Planned Parenthood has designated October as “Let’s talk” month, aimed at getting families talking about topics related to sexuality — including relationships, bodies and body image, reproduction, gender and sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and preventing pregnancy and STDs.
To help, Planned Parenthood has introduced a video and an interactive digital tool that teens can use to make conversations with their parents about sex and relationships easier:
‘Awkward or Not?’ lets teens can take a quiz on their cellphone or computer that allows them to explore their feelings about communicating with their parents and offers encouragement and tips to start talking.
‘How to Talk with Your Parents about Sex’ is a humorous video with some do’s and don’ts about bringing up sexuality topics with parents.
Planned Parenthood also suggests that teens begin conversations with their parents or other trusted adults by using music, TV shows or movies that touch on issues of sexuality as natural moments to bring up questions; by asking their parents about their teen years, and how things were different or similar for them around dating and relationships; or by texting their parents instead of bringing up the topic face to face.
“Talking with parents and asking questions about sexuality and relationships doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or awkward,” national Planned Parenthood Federation of America vice president of education Leslie Kantor said in a news release. “Teens may worry that their parents will react negatively, but most parents welcome the chance to talk about these issues. It’s important for both teens and parents to know that it’s OK to be nervous — and that talking about relationships and sexuality gets easier the more you do it.”
Parents can find information, videos, tips, and resources on talking to children of all ages at plannedparenthood.org/parents.
“Teens want to hear what their parents have to say about sexuality and relationships,” Kantor said. “Studies show that teens who report having good conversations with their parents about sex wait longer to begin having sex and are more likely to use condoms and other birth control methods when they do become sexually active.”