Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

The talk for teens entering puberty

The moment your child hits puberty, he/she will not only be inundated with sexual messages from their environment, but also from their own bodies...

Hormonal chaos

Make sure that your child knows exactly what to expect during this time of hormonal chaos.

It is very difficult to talk about puberty with a teenager – mostly because they’ve hit the stage of life where they think their parents don’t know anything! I suggest purchasing a book on the subject and giving it to your teenager.

They will probably roll their eyes and groan, but curiosity will eventually get the better of them, and the book will (to their surprise) prove to be very educational.

Invite questions

When handing over the book, look your child in the eyes and tell them that if they have any questions, they are welcome to chat to you about them. This will leave the door open for them to come to you.

A week or so after you have given your child the book (if they haven’t already come to you), sit down with them and have a chat about the book.

Ask them if they have discovered anything that they would like to know more about. Ask them what their friends are saying about puberty, and if there’s any information from their friends that they are confused about.

Leave the topic open for discussion at a later stage

Ensure that you leave the topic open for discussion at a later stage, and that your child knows that if they talk to you about sex, you will not be judgemental and will be as honest and frank as possible.

Remember that teenagers are curious, and if they don’t get the information they want from you, they will look for it in other places: the internet, peers, blue movies and other media.

Internet resources can be good and bad

The internet has some great resources, but there is also a wealth of inaccurate and derogatory information about sex online.

Sister Ruther Loubser (www.sisterruth.co.za) highlights the fact that when teenagers learn about sex from each other, it is in exciting, secret, scary, forbidden and often inaccurate ways – sometimes in fun and sometimes by force. 

Don’t allow this to happen to your child. You should be his/her first and most important sexual educator.