Not My Kid: A Surefire Way To Get Burned

Jul 22, 2013 | Advice for parents, Parents, Sex Ed in Today's Culture

Who do you think most influences your child’s decisions about sex?

If you’re like most parents, you probably think it’s their friends or the media.

But as it turns out, teens consistently say that parents most influence their decisions about sex.

You heard us right – it’s you! We know sometimes it might not feel like it, but it is nevertheless the case.

In fact, in a recent study conducted by The National Campaign to End Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy, 87% of teens said it would be easier to postpone sexual activity and avoid pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations with their parents.

This is a huge, too often missed, opportunity.

Early on we learned that many parents don’t talk, because they don’t have a framework for how these conversations are supposed to go – because their parents never spoke with them.

What to say, how to say it, and where to start is often unclear, and the prospect can be overwhelming.

Unfortunately, because it’s uncomfortable, many parents don’t talk. They also assume their kids are getting high quality Sex Ed in school, which, as we discussed in our previous post, Fix Me Please, I’m Broken, is seldom the case.

Pressure to have sex is nothing new – but kids today get it from every direction, 24/7. To counteract it, it’s imperative to be proactive.

Let them know what you want their sexual experiences to be like. Articulate your beliefs and values about when you think sexual activity is appropriate and why.

The bias, because talking about sex can be uncomfortable, is to say nothing at all – because… your kid knows better. Your daughter would never have unprotected sex. Your son would never rape a woman, etc. etc. etc.

No matter where we go, no parent ever thinks it’s going to be there kid. Assume nothing. Make sure it’s not your kid.

Check our downloads page soon for some exercises and tips to help get you started, or get in touch to bring Talk to your school.

And remember – no matter how uncomfortable it is, the risks of not talking – are simply not worth it.

Explore More Articles

Working With ‘Sex Ed Sam’ by Emily Weiss

Working With ‘Sex Ed Sam’ by Emily Weiss

Emily Weiss is a rising sophomore studying English Literature at Princeton University. Leila Reines is a rising senior studying Biology and Society at Cornell University, and Abby Stubenhofer is a rising junior, also studying English, at Franklin and Marshall College....

Systemic Change Required: Fix Me Please, I’m Broken

Systemic Change Required: Fix Me Please, I’m Broken

22 / 28 Split Remember what Sex Ed was like when you were growing up? Unfortunately, not much has changed, and young people are suffering the consequences. But before we even get to what takes place in the classroom, consider this: only 22 states and the District of...

American Teens: Collateral Damage of the Culture Wars

American Teens: Collateral Damage of the Culture Wars

Newsflash: neither abstinence-only nor comprehensive sex ed has proven effective in school-based settings, which is where 75% of teens receive their education. Yes, you heard us right. When you move either approach out of the lab and into the classroom – neither has...