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How to Begin Talking About Sex

Teen pregnancy expert Sarah Brown has some advice for starting a conversation with your teen about sex.

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Question: "How do I start a discussion with my child about sex?"

Take Advantage of Your Opportunities The good news is that you have many opportunities to start talking with your kids about sex, love and values. Consider using the following scenarios to jump-start the conversation:

1. Use situations on television, in movies, or in advertisements to begin a conversation.

2. Watch a TV show together, and if a situation comes up that deals with relationships, dating or sex, ask your child what he or she thought about how it was portrayed.

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  • Did the situation seem realistic?
  • Why or why not?
  • Did the characters handle themselves well and do the right thing?
  • What might have been done differently or better?

3. You can also use the Internet with your kids. A great place to start is on the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Web site. Visit Teenpregnancy.org and take our online quiz -- better yet, take it with your teen.

The quiz sets up realistic life situations and asks teens to decide how they would handle them. Plenty of online resources are available for parents too, so check out the "resources" section after you've taken the quiz.

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