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Talking About Sex: What to Say

Teen pregnancy expert Sarah Brown has tips on what to say when you're ready to have "the talk".

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Question: "What should I make sure to talk about during a conversation with my kids about sex?"

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There is no right answer to this question, but it is important to try to learn what is on your child's mind -- be sure to ask.

It is always appropriate -- and helpful -- to be clear about your values and your expectations when it comes to sex, love and relationships. Explain why you take the stands you do, and ask your children what they think.

Kids need as much help in understanding the meaning of sex as they do in understanding how all the body parts work. This is especially important to discuss before there is a particular boyfriend or girlfriend in question.

They also need help in thinking through how they might handle challenging situations. (For example: What will they do if they feel their best friend is pressuring them to do something they don't want to do?)

Let them know, too, that being curious about sex is normal -- and that most people make mistakes growing up and that they are not expected to be perfect.

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