If you’re anything like me, you may have grown up in a more “hush hush” environment that didn’t allow for conversations about sex, changing hormones, emotions, peer pressure and all the things teens go through. As awkward as it can be, don’t you wish you had these important conversations with your parents?
If open, non-judgemental communication wasn’t modeled for you, it’s understandable that it can be more difficult to have open lines of communication about anything and everything with your teen.
One tip when it comes to uncomfortable conversations about changing bodies and sex is to have a buffer. A handout, a book or an image of some sort so you aren’t having to point to your body or theirs. Keep it scientific and neutral – explain what is happening and why.
Depending on how that part goes, dive further into the emotions or consequences. But don’t play the extremes or the “if you do this, then …” It’s easy to sometimes give those extremes because you feel as though it will stop them from making a poor decision around sex, drugs and alcohol – but it actually discredits your words with a teen who thinks you are just stopping them from being independent.
So be real, truthful and gentle in these conversations. Show you care and make it clear that it comes from a place of love.
If you’re still nervous about these important conversations – I’ve got your back. I have a whole section in my course about this! You can also check out my Understanding Teen Development resource document.