October is Let's Talk Month
We all have questions...why is the sky blue? When can I get my learner's permit? Why are my parents so incredibly embarrassing? But some questions are a little harder to ask...how do I know if I love him? When will I know that I'm ready for sex? What kind of birth control is right for me...and how do I get it?
Who do you go to to get trusted information on sex, love, relationships, and dating? Well, if you're reading this article, you're on the right track...Stay Teen is a great resource for all kinds of info. But this month, we want to challenge you to do a little more.
So how can you start the conversation?
- Be understanding. Consider that your parents are probably stressed out and maybe a little embarrassed, too. Go easy on them...they mean well and want what's best for you. Know that this is a hard conversation to have and try to be gentle. Reassure them that, while you are curious, you aren't sexually active (unless you are--don't lie!) and asking about certain things doesn't necessarily mean you're doing them.
- Be patient. If they're uncomfortable, change the subject, or seem unwilling to talk, gently try to return to your question despite their efforts to avoid the subject. They may just need some time to get used to the idea that you're curious about sex and trying again later or repeatedly asking--in a calm, non-agressive manner--will ease them into the conversation.
- Be realistic. Your parents may never be open to having a conversation with you about this; that's a bummer but it doesn't mean you're out of luck. Do you have a trusted relative, older family friend, or school counsellor who you can speak with? If not, continue visiting websites with good, solid info like Stay Teen, Advocates for Youth, or Healthy Teen Network. Many communities also have local sexual health organizations that might be able to help you out, so don't be afraid to Google for more info! Search things like "Pittsburgh teen pregnancy prevention" or "sexual health in Spartanburg."
And remember, Stay Teen is always here to help. If you have a question that you just can't get answered anywhere else, email us and we'll do our best to help you out!