Teenage intimacy might be occurring more frequently than you think. For example, a 2011 survey of U.S. high school students conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 47.4 percent of those surveyed experienced sexual intercourse in the past and 33.7 percent had sexual intercourse during the previous 3 months. Teenage sexuality is an important topic to discuss with your teen, but it's often an uncomfortable subject for both parents and teens. As the parent, however, you need to take the initiative to get involved in your teen's life to prevent risky behaviors. The Aspen Education Group suggests that sexual promiscuity poses serious health risks and it can also damage the emotional health of a teen.
Start a conversation with your teenager about sex. Be open to answering any questions he has honestly and respectfully. Ask your teen what he thinks about teenage sex. Clear up any misconceptions. Explain your viewpoint on teenage sex and the reasons behind your beliefs. Have more than one talk with your teen so he gets somewhat comfortable discussing sex with you, as this way he might come to you if he has questions in the future. Also, if you miss a point, by keeping the lines of communication open on the subject, you will have another opportunity for a follow-up chat.
Discuss the risks associated with sex such as an unplanned pregnancy and the risk of being infected with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. Talk to you teen about the advantages of abstinence, but also be open to talking about birth control and protection from disease so your teenager is getting the right information. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, talking with your children about sex does not encourage them to become sexually active.
Talk to your teenager about her value and self-worth. Let her know that she does not have to have sex to be in a relationship. Explain that If her boyfriend is pressuring her to have sex, he is with her for the wrong reasons. Encourage your teen to develop interests that do not involve her boyfriend. Participating in extracurricular activities and finding hobbies and interests at which she can excel can help your teen develop better self-esteem so she doesn't feel the need to be promiscuous to gain attention.
Implement rules that prevent opportunities for your teenager to participate in sexual activities. Some examples of rules include curfews and insisting that your teen only visit with his girlfriend in public areas of your home, or keep the door to his room open if you allow his girlfriend into his room. Encourage group activities, rather than dating.
Encourage your teenager’s friendships with other kids whose families share the same values as your family. Teens are influenced by their friends, so get to know them.
Supervise your teenager. Keep track of your teen’s activities and schedule so you know what he is doing and when you can expect him home. When your teen is hanging out with friends, ensure that there is parental or adult supervision. Be aware of your teen's exposure to television, movies and music so you understand the messages he is receiving from the media. You can put rules into place about what movies, music and television shows are off limits.