Sex education for teenagers is a challenging topic than you think as teenage is a very critical age. Educating teenagers about sex life needs a lot of listening rather than just speaking.
It is more important to give them a confident platform where they can express freely. Moreover, it is always important to get the right information from a trusted source than misleading stuff from friends, magazines or websites which can have lasting impacts.
It is a vast subject of discussion and here we are discussing a small thread of everything you need to know while approaching sex education for teenagers.
1. Goals of Teenage Sex Education
It is always better to know about the goals of sex education for teenagers before judging about it. A comprehensive education of sex for teens helps them to grow up as an individual who enjoys the phase responsibly.
Whether a male or female, they can obtain a positive view of sexuality. The education mainly comprises the skills, knowledge and development of thought process to make healthy decisions on sex.
Another main objective of sex education is to minimize the chances of risk of negative outcomes owing to wrong sexual behaviour like intimate relationships without protection.
2. Comprehensive Benefits:
Sex education teaches them the importance of communication and negotiation before having sex. Importantly they can have a better understanding or perspective of the repercussions.
Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood at unexpected times can take a toll on their education, career and even lifestyle. As they learn about the significance of safe sex, it helps them to avoid and sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS.
Moreover, they can prepare mentally, physically and emotionally to approach sex in a feasible manner. In the case of teens, timely education can benefit a lot during times of peer pressure.
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3. How to Break the Ice?
This is the part where most parents find it difficult to start a discussion. However, with some wise strategies, you can easily break the ice.
It is always better to see opportunities in everyday moments such as television shows, news articles, and radio to start off a discussion rather than having a sitting specifically for sex education.
Going for a drive or having an evening coffee together are among the best ways to easily switch into the matter.
There is no need to cover up what you need to say but it is always better to talk it out directly to help them have a clear picture of the scenarios.
It is always good to use the correct names for the body parts. It is important to consider their point of view and invite more discussion.
4. Prepare yourself for the talk:
It is always good to prepare yourself before starting a topic on sex with teens. Better have a chat with your partner on what all values you need to share with your adolescent child.
Also, make sure that you are aware of the sexual issues happening in society and give them a brief about what areas to look out for.
Reading a good sexual development book together can be a good idea as you can discuss different subject areas on the go.
Also, make sure that you are very open and frank while discussing with your teen and understand the fact that their view can be different from yours.
5. Some Guidelines to Follow
Identifying the best age to discuss the topic is the most important. Understand the changes in teen behaviour and know when they are sexually active.
It is never advisable to feel hesitant while talking with the teenager and always make them comfortable to discuss openly drugs and sex.
In case you are too embarrassed to talk to a teen on sex, it is best advisable to let them have a consultation with a medical practitioner.
It is quite common that teens might look up to you to get answers for all their doubts once you start discussing. So it is important that you are updated with the right set of information.
6. Preparedness of Answering Tricky Questions
When discussing sex with teens, it is quite common for them to come up with many tricky questions as they are new to this.
So educators and parents need to be well prepared to tackle such scenarios. It is never advisable to give them a wrong idea on the subject as it may have a lasting impact on their sex life.
So if you really don’t know the answer to any of their questions, there is no problem to let them know that it can be answered later after thorough referral rather than giving wrong facts.
7. Responding Sensibly to Teens
Teenage is a volatile phase in the life of children. They are no more kids but and at a starting stage of adulthood. Taking decisions on their own all of a sudden may sometimes land them into trouble.
So elders need to be very cautious and sensible while responding to their feelings. If a teen is found to be sexually active, don’t hesitate to openly discuss your opinions rather than regret later.
Addressing their sexual behaviour is important and that is why a routine medical checkup can help. Expressing their concerns in a confidential and supportive atmosphere can help them to grow up emotionally fit.
8. Distinguishing Facts vs. Beliefs
There are a lot of myths or beliefs regarding sex education which needs to be busted. For instance, some believe that sex education promotes having sex and helps teen to have sex more frequently.
The truth is that sex education helps them to have better decisions about the sex life.
Another such belief is that sex education for teenagers can impact on the frequency of having sexual intercourse.
But the reality is that comprehensive knowledge helps them to have better sexual behaviour and in fact reduces the frequency of changing partners.
Some believe that abstinence-only education is better than comprehensive sex education. The reality is however otherwise.
9. Distinguishing Healthy and Unhealthy Relations
Make them aware of dating violence that is happening around. This is important to help them distinguish between being in a healthy and unhealthy relationship.
It is important to have talks and have a watch on teen’s behaviour to make sure that they are not a victim of dating violence.
It is ideal to have a check on the warning signs such as drug or alcohol use, loss of interest in family and school activities that were once enjoyable, fearful around a partner, and suspicious bruises or scratches.
Being on stable terms with them will help you, help them to come out of a wrong relationship and avoid long term consequences such as suicide attempts or poor academic performance.
10. Keep the conversation going
There is no need to wait for a perfect moment to talk about sexuality. Sex becomes a part of life and talking about it is nothing to be ashamed of.
If elders sense that there is something wrong with their sexual behaviour, it is normal to talk about it directly. There is no need to collect all evidence and wait for the perfect moment.
Make a relationship with teens where they can come up with concerns or view about the subject anytime without any inhibition.
Make it an ongoing conversation and help teens clear their worries on the go and let them have a good sex life.
Sex education is not something that happens only at school. Just like sex educators in school, parents should take up relevant roles at home.
In fact, it is the parent’s responsibility to reinforce what they learn in school and talk from experiences.
It may not be that easy at the beginning but parents can outsmart the awkward talk and make it an ongoing conversation that doesn’t need any introduction.
Transforming them into a sexually responsible adult is actually the role of teachers and parents as a whole.
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