Teen pregnancy expert Sarah Brown tells one parent how to handle questions about sex -- calmly.
Question: "My 16-year-old daughter recently asked me some detailed questions about sex and birth control. I'm panicked."
Don't Jump to Conclusions First, don't assume she is having sex just because she asked you about sex or birth control. She may just be curious, or may just want to talk with someone she trusts.
But if she is sexually active, first take a minute to feel proud that she wants to talk to you about this complicated issue -- it probably means you have a good relationship with her! Do talk to her about whether sex really is the right answer for her right now, and explain the emotional and physical consequences of sex.
Talk about why you hold the values and views that you do, but don't lecture. Remind her that abstinence is the only 100 percent foolproof way to avoid pregnancy. If she is likely to remain sexually active, she needs appropriate medical care.
Have a two-way conversation and keep the lines of communication open.
Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.