Home > Teens > Teen Social and Emotional Issues > Connecting With Your Teen > Essential Rules of Parenting: Raising Teenagers Successfully

Slideshow Iconslideshows MORE

|

Essential Rules of Parenting: Raising Teenagers Successfully

5 of 6
Teenromanceandlove

Adopt a Healthy Attitude About Sex


No, not your own sex life. I hope that's already healthy. I mean sex in general and, in particular, your teenager's sex life. They may not have one yet (are you sure?), but they will sooner or later. And you want to make sure that when they do, it's happy and safe and fulfilling, not furtive.

What is the single factor most likely to give your teenager a good experience? And, indeed, the confidence to delay that first experience until they're ready? That's right: Being comfortable with the subject. The more your child knows about sex and finds it easy to talk about, the more able they will be to say no, or to insist on a condom, or to respect their partner's feelings.

You can pretty much take it as read that the more you talk about sex (and drugs, alcohol, smoking, and all the rest) at home, the more confident your teenager will be in making mature decisions for themselves when the time comes. Even broad-minded parents who report strong relationships with their teenagers generally say that this is the trickiest subject to discuss comfortably, probably not least because teenagers also report that they find it difficult. But the onus is on you to show that it's a perfectly acceptable, normal thing to talk about.

School will teach your child the mechanics of sex, of course, and very probably also the basics of HIV and STDs and how to put on a condom. But your kids will giggle their way through this with their friends, and it won't tell them anything about the fact that sex is a normal part of adult life, and that it has a complex relationship with the emotions. You'll have to tell them that -- don't count on school to do it.

Next: More popular galleries

More on: Teen Behavior and Discipline

From The Rules of Parenting Copyright © 2008, FT Press. Used by permission of FT Press, and Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

To order this book go to Amazon.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

The Latest and Greatest Book for Kids
Search our interactive Book Finder for the top new books for kids of all ages, brought to you by the latest book in the I, Funny series, "I Totally Funniest."

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Wintertime Neighborhood Games
Who says you have to stay inside when the temperature drops? Snowy weather is a great excuse to round up your neighborhood for some outdoor winter fun and games.

2015 Family-Friendly Oscar Nominees
The Oscar nominations are in, and they include several family-friendly movies. See which flicks earned a nod for Best Animated Feature Film and other awards.