Many parents don’t realize how important it is to teach your child that dating and sex do not go hand in hand. Many teens assume that sex is a normal part of dating. And why wouldn’t they? Magazines, movies, television, and their friends all give them this message on a regular basis. Don’t just assume your child knows the difference; tell them as often as you can.
Make sure to teach your children from an early age the difference between dating and sex. Stress it often. Help your teen understand that dating is about getting to know the other person emotionally, not just physically.
Suggest other things to do with someone rather than have sex. It may seem silly, but many times sex comes up as an option because teens are bored and have nothing else to do or think about. Suggest fun date ideas to your child. If they stay busy enough, they’ll probably end up having to say no less.
Many people teach their children different ways to say no to sex. They come up with excuses or clever quips. The problem is: an excuse only works once. If your teen just brushes off the issue without making their opinions clear, they will face the same problem over and over again. Teach your child to say no sternly and clearly. While they may want to give reasons, but they shouldn’t have to. No should be enough.
Even if your child has already had sex, don’t let up on teaching them to say no. Many teens think once you’ve had sex with someone, you can’t refuse to do it again. Let them know that they can refuse sex if they feel uncomfortable and for any other reason. You should also stress that having sex is always important and special, not just their first time.
While it’s good to teach abstinence, you should also make your child aware of safe sex practices. You can’t always stop your children from having sex (no matter how much you want to), but you can help them be safer about it.
No matter how much you want to, you can’t completely control whether your child has sex, but you can teach them how to stand up for themselves and make good choices.