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Research shows that when parents are open to talk about sex, their children are less likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour. However, most parents find it awkward or embarrassing to discuss sex with their teens and tend not to recognize how important it is for their children’s development to do so.

The first important step for a parent that wants to talk to their children about sex is to familiarise themselves with terms related to it. One way to do so is to talk to close friends, your partner or close family members, helping to reduce embarrassment.

Furthermore it is important to look up information on the subject, especially when it comes to things which you were not familiar with when you were younger.  Therefore, researching helps to keep yourself up-to-date with any questions your teen might have.

When it comes to starting a conversation, it is suggested to do so casually, like when the subject pops up in conversation or a romantic scene appears on television.  Doing so helps your teen realize that they can openly talk about sex with their parents.

In conclusion, parents should not feel embarrassed about talking about sex and intimate relationships with their children as they are ultimately promoting healthy sexual behaviour.

 

– Matthew Bartolo is a counsellor specialising in Sex & Relationships.  He offers counselling to both individuals and couples, and runs the sex education services within Willingness.  He can be contacted on matthew@willingness.com.mt