Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

The talk for high school teens

As teenagers mature, they begin to claim independence over their lives…They begin to draw away from parental guidance and they start to make their own life decisions.

Critical stage of development

It is a critical stage in maturity, and teenagers need to develop high levels of self-respect and self-esteem to stand up to peer pressure and abusive/unfulfilling relationships.

Open communication is essential

At this time, you need to ensure that your teenager knows that they can come to you with any issue and you will approach it in an understanding, non-critical way.

You need to be their first point of reference, particularly when it comes to issues of sexuality and relationships.

Frank discussions

Now is the time to have a frank discussion with your teen regarding their sexual values. It is also extremely important to discuss things such as boundaries, contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) and HIV/Aids.

“Invincible” syndrome

Teenagers often have an ‘invincible’ perception of themselves and think that things like pregnancy or HIV won’t happen to them.

They are at a stage where they are beginning to experience life as an independent person, and will explore and experiment as much as possible. If you haven’t helped them to define boundaries, they will not be able to resist the temptation to explore dangerous territory.

Common questions teens ask

Some of the most common questions teenagers ask about sex include: “Is oral sex really sex?” “Can you get HIV/Aids from oral or anal sex?” “What is the morning-after pill?” “Can you get pregnant using the ‘withdrawal’ method?”

If your teenager asks you a question about sex that you don’t feel you can answer adequately, go on a journey of exploration to find the answer together. Search the internet and books and discuss the various answers you find.

Sex should be an open topic

Sex should be an open topic that should be discussed as easily as the weather, sport or the latest movie releases.

However, remember that just as different people have different opinions on the weather and sport, you and your child will sometimes have differing opinions on the topic of sex.

Try not to be judgemental of your teenager’s opinions because this will discourage him/her from coming back to you for information at a later stage.

Make sure that you approach the topic of discussion in an open-minded manner that will allow your teen to ask all of the questions (ridiculous as some of them may sound) that they need to.

Be their primary source of information

Remember that the more you teach your teen about sex, the less they will have to ‘discover for themselves’ in secret.