How to Talk to Your Teenager about Safe Sex
All parents have a common problem, once their kids reach their teens. Adolescents are prone to start their sexual activity as soon as they attain their teens. But they do not have enough knowledge about healthy sexuality or safe sex. Of course, as a parent, you would feel very hesitant to talk to your teens about safe sex. But understand that it is one of the most important conversations you should be having with your teens in order to save their life.
Some social norms and religious beliefs make it more complicated for you to start this conversation with your kids. Avoiding this conversation about safe sex does not prevent your teens from having sex. As responsible parents, you educate them regarding a range of topics like healthy eating, immunization, media monitoring, etc., it becomes your duty to educate them regarding their sexual safety.
How to start:
Most teenagers may claim that they know everything about sex. But they are not completely aware or informed about sex and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The only safe sex is abstinence from all forms of sexual contacts. But in order to minimize the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, certain precautions and safe sex behaviors are necessary.
If you are still hesitant about talking to your children directly about this, you might start talking about this by sharing some important information that will give them an alarm. According to research,
- Most teens have a misconception that they can visually recognize people with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which is not true.
- One out of every four teens who are sexually active currently has STI.
- One in every two sexually active youth contract STI by the age of 25.
Make the conversation as non-personal as possible. This will make it easier for you to talk to your teens about condoms and your teen will be more comfortable listening to it.
- Talk to them honestly and calmly about safe sex.
- Practice talking about it with another adult before approaching your teens directly.
- Listen to them and answer their questions directly.
- You might carefully choose topics like STDs and prevention, the pressure to have sex, birth control, different forms of sexuality, and date rape, and educate them about the same.
Educate them about condoms:
Recently, a study has found that 80% of condom users are not using it properly, which defeats the purpose of using it. There were various common errors found in the study. They are:
- Putting on the condom too late
- Taking the condom off too early
- Not leaving space at the tip
- Using a non-competent lubricant
- Wearing a wrong sized condom
Using this study, educate your teens about different sizes of condoms. If the condom feels too loose or slips around or it is too big, it might be safer and comfortable to use a slim fit condom. If the condom feels too tight or restrictive, or too small, it is safer and comfortable to use a larger condom. However, 50% of men use the standard size condoms, sold and available in most store and clinics. When a man wears the properly sized condom, there is much less chance of contracting STI. Also, sex is safer and more enjoyable on wearing a properly sized condom.
Conversing all these topics with your teens is definitely not as easy as we read this article. But remember, this information is generally not offered in their high school health class. Convey it to them in such a way that they will follow safe sex methods to prevent contracting STIs.