You may feel anxious, angry, disappointed, and distressed, and wonder "What do I do now?" Here are some suggestions:

1. Take time to collect your thoughts. Calm down if at all possible before discussing the matter. Lashing out at your teen can only escalate the conflict between you.

2. Let your teen know how you feel in a caring way, and then listen to his or her feelings as well. You'll get through to him better with dialogue than with a ranting monologue.

3. Realize the limits of your power and set limits as you are able. Teens don't usually stop having sex just because a parent demands it. But you can let your teen know that you disapprove and will not permit his/her sexual activity in your own home.

     There is a fine line to be sure between accepting the reality of your teen's sexual activity and condoning it. But you can let your teen know that you disagree with his sexual choice, while letting him know, too, you care enough to emphasize the importance of safe sex and consistent use of birth control if he or she doesn't choose to abstain.

Related Links
General Tips
Parenting Tips
Disciplining Your Teen
Rules & Limits
Teen Behavior
Sex & Relationships
Talking About Birth Control
Talking About HIV & AIDS
Talking About Self-Image
Talking About Puberty
Pre-Teens & Body Image
Early Development in Girls
Teaching Self-Esteem
Boy-Crazy Girls
Sexuality and Pre-teens
Drinking & Drugs & Pre-teens
Issues & Dealing
Problematic Teens