Talking with your teenager

Being a parent is a difficult but exciting job. Talking to your teenager about safe sex is a vital part of your role as a parent.

Teens that have had conversations with their parents about safe sex are more likely to make healthier choices about sex and less likely to have an unplanned pregnancy or get a sexually transmitted infection.

Talking to your teenager about sex won’t encourage sexual behaviour – instead, it will make them more aware of the dangers and more educated about safety, when they start to have sex.

It’s OK to feel nervous about talking to your teenager. Treat the conversation with care and make sure you let them have their say – even if you disagree with something, or something they say takes you by surprise.

Plan your talk

It is always a good idea to be prepared before talking to your teenager.

Talk to your partner, friends or family and look up information so you’re able to answer any questions your teenager might have. You could look up anything together that you don’t know.

Suggested topics

These are some of the topics that you should go over with your teenager, to make sure they’re clued up about each one.

  • Contraception and pregnancy
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Condoms
  • Relationships
  • Feelings
  • Sexuality
  • How to say ‘no’ to unwanted sex.

Related websites

NHS UK
Talking with your teen

Better Health
Sex education – talking to teenagers

Family Planning NZ
Why Talk to My Child About These Things?

Child and Youth Health
Talking sex with young people

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