For younger teens — ages 13 to 15 — keep the conversation honest and direct. Being an adult is much more about the choices you make and the values you establish than about isolated actions. Good decision-making comes from within yourself and is not strictly determined by outside factors, such as what other are doing. Fortunately, there are other protective factors that parents should focus on that may delay a teen becoming sexually active.
In the article on Personal Agency, we discussed the importance of making decisions from within yourself. Parents may also want to use conversations with older teens as a form of practice with their younger teens. If you trust the judgment of parents, friends, mentors or other respected people in your life along with your own , then not wanting to disappoint them or strain relationships with them is a legitimate reason for waiting. The following are some common reasons young people choose not to have sex. However, the social pressure young people face makes this reason very tempting. The type of intimacy shared through sex may make a relationship stronger, but there is no guarantee of this. There is a concern, particularly among relationships between young people, that this can lead to significant pain if the relationship ends, or if the other partner is not as invested in the relationship. Protecting oneself emotionally is a fine reason to wait, or to choose not to engage in sexual activity again for a time. Young women in particular may have heard that the first time is very painful, accompanied by the breaking of the hymen and a bunch of blood, making it seem like something best gotten over with. First off, you should know that not everyone is doing it. However, part of sexual readiness is being emotionally prepared for the consequences of sex, one of which is how those you love and respect regard your choice. Being an adult is much more about the choices you make and the values you establish than about isolated actions. They want to know why their bodies are changing, so parents can use that discussion as a way to talk about sex. Parents need to think about who they want their children getting information from. Check out the article, The Hymen: Intimacy can be a healthy reason to have sex, so long as the components of sexual readiness discussed in Part 1 are in play. For younger teens — ages 13 to 15 — keep the conversation honest and direct. Good decision-making comes from within yourself and is not strictly determined by outside factors, such as what other are doing. It should not be demanded in exchange for something else, such as the maintenance of a relationship. Regardless of what others are doing, though, it actually has no bearing on your own emotional, physical and intellectual preparedness for sex. Check in with the components of sexual readiness in Part 1. Not feeling ready means not being ready; feeling too young means being too young. Smith offers some advice on effective communication: Any reason for not wanting to, then, is a good reason not to. However, in a trusting relationship where both partners reciprocate feelings and are emotionally mature, intimacy can be a healthy reason to have sex. A basic part of respecting others involves caring how they think and feel, and trusting their judgment. Adolescence is a time of intense emotional, intellectual, psychological and physical development.
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