I will never forget how I first learned about sex. I was nine years old and swimming in the pool in my backyard with a bunch of my girlfriends. One of them had just gotten a book that told the whole shocking story and she was only too happy to share. Needless to say I was horrified by what I heard. I really wanted to ask my mom if what my friend said was true, but I was so embarrassed. When I finally did bring it up a few weeks later, my mother was completely open and willing to answer all of my questions. I wasn’t so eager to listen however. (Every time she mentioned getting my period I put my hands over my ears and told her I didn’t want to know.)
But as I got older, I realized how lucky I was that my mom was so willing to talk about sex and relationships with me. And since she and my dad had such a great relationship, I saw how important it is to have a boyfriend who loves and respects me. It made it much easier to spot the losers, especially when my friends were dating them.
Talking to your parents about sex and relationships can be weird, if not totally mortifying. While 6 out of 10 teens say they’re comfortable talking to their parents about sex, starting the conversation is never easy. If you’d rather die than do this, remember that having “the talk” is really awkward for them too. Believe me, they don’t want to think of you getting it on any more then you want to imagine them doing it. If your parents haven’t brought up, bring it up yourself. Luckily, 35% of teen girls say that their parents are their role models when it comes to relationships. So let your parents know that you value their opinion. That should get them talking. And as with anything, once you start the conversation it’s a lot easier to keep it going.
Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant Number: 90-FE-0024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.