how to talk to teens about awkward topics

Educate Yourself First
Don’t attempt to have a conversation with your teen about something like social media safety if you have no idea what you’re talking about.

Saying, “Don’t do anything stupid on the internet,” won’t cut it.

If your teen doesn’t think you’re educated about the subject, he isn’t likely to take your opinion seriously. Conduct some online research, read books, and talk to other parents before tackling tough subjects that you aren’t familiar with already.

You can always start the conversation by relaying some of your research. Say something like, “I read something the other day that said almost all teenagers view pornography on the internet at some point.”

Have More than One “Talk”
There’s no need to have “the talk” where you sit down and tell your child everything he needs to know about sex all in one conversation. Instead, have ongoing and frequent conversations about difficult subjects.

The goal should be for your teen to feel comfortable asking questions or discussing difficult subjects as he grows older and his understanding of the subject increases.

So check in with your child occasionally and ask if she has any questions or anything she wants to talk about.

Remain Calm
No matter what your teen says, try to remain calm during the conversation. If you show anger or disgust, it may discourage your child from talking. Remember, the goal during the conversation should be to open the lines of communication so that you discuss difficult topics.

Be prepared to hear information or answers that may surprise you. If your child says something you weren’t expecting to hear, respond by saying something such as, “I’m glad that you feel comfortable enough to talk to me about this.”

If you aren’t sure what else to say, tell your teen you need to think about some things and that you’d like to continue the conversation later. Set aside time to follow through and revisit the conversation.