Talking to Trusted Adults
Talking to adults about the things happening to your body or how you’re feeling during your teen years can be really awkward. But remember, we’ve all been there.
Also remember that whether you’re talking to a parent or other trusted adult (because, let’s face it, sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone other than a parent or a caregiver), they want what’s best for you.
So how do you talk to them about life’s big questions? Let’s talk about how to start “The Talk.”
Parents/guardians. Grandparents. Aunts. Uncles. An older cousin or sibling. Teachers. Coaches. A minister or preacher. Mentors. And the list goes on.
These are all trusted adults. Trusted adults are exactly that – someone you can trust to help answer your questions or get you through a situation. Think about who the trusted adults are in your life.
Talking to an adult about sex can be pretty awkward. Remember that whoever you talk to will probably be just as nervous and uncomfortable as you are. That’s ok! Sometimes, that can make it easier for both of you to open up.
So here’s how you can go about it:
- Give them a heads up. Let them know you would like to talk to them about something serious (but let them know it’s not life and death and you’re not in trouble – you don’t want to scare them). Try to pick a time when everyone feels relaxed and you aren’t rushed. Make sure you have privacy and are in a quiet setting.
- Ask them about their values. You can start by asking them about their family values or beliefs about sex. For example, maybe they believe someone should only have sex in a long-term relationship. Or, if they are religious, maybe they don’t believe until after marriage.
- Share your thoughts. If you’re thinking about having sex, you can share the things you’ve been considering. If you’ve already had sex, you can tell them about your decision-making process before you had sex. Even if it was more spur of the moment, they will still appreciate knowing.
- Ask. Ask any questions you may have. No question is too awkward (even if it feels like it!) And it’s important.
And yes, talking about this subject with a trusted adult (like a parent or caregiver) can lead you to hearing about their own “first time.” Get ready.
Are you wondering what you can do about your acne (zits or pimples)? Or what to do if you get your period for the first time at school or when you are out in public?
We’ve all had a lot of the same questions you do. Just let your parent or another trusted adult know you have some questions about this thing called puberty and the changes that are happening to your body.
They will probably have great advice for you – like a face wash that worked well for them or having an emergency bag with a change of clothes and feminine hygiene products so you’re ready when “Aunt Flo” comes when you least expect it.
A lot of teenagers are afraid their parents will be angry or upset if they tell them they want to be on birth control or need condoms. But you’d be surprised – many parents/guardians are glad you came to them and that you’re being responsible with your health.
It shows them you’ve thought through the consequences of having unprotected sex. It also opens the door for them to answer any questions you might have.
It’s important to talk to your parents BEFORE you have sex. They will appreciate it more than being told after.
You should talk to a trusted adult if you ever feel unsafe physically.
You should also talk to an adult if any of the following behaviors are happening regularly and they don’t improve after you’ve tried talking to your partner:
- Hitting, kicking, punching, slapping, biting or physically hurting you in any way
- Forcing you to do things sexually that you’re not comfortable with
- Keeping you from being with or talking to your friends or family
- Picking fights
- Lying or stealing
- Becoming very dependent on you, to the point of threatening to do something if the relationship ends
- Saying mean things or destroying your belongings
- Trying to make you lie to your family and friends