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How to help teenagers make informed sexual choices

By Shade Mary-Ann Olaoye Thursday, April 8, 2021 - 09:31
We live in a world where parents and guardians find it hard to bring up topics and matters relating to sex. They seem to shy away from giving their child a proper sex education, burning it under hasty explanations, and myths of how if a man touches you, you will end up getting pregnant.

Teenagers develop curiosity around sex as they grow older and with the level of exposure, they are open to. They continue to have questions, ask them and seek answers which if not given by the right person can cause harm. 

Approaching the matter of giving proper sex education to a developing child is important. It is important to create a space of freedom where they know that they can express themselves, ask questions with no form of fear or shame. There is no aversion in talking about sex to young people, especially because it aims to give proper education and information about their body and the growing changes that come as a result of hormones.

For appropriate guidance, parents should not shy away from the topic or get uncomfortable. They should be ready to use the appropriate language and terms as it relates to reality. This isn't only for just parents - when you have the task of being responsible for a child, it is up to you to make sure that they are equipped to have an informed sexual education.

Empowering your child to make informed sexual decisions starts with;
The conversation

Empowering teenagers to make informed sexual decisions starts by having "the sex" talk with them. Most teenagers go through their formative years without knowing little to anything about their bodies and reproductive organs. Talking about sex and having open dialogues about sex with teenagers empowers them and gives them the ability to maneuver and understand their sexual development.

Educate them on boundaries

Expressing clearly the boundaries that should exist, helps them to be aware of inappropriate physical conduct. Have a conversation with them about their body parts making it clear that if anyone were to touch them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, they are meant to inform you or a trusted adult. 

Engage them

As opposed to dishing out rules and laid down regulations, get them to engage with you and make it participatory asking them questions on bodily choices, and the possible consequences of engaging in physical, emotional, and sexual activities. Let them know that their opinions matter and reinforce their agency to air their views.

Know that it is a process

You cannot have the conversation, all at once. Not only is there a lot to talk about, but you also might not readily have the answers or might want to expand on something that was earlier stated. Sex conversations should occur as often as possible rather than a single event because teenagers assimilate things at their own pace, need to be reminded of something, and constantly have questions.

If you have more questions on how to talk to teenagers on sex and related topics, kindly reach out to our Moderators on our Facebook Page

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