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DON'T be judgmental or punitive"Don't shut kids down," said Walker."Don't shut down the lines of communication, like saying, 'If you ever do this, then you're out of the house.'" She said if something were to happen - an unplanned pregnancy or a sexual assault - a teen needs to know they could come to a parent and talk with them and get help."There is a lot of literature that shows that."DO update your knowledge Parents need to be informed before they talk with their kids about sex, said Dr.Leslie Walker, division chief of Adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital. There are kinds of birth control now available that weren't around when they were kids," she said.Ever wondered, as a 13 or 14-year-old girl, what it would be like if you flipped your hair in front of the school football team?
Their analysis found that parent-adolescent communication about sex had a small but significant positive effect on safer sex behavior in teens, increasing their likelihood of using condoms and contraceptives.They said sexually active teens also benefit from parental discussions about sexual and reproductive health."Youth want to hear from their parents and overwhelmingly say that parents matter," the editorial authors concluded.One of Walker's favorite sites for parents, young adults, and teens who want more information on safe sex is Bedsider.org, operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy."Try to help them understand how to be as healthy about their sexuality as possible," she said.DO share your family values"Don't be afraid to pass on what your own beliefs are and imparting what you think is appropriate," said Walker.