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Women: IT'S GOOD TO TALK.

TALKING to your children about sex isn't easy, but it's crucial for their health and happiness. If don't bring it up they'll be relying on information from friends and playground gossip. As soon as they are old enough to understand, explain sex in the context of relationships.

Teach your children that sex is a part of a committed relationship between two people who love each other. You want your children to grow up being able to show love and affection, but they need to know that sex must be thought about carefully, as can have serious physical and emotional consequences.

Talk about contraception and why condoms can save lives and prevent unwanted pregnancy. Get them to visit www.likeitis.org for information and let them know you always there to talk whenever they have questions.

HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR ROSIE

IF your teen is having underage sex, try not to react like Sally.

Don't blow-up or shout at them.

Don't embarrass them by making a scene in front of friends, neighbours or other family members.

Arrange to speak to them, quietly, one-on-one.

Discuss their emotions - are they really ready to cope with all the extra feelings being sexually active brings?

Explain you are not angry with them but worried about their welfare.

Listen to them - try not to judge them and make them feel their opinions matter.

Remind them that sex is something that should only be shared with someone they really care about.

Make sure they are having safe sex. Buying your child condoms may be difficult but it's easier than having to deal with an unplanned pregnancy.

Don't ban them from seeing their boyfriend or girlfriend. The best thing you can do, for them and your future relationship with them, is to make sure that if they are having sex they are being safe and are fully informed of the risks.

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MUM: With her own kids Phoebe and Sam
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2006
Words:324
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