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Philadelphia has some of the highest rates of STDs in the country, and teenagers are affected the most. 1 out of 3 kids in Philadelphia will get an STD during their teen years. We know it can feel daunting to have conversations with your kids about sex. How do you answer the hard questions? How much do you tell them? What if you don’t know the answer? That’s ok! You don’t have to know everything to start having conversations about sex with your teens. In fact, it’s important that sex education take place in the home. It may not always seem like it, but your kids want to hear from you.

Tips for Talking

Parents can have a big impact on their teenagers when it comes to healthy choices about sex. By starting the conversation earlier and honestly, teens will learn to trust you and trust the communication with you about sex and other difficult topics. Talking to your teenager about sex can be difficult and uncomfortable, but he or she needs to hear from you.

Here are some tips:

Relax and take a deep breath.

This is hard work for you and and can be uncomfortable. Don't get angry - don't give up. You may save your child's life by helping him or her prevent a serious disease.

Start early.
Don't wait for your teenager to ask questions. You should start the conversation when they start asking about their sex organs. Don’t be afraid to use proper names. Your kids are looking to you for good information.
Talk about puberty.
Talking about puberty and how their bodies will change is another good opportunity to talk about sex. As the parent or guardian, it’s part of the job to instill values and create a support system for your child. Ensure them there is nothing to be embarrassed about; all the things that will happen to their body is part of growing up!
Find teaching moments.
Use things that come up every day to talk about waiting to have sex, or using condoms if your teen is already having sex. For example, if a TV program shows a sex scene or your teen tells you about something that came up at school about sex, you can use these moments to talk about safer sex.
Be honest and give good information.
Teenagers need the facts so that they can make good decisions. Use this website for good information on safer sex, condoms, and STDs, including HIV.
Make this conversation normal and encourage dialogue.
The more you talk to your teen about safer sex, the easier it becomes for your teen to talk openly with you about sex.
Let’s be real, we were all teenagers once.
We know that teens are going to have sexual feelings. You can talk to your teen about waiting to have sex. In fact, the longer teenagers wait to have sex, the less likely it is that they will get an STD. If they choose to have sex, teach them that safer sex is important.

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