Talking about Sex

I want to talk to my teenage son about sex but every time I try he gets so embarrassed and walks away – how can I make it less embarrassing for him?

Sex is an embarrassing subject for teenagers, especially when their parents raise the issue. It’s sometimes easier when this has been a subject of discussion over the years but even in open families, they may want to walk away when they feel you’re no longer talking in theory but about their sex lives.

If you are trying to deal wiht something you haven’t tackled before – to have “the sex talk” that many parents feel they should have when puberty begins – then drop back a bit. Ask yourself why you want to do this. To make sure he knows how to be safe and happy? To check on him? To have control of this aspect of his life?

The first step is to be able to listen to what he wants, feels and needs before you jump in with the sage advice or interrogation. Tell him it’s an embarrassing subject and a difficult time – for both of you. Get him some good literature on the issues – have a look in your nearest library or bookshop. And accept that he might prefer to get his answers from other people – parents of friends, other relatives, teachers.

The important thing is not for you to talk to him but for him to know you support him finding out and thinking about the subject. Be “askable” rather than lecturing and he may come back.

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