Talking to Your Kids About Sexual Health
Are you thinking about what to do with your kids this summer? It is certainly going to be a unique one as we continue to live with the “unknown” of the pandemic. But as school comes to an end, even more free time with our loved ones is in our futures. Parents and guardians, let’s take advantage of this time to have more conversations with our tweens and teens.
Conversations about what you ask? Well, because of the pandemic, Winsor health classes finished on a different note this year, and we didn’t have the opportunity to have our usual and essential discussions about sexual health. For some this topic of is easy and conversations happen often, for others it is a daunting subject, and for some, it’s something you want to talk about but need some help getting started.
It is important to remember that sexuality is part of who we are and encomapsses all aspects of our being, from attitudes and values to feelings and experiences. I would argue that honest and open discussions about sexuality is the key foundation in finding balance in our physical, social, and emotional health. When it comes to knowledge around sexual health, youth are influenced by so many factors: family, culture, religion/spirituality and peers. But perhaps the biggest influence on tweens and teens is media. We are constantly surrounded by media messages, and now, as we continue to stay home during the pandemic, exposure to media is likely even greater. While media has the potential to be a positive influence, it can often be a confusing and negative one.
As health teachers, we want family to be the number one positive influence when it comes to sexual health. I encourage you to use the additional time at home this summer to strike up a conversation and show your child that you are an expert, and more importantly, that they can trust you and come to without worry or judgement.
Recommended resources to get you started: