How to talk about sex with our teenage children

How to talk about sex with our teenage children


  • 1 The awakening of sexuality in adolescence
  • 2 The difficulties of talking about sexuality
  • 3 Sexuality and educational style
  • 4 Guidelines for talking about sexuality with a teenager

The awakening of sexuality in adolescence

Adolescence It is an age when sex takes on a totally different meaning from childhood.

What used to move in the field of theory is now practical. Menstruation in the abstract is something, decisions about whether to use compresses or tampax is another. Facing semen-stained sheets is not easy. Explaining how a child is conceived or born is very different from knowing (or fearing) that our 16-year-old daughter is sexually active. Talking about kissing, caressing and even making love touches the world of decision making.

It may interest you: Love in adolescence, a guide for parents

The difficulties of talking about sexuality

Many of us find it hard to see ourselves talking about these issues with our teenage son or daughter. Some because of insecurities, others because we are sure that our children will not accept a conversation about these issues with us. Teen boys and girls deserve and value information and, most importantly, conversations with parents. But they don't always make it easy for us.

It is good that they know how we think about sexuality. Defining our own ideas about sex will allow us to communicate our convictions to children in simple and direct terms. Getting words to our ideas on this topic will help us sort them and allow us to teach in a clear way, constructively answering the conflicting questions that children often raise. Conflict management throughout our history together will give us a style of dealing with disagreements regarding sexuality. Let's not forget that adolescence is a moment where disagreements are very present.

On the other hand, it does not matter so much if the conversation is with the father or the mother, what does matter is that the conversation is made. To achieve the expected dialogue, it is important that he or she knows what we would like to talk about in particular ... then be patient, know how to wait, not lose your sense of humor and not give up. Also helps remember that this is an age when our children make increasingly difficult decisions (Who is right my parents or friends? What will my friends think if I am not like them?). It is a complex issue for parents, but it is also a matter for children.

Sexuality and educational style

Sexuality, like any other issue related to the development of children, is closely linked to the family's educational style. We will love according to how we felt loved. The expression of intimacy is to teach a child to show their feelings, accustom him to put them in his name: anger, pain, desire ... know identify emotions and, in this, parents are and have been significant models. Our goal should be to teach them that feelings are part of the information that intervenes in any interpersonal decision.

Love and sex are feelings in the purest sense of the word

When they get older the things that worry her are more complicated to face. Talking about sex with a teenager is not easy, we know that. Often, they close in band and prefer to solve doubts with friends. But we must be at your side at this very important moment and make you understand that not the whole mountain is oregano.

Guidelines for discussing sexuality with a teenager

  • Sexuality is positive and you can see it that way. If the first thing you say is "don't do it!", The disconnection is guaranteed.
  • The boys also need attention. It is easier to talk about sex with girls since the arrival of menstruation makes the path easier. With boys, however, it can be somewhat violent to deal with issues such as erotic dreams or first ejaculations. But you have to face it as something natural.
  • Explain everything point by point. Expose that the sexual attraction is gradual: it begins with a smile, continues with kisses, then the touch comes and everything ends with the relationship itself.
  • Boys and girls need different instructions. In the case of consent, for example, girls have to learn to say no, while boys must be warned of the danger of assuming consent.
  • Listen to them carefully. Each era has a jargon and its insurance that is different from what you used. When you learn it, you will know where to start.
  • Make clear the dangers of oral sex. Often, oral sex is seen as a sure thing that also allows you not to lose your virginity. The dangers of disease transmission that this practice can cause must be explained.
  • Make a list to help make decisions. It talks about basic issues: love, the pressure that the couple and friends can exert, the influence of alcohol and drugs, ... this will be a good time to talk about values: when and why one makes the decision to have relationships.
  • Talk about the emotional consequences of sex. Sex makes us more vulnerable, emotionally speaking, broken hearts do more harm if there has been ...
  • Father and mother are equally important. Each brings his point of view. Only mothers can explain the mystery of women to their children and fathers can explain male behavior to daughters.
  • Use all the tools at your fingertips. Television, movies, the press can give enough useful information. Anything can be a good excuse to talk about sex.


Almendro Cezón, Montserrat (2007): How to talk with children about sex. Madrid: CCS Editorial.

Fourgnaud, Agathe (2006): Young people and sex. Bilbao: Messenger Editions.

Pellegrini, R., Veglia, F. (2007): Once upon a time, the first time: how to talk about sex and love in family and school. Barcelona: Editorial Graó.

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