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It can help your child avoid devastating, and possibly life-threatening, errors in judgment.“Above all, it is critical that parents be truthful, honest, and available to their children,” says Charles R. D., FAAP, Chief of Adolescent Medicine at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Adolescence.“Parents often have their own agenda — don’t do this and don’t do that.But they need to take a step back and leave the judgments aside for this discussion,” says Warren Seigel, M.By providing your child with a solid framework of information and values, you’ve taken a large step toward making sure that when he or she becomes sexually active it will be with the knowledge, preparation, and maturity that will mark the transition to sexual activity as an informed choice, not a risky accident.The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician.
“Never let them forget that your love is unconditional,” Dr. “Tell them, ‘I am here with you, and I love you and I will be here with you no matter what through all of this.’ Yes, it’s much easier said than done, but no less important.”So what should you talk about?
But that leaves the other half at risk — many of them engaging in unprotected sex, exposing themselves to potentially grave disease and unwanted pregnancy.“The most important thing to teach your child is responsibility,” Dr. “Discuss how to make decisions and understand what the consequences of decisions will be. Use this moment as an opportunity to teach and encourage, not to pronounce a harsh, dismissive judgment.
You can start by discussing decisions and consequences that don’t involve sex, and then move the conversation toward sexuality. By engaging the child and building his self-esteem and her confi dence in her ability to make judgments, you’re showing him that you respect what he’s learning and how she’s growing in her decision-making.”After all, however adult their appearance, behavior, and attitudes may appear, adolescents remain closer to childhood than adulthood, and children need ongoing parental guidance to prepare for adulthood.
(See “Helpful Resources” at the bottom of this page for reliable resources of information on these subjects.)One key area to emphasize is that no one has the right to pressure your daughter or son to have sex.
Peer pressure — and the media pressure that often stimulates it — can be addressed by empowering your children with your belief in their ability to withstand such pressure, a sense of values that are more important than immediate gratification, and their absolute freedom to bring any concerns to you.