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How to Talk to Your Kids about Safe Sex

How to talk to your kids about sexual issues can present certain challenges. First, the subject itself can be awkward. However, if you have an open door policy in your house, it may not be too problematic. It is important to have this discussion with your kids as soon as it seems appropriate. Discussing safe sex is an essential component of sexual education and one of the main responsibilities of parents which should not be taken lightly.

Step 1: Be Realistic and Casual

Don't make a big deal about the subject of safe sex with your child. Keep things as casual as possible. Rather than talk about sexual dangers, start simply and easily. Make the discussion easy for your child to have. Otherwise, unnecessary anxiety may be created. Pick a time to have the discussion when you will not be rushed.

Step 2: Focus on Safety

Rather than give a stern lecture, first find out what your children know about sex in general. It could be that the subject was covered in school. Go over what they already know, and then build upon it. For example, find out what they know about birth control before broaching the subject of safe sex. Then you can continue onto how birth control methods do and do not promote safe sex. Some kids mistakenly think that birth control methods are equal to safe sex. Making this assumption could cause unnecessary problems so it is important that they know the distinction.

Step 3: Dispel Myths

Many kids have inaccurate information about sex that they got from friends and the media. Ensure that what they know about birth control is accurate. For example, tell them why condoms do not have a 100% rate for STD and pregnancy prevention. Explain how condoms work to promote safe sex, but they are not completely safe and there is still risk involved when using them.

Step 4: Discuss Options

Focus on what options are available for safe sex. Let them know that safe sex involves responsible, sensible behavior. Help them understand that abstinence is the only true way of both preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. While it is the only fail safe method, it can also be the most unrealistic. Explain exactly how the safe sex methods can prevent pregnancy. Discuss how female condoms as a barrier method can reduce risks associated with disease transmission. Include discussing all birth control devices, as well. Pregnancy prevention is a part of safe and responsible sex.

Step 5: Stress Safe Sex Importance

Assist your child in understanding why safe sex is important. Include in the discussion how safe sex can effect the rest of his life if precautions are not taken. Do this without focusing too much on the negative, but be frank and honest. Understanding the reason behind why safe sex is important will make it far more reasonable that kids will take the discussion to heart and actively seek to be responsible.

Step 6: Encourage Questions

Refrain from making the discussion a one way street. Engage your child in conversation to ensure that he understands what you are saying, why you are saying it and how it really helps him. Preaching will most likely not work and serve to separate, rather than bring you and your child closer.

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