What Does Mean?

Conversation Starters

If you’re not used to talking to your parents about much of anything at all, start having some “small talk” about little things, like dinner or the weather. That way, you won’t have to start from scratch if you need to talk about something important later.

Can you believe they...

Use a TV show or movie you’ve watched together to talk about sex and relationships in a way that isn’t about you. Say or ask something like:

  • “Can you believe they hooked up?”
  • “I know someone at school who (fill in the blank).”
  • “Can you believe they (fill in the blank)?”
  • Ask follow up questions: “Why do you feel that way?” or “What would you do?”

How old were you when...

Ask your parents about their own experiences with questions like:

  • “How old were you when you started dating?”
  • “Who was the first person you ever really cared about?”
  • “Did your friends constantly talk about sex when you were my age?”
  • “What was dating like when you were my age?”
  • “Did your friends try to pressure you into (fill in the blank)?”
  • “Was it hard for you when you went through puberty (or got your period)?”

Did you hear...

Talk about things you’ve heard or seen. You can ask or say something like:

  • “I heard someone say (fill in the blank). Is that true?”
  • “I saw on TV that teen pregnancy rates are lower than ever. Why do you think that is?”
  • “Some of the kids at school are doing (fill in the blank). What do you think?”
  • “I’m worried about this person in my class who (fill in the blank). What can I do to help them?”
  • “We talked about (fill the blank) in sex ed class but I’d rather ask you about this.”
  • “Did you hear that teenagers today are better about using birth control than ever?”

Share a website (like www.216Teens.org) that you find helpful. Some other good ones to check out that can give you even more advice about talking to parents are:

Get creative! Look for opportunities and chances to have conversations and find out how your parents feel and share your feelings about sex and relationships. You don’t have to sit down and have “the talk” – make communication an open and ongoing thing. It’ll make having these conversations easier for both you parents and for you – and it will help your relationship in every way!