Talking with young people

Having a trusted adult is very important for young people. It can be hard to know how to start a conversation about sex and relationships and know what to say, but it’s possible. 

 

Just keep it simple!

  • A good starting point is to think about what your own experience was. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being no information or information that made you feel bad and 10 being feeling totally prepared for sex, what was your experience? How do you want it to be different for the young person in your life? 

  • While we might hear that there is “the talk”, the fact is that the more often conversations about sexual and reproductive health and relationships happen, the better it is for young people to learn and trust you.

  • Guidelines for those conversations

  • Reassure them that you are here for them and open to talking about any topic. 

  • Be non-judgmental and model open, honest communication. 

  • Know your values and be honest.

  • Be an active listener. 

  • Keep answers fact-based, short, and simple.  

  • It is okay if you don't know an answer, you can find it together.

  • Use age-appropriate language — this will help them when talking with medical providers. 

  • Use "teachable moments" from TV, radio, or your everyday life. 

  • Model healthy relationships for yourself, and use your own experience to teach.

  • Don’t assume because they are asking about sex that it means that they are having sex. 

  • Be open to the fact that they might be more comfortable talking with someone else.