You’re a parent to two teenagers, and as much as you would want to be with them every minute of the day just to ensure that they are safe, it’s no longer feasible. You understand that they too, have their own lives to live and as a parent, all you can do is provide guidance in everything that they do. One of the most common issues which you must be wanting to discuss with teenagers are about sexually transmitted diseases or STDs. However, you’re troubled as to how, when and where are you going to discuss this topic with them.
Generally, STDs and anything about sex isn’t a topic which is openly discussed in different households. Some parents and even teens, find it difficult to talk about this issue. But as a parent, you should not have any qualms in providing the correct information about STDs to teenagers – it’s your right to do so. Here are some tips which can help you as a parent to discuss STDs with adolescents:
You should think what you want to say ahead of time:
Since you’re already planning to talk to teenagers about STDs, take the time to do your own research (if needed) and organize your thoughts so you won’t stumble once you open the topic.
- You can look for reliable sources or ask professionals on how you can go about discussing the topic. Make sure that the sources you’re using are also credible because what you say can significantly impact teenagers. You may click here for more in-depth information on things such as STD symptoms.
- Think of how are you going to discuss the topic. Are you going to tell teenagers to never engage in premarital sex to avoid risks of getting STDs? Or are you okay with safe sex? Deciding on these things greatly matter as this will determine how you can tackle the topic.
You should be honest in how you feel:
There are families with strict tradition which strictly prohibits teenagers to have premarital sex while some allow it as long as teenagers are of legal age. Regardless of what set-up your family is following, be honest and open to your teens about it.
- If you have known in the past that your child has been engaging in premarital sex and you’re not happy about it, talk to them. Let them know what are the risks for their decisions and how this could lead them to have STDs in the future.
- This discussion should not solely tackle about STDs, but can also serve as an avenue for a parent and a child to openly talk about sex.
- Be open on how you feel about the subject and in return, allow teenagers to communicate how they feel as well.
You should never give too much information at once:
The status quo tells you that indeed, STDs are now prevalent in some areas of the country. And although it’s very tempting, don’t give teenagers too much data on the statistics of STDs in your area.
- What you’re teaching teenagers about STD is a fact but don’t go overboard by providing countless charts, graphs and reports just to prove your point.
- Teenagers can retain limited amount of information in your discussion, so make sure that you only pick those which are essential.
- If you really want teenagers to be equipped with more information about STDs, plan to informally discuss the topic in more than one sitting. Don’t expect that just because it’s discussed by a parent they can fully grasp everything at once – have you heard about information overload?
You should talk about STDs while you’re doing something together:
Formalities are not necessary when you’re planning to discuss STDs to teenagers. You don’t have to schedule an appointment with teenagers just to ensure that they can understand what you’re trying to point out.
- If you’re too formal with how you discuss and approach the teens with the topic, chances are they’ll be hindered to openly discuss about how they feel. Formality oftentimes creates that wall between you and teenagers – and you don’t want that.
- Instead, you can discuss the topic while you two are doing something together. For example, if you and your child loves baking, you can open up the topic when you’re in the kitchen with no one around. This kind of set-up is informal, which makes it easier for teenagers to convey what they feel.
You should get idea from other parents:
For sure, you’re not the only parent in the world who has the same dilemma. Parents around your neighborhood or in your family are experiencing the same too. These parents can be a goldmine of information for the challenges you currently face.
- You can always ask suggestions from other parents on how they’re able to discuss with teenagers about STDs. Once you do, you’ll have more options on how you can possibly discuss the topics since the suggestions you’re getting are from real-life scenarios.
- You can also ask them questions. Let them know about your hesitations, especially if you’re doing this for the first time.
You should never take for granted how important it is for a parent to make the first move, so teenagers know about STDs. You should be able to provide accurate information on the topic at hand because if not, they might gather unreliable information from unreliable sources. Instead of doing good for their well-being, they might be in great trouble if they’re educated with the wrong information – and you don’t want that to happen, right? Follow the tips presented in this article and your discussion with your teens about STDs will come naturally!