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Parents need to start listening and talking.

Sex, birth control, and condoms. These simple words are quite common in today's teenage vocabulary, but why is it that more and more teens are not able to talk to their parents about sex and sex-related issues?

My very good friend Jackie once said that "probably the only time I ever had a sex-related conversation with my parents was when I turned 15. It was my quinceanera, a right of passage celebration in which a girl becomes a young woman. As I was getting ready, I remember my mother asking me if I was still a virgin. I actually was not a virgin, but I did not want to disappoint my mother, especially on this very special occasion. After I told her that I was, the conversation died, and it has been dead ever since."

Jackie is not alone. This to me seems to be one of the biggest problems teens are facing today, the lack of communication between parents and their kids. Teens today find it very difficult to talk to their parents about issues that are affecting their lives on a day-to-day basis. Parents should be more respectful and keep an open mind in order to gain their child's trust.

Many of the teens that I have worked with seem to give me the same answer. Many of them really want to talk to their parents on sex-related topics, but the minute anything that has to do with sex comes out of their mouths, their parents automatically put themselves in a defense mode and turn their teens' questions into accusations. The first thing parents think when their child asks them a question about sex is that their kids are having sex or that they are or have gotten someone pregnant. Parents automatically jump to conclusions without even thinking about it.

These kinds of parent accusations will eventually turn off the children, especially teens. And what happens if they cannot talk to their parents? They go to the next best thing, their peers. I feel that this close-minded parent way of thinking needs to stop. Parents need to really start talking and listening to their kids. It's better to start talking freely and openly about anything to gain the child's trust. Once this is established, everything else will be a piece of cake.
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Article Details
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Author:Gonzalez, Juan
Publication:SIECUS Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2003
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