My son, who entered Grade 5 this year, told me that he will be learning about puberty this year in his classroom. I knew that this day was coming. And how it would be a lead up to the TALK! I may have been dreading it. But he and I have shared pretty difficult discussions over the years. The first being about his aunt marrying another woman and the second discussion was about how his aunt was now becoming his uncle. So, this discussion should be fairly fairly easy for us right? Not really.
While many parents dread having the talk, it’s critical to ensure that teens understand the importance of taking care of their sexual health and that includes practicing safer sex if they are sexually active. After all, knowledge is power and parents need to ensure their teens are equipped with the right information, especially if they will soon be leaving home or headed off to college or university. To help make both parents and kids feel at ease, TROJAN™ has some great suggestions for making “the talk” a breeze:
1) Be proactive and askable. Take opportunities that come up in everyday life (e.g., sexual situations on TV) to let your kids know that they can come to you to ask questions or get your advice. Be honest about your values and expectations for their behaviour but also try to be positive in supporting decisions that your kids will ultimately have to make for themselves.
2) Educate yourself. If you want to become more knowledgeable about the sexual health issues that are likely relevant to your kids, there are plenty of resources available. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada website http://www.sexandu.ca/ offers information on many different aspects of sexuality and sexual health.
3) Share credible resources with your kids. Send your kids links to credible information on the web. For the older teen or young adult, check out weknowsex.ca (a website developed by the makers of TROJAN™ condoms and the Sex Information Education Council of Canada). If you would like to make sure your son or daughter has comprehensive but readable information on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), the Public Health Agency of Canada’s STI resource will do the trick.
At my place of employment we offer various services including testing for STIs and education for clients regarding sex and sexual health. Little did I know how comfortable I would become offering people condoms. I always tell the clients, “better safe than sorry.” A little joking goes a long way into making an embarrassing situation even more embarrassing. But it is great that we have these services available for our community and surrounding areas even though we do not have a big population.
4) For the college kid. Be aware that most university/college kids are sexually active. If that includes your kids, it’s important that they protect themselves against STIs and unwanted pregnancy. If you’re comfortable with it, slipping a box of condoms into their next care package will send a powerful message that you are not just tuned-in to their lives but that you also have their best interests at heart.
Disclosure – I am a Church & Dwight ambassador. Throughout the year I will be showcasing and hosting giveaways for various Church & Dwight products. As always, the opinions expressed in the above post are honest and my own.
Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net & Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee