- Research shows that teens want to get information about sexual health from their parents. Talking to your child about sex will help him/her make healthier, more healthy decisions.
- Choose the right time and place to talk; choose a quiet place free of distractions and a time when you or your child are not caught up in thinking or doing something else.
- Explain to your child why you want to talk to him/her about abstinence- every family has different values; explain to your child why abstinence is important to your values.
- Tell your child that you are having this conversation because his/her health and his/her future are the most important things to you.
- Tell your child that abstinence can mean different things for different people, but generally it means no sexual contact of any kind, including oral, anal or vaginal sex.
- Listen to your child – he or she may have questions or may want to share an experience with you.
- Ask open-ended questions; ask your child what he/she thinks of abstinence, what his/her ideas and opinions are about it.
- Take this opportunity to tell your child what your family values are, and make sure to let them ask questions.
- Remind your child how much you support him/her and that, if he/she decides to be abstinent, you will be there for him/her and can work on a plan together.
- If your child has a partner, discuss ways in which they can enjoy their relationship without having sex.
Here are some helpful ways to start a conversation.