A lot of parents find it hard to speak to their children about sex. This means that children are left to pick up attitudes from the way people around them behave.
 
It’s very important that parents think about how their behaviour has an effect on their child’s attitude to sex and relationships.
 
Sex on TV
 
If there is a sex scene on the television and your first reaction is to change the channel, your child is more likely to think that sex is secretive or something to be embarrassed by. If that is the case, they will not come to you for advice, instead they will turn to friends who are just as clueless, or go online, which can even be worse.
 
Parents can try to use storylines from TV programmes as an opportunity to talk to their tweens about sex. You can discuss the characters and whether or not the two love each other or are using contraception.
 
This will also give you a chance to explain your views on sex and relationships, and an opportunity for them to understand the responsibilities attached to having sex.
 
Teenage pregnancy
 
If you hear that your friend’s teenage daughter is pregnant, be aware of how you react. Your child will think you will react in the same way if it ever happens to her. Instead, use the situation to talk about thinking carefully when it comes to sex and relationships. Let them know that they come to you for support so that they can make more informed decisions.
 
Dismissing the situation will give your child the impression that a man doesn’t need to act responsibly when it comes to sex, giving them a distorted image of what relationships are like.  
 
Make sure your teen knows that they can come to you for support
 
Tweens will be happy to know that their parents are open-minded and will be there for them no matter what happens. This will encourage them to speak more openly sex and relationships.
 
Although it isn’t easy for parents to talk about sex with their children, there are a lot of venues that can open up a conversation for a topic like this, particularly media.
 
Be honest and always try to keep communication channels open when it comes to sex.

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