Yep, we’re totally going there. Because let’s be honest, the sex talk that our parents had with us is looking like a cake walk compared to the modern day sex talk we have to have with our teens and tweens about teenage sexuality.
There are whole new dimensions to teenage sexuality today that didn’t exist even a decade ago. And then of course there are all the new conversations that need to be had thanks to today’s technology.
Could you imagine your mom or dad talking to you about why you shouldn’t be sending nude selifes?
It’s a different world than when we were growing up and as parents of teens today we need to be prepared to tackle a whole new range of topics. It’s overwhelming, awkward and a little bit scary, but we can do it.
When Should We Be Having The Sex Talk With Teens and Tweens
Let’s just say, these days it’s a lot earlier than you think. Honestly, if you’ve got tweens and teens and you haven’t covered sex and ALL the related issues at least at a high level, then the time is now.
You want to be sure they have accurate information and information set in the context of your family’s personal values about this subject. This is way too important to leave to their peers, because who knows what they might say.
Additionally, if you’ve had one talk and think you’re good, think again. This should be an ongoing conversation with your tweens and teens, hopefully that continues even into college. The rate at which information is coming at them today and the way technology has changed the whole way teenage relationships develop and operate means we need to keep the lines of communication open.
And About Technology and Teens
Today’s tablets, smartphones and social media create a whole new set of challenges for parents of teens and tweens. It’s easy to want to bury your head in the sand, but the single biggest way to protect your tween or teen from the dangers and pitfalls of today’s online world is to talk to them.
So where exactly does the tech talk and the sex talk overlap.
Well, at a minimum you need to be covering online predators, teen dating sites, pornography, sexting, inappropriate apps and nude selfies. These are all far more commonplace in our tweens and teens lives than we may realize and we have to help them make wise and safe choices.
Another newer conversation happening more often among parents and tweens and teens today is about the areas of sexuality that fall under the LGBTQ umbrella (the letters stand for Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer).
These days it’s trendy for our teens to experiment with their sexuality. As a society we are becoming increasingly accepting of different sexual and gender orientations. This is especially true of tweens and teens. As a generation they are growing up during a time of dramatic social change and diversity.
As this acceptance grows, it gives our tweens and teens more freedom to explore their sexuality. So, don’t be surprised if your teen daughter comes home one day and suddenly announces she’s a lesbian or your son tells you that he thinks he might be attracted to another boy at school. But you may find a month later, they tell you it was all just a phase, or maybe not.
Overall, as parents, it’s important not to overreact or to come across as dismissive our judgmental. These are sensitive conversations and require a new level of sensitivity on our part. No matter what our views are we don’t want to risk alienating our shaming our tweens and teens.