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Although statistics show that sexual activity in teens has decreased in the past 10 years, it is still critical that parents engage their children in ongoing dialogue regarding sexuality and its many related issues. When talking with your child, the topics listed below should be discussed, whether your child brings it up or not:


Provide your teen with information about what abstinence is (not having ANY type of sexual intercourse) and how practicing abstinence keeps your child safe and healthy. Since knowledge is truly power, it is important to discuss contraceptives and their effectiveness rate---remember, ultimately the decision is theirs whether or not to have sex.


Utilize opportunities to communicate with your children about sexual decision-making—use of role plays and interactive activities to strengthen and enhance information sharing and knowledge gained.


Learn how to talk with your child, not at your child, and listen to what he/she has to say---a mutual exchange of talking and listening strengthens the bond and trust factor between parent and child.


Share with your child, in understandable terms, the physical and emotional changes that he/she will experience in this stage of life.


Help your child build healthy relationships, as well as recognize the signs of unhealthy relationships.

Sexual Decision-Making

Provide children with the tools and techniques necessary to set personal boundaries regarding sexual activity and risky behaviors, as well as clarify when the time is right to have sex.


Help children understand the following information about STDs: