EYES ON PARENTING

Birds and the bees: How should parents talk to their kids about sex?

Dec 29, 2017, 4:15 AM

(Pixabay photo)...

(Pixabay photo)

(Pixabay photo)

No parent is ever quite prepared to learn that their teenager is engaged in sexual activity. But one Phoenix expert said parents should be reasonable when they go about talking to their kids about it.

Sarah VanHolland, a counselor at Doorways in Phoenix, said parents who have found out that their teenager has done something that’s upsetting should “take a deep breath and calm down.”

“Regulate yourself, otherwise we’re going to kind of punish and react out of this really emotional, afraid, angry place,” VanHolland said.

VanHolland said based on your family’s values, finding out your teen is sexually active could be absolutely shocking and unacceptable or expected and normal. There is no “one-size fits all” approach, but generally speaking, the behavior is normal.

“Some experimentation and increased desire and focus on sex during adolescence is totally normal, that’s what’s happening to the body,” she said.

So first, parents should try to approach this with sort of a non-shaming perspective, VanHolland said.

“Typically when we shame kids for their sex and their sexuality, it tends to make those behaviors go underground,” she said. “And become something that they do in hiding and really makes the sexual behavior much unhealthier.”

But “if the sexual behavior is risky, if it’s unsafe, if it’s done in hiding or in secret, if it’s with multiple partners who are strangers, if you’re sneaking out, those are things that are serious behaviors that probably require the help of a professional.”

But all in all, parents will get more cooperation by approaching the topic in a casual, conversational, non-threatening manner.

“There’s a lot to be said about approaching this with an air of ‘I’m not going to overreact,’ she said. “As a parent we really just want them to be safe.”

Eyes on Parenting

(Pexels Photo)...

Griselda Zetino

Complaints of ‘inappropriate lessons’ reported to Arizona Empower Hotline being investigated

An investigation into half a dozen complaints is underway following the launch of the Arizona Empower Hotline early last week.

12 months ago

(Pixabay Photo)...

Taylor Kinnerup

Report shows Arizona child drownings in 2021 doubled from previous year

A recent report shows 44 children in Arizona died from drowning in 2021, double the amount from the year before.

1 year ago

(Pexels Photo)...

KTAR.com

Teen arrested for allegedly accidently shooting 17-year-old in Phoenix

A 16-year-old boy was arrested Friday afternoon following a fatal shooting in Phoenix, authorities said. 

2 years ago

(Pexels Photo)...

KTAR.com

1-year-old in extremely critical condition after drowning incident in Phoenix

A 1-year-old girl was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition after drowning in a pool in Phoenix on Saturday, authorities said.

3 years ago

(File Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)...

Griselda Zetino

Arizona students get lower standardized test results during the pandemic

Results from statewide testing done in the spring provide a first look at how the pandemic has impacted students across Arizona.

3 years ago

(Pexels Photo)...

KTAR.com

10-month-old in critical condition after drowning incident in East Valley

A 10-month-old boy in the East Valley was hospitalized Sunday evening following a drowning incident, authorities said.

3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Birds and the bees: How should parents talk to their kids about sex?