Talking to teens about relationships

Picture of Helen and Damien

Helen (Sylvia Tabua) is a single mum who talks to her son Damien (James Nona) about staying safe.

In Kasa Por Yarn, Helen is very open with her son Damien about relationships, girls and about using condoms.

Adults may feel uncomfortable talking to teens about boys, girls and relationships because they are embarrassed or unsure of what to say or how to begin. But the truth is if you talk to your young people about relationships and sex, you’re looking out for them and protecting them. Nobody wants their young teen to get pregnant.

Fact 1: Many studies have found that teenagers, whose family talk to them about relationships and sex, are more likely to start sex at a LATER age, use protection, and have fewer partners.

Fact 2:  Most kids are bombarded with TV, magazine and web information and images about sex – no matter how hard you try to shield them from it. Kids need good, clear facts; and they need to be able to hear it in an atmosphere of trust, openness and support.

3 tips to get you started

1. Update your own knowledge by checking out these websites or picking up some brochures from the clinic. Focus on providing factual information, free of judgements. Check out: www.health.qld.gov.au/sexhealth  and www.istaysafe.com (a great site for teens).

2. Talk while doing an activity together (like fishing or cooking).It can be a great way to encourage conversation. Talking about TV shows and magazine articles can be a good way to start a conversation about sex and relationships.

3. Listen carefully. Take young people’s responses and questions seriously, and answer as honestly as you can. If you avoid questions, you may send negative messages about the issues. Remember, kids will always look for the answers and they may need help to understand what they find out. They may already have very wrong information from talking to their friends.

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