Helping Parents Talk to Teens About Sex

cartoon image of parents talking with their teen daughter from Planned Parenthood's video

Many parents dread having “the talk” about sex with their children. But there are good reasons for youth workers to encourage parents to keep the lines of communication open with their teens. For one, research shows that positive communication with parents can help young people establish values and make healthy decisions. In addition, having accurate information about sex and relationships encourages youth to delay sex and to protect themselves when they choose to become sexually active. Here are some resources youth workers can share with parents:

  • Parents Sex Ed Center: This collection of materials from Advocates for Youth includes guidance on how to talk to young people about sex, relationships and choosing to wait; statistics about parent-child communication; and characteristics of parents with healthy children.
  • Let’s Talk About Sex”: This documentary film can help parents explore how teens are affected by attitudes toward adolescent sexuality, and its website includes links to a host of resources for parents. "Let's Talk About Sex" first aired on the cable network TLC in April and can be purchased online.
  • "How to Talk With Your Children About Sex": This online guide from Planned Parenthood includes answers to parents' common questions and a video about how to get conversations started with children and teens.
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