REMEMBER : Talking with the youth about sex does not mean that you are encouraging them to have sex. Rather, you are making it more likely that they will make responsible decisions about sex.
A Few Tips To Ease The Conversation:
- Don’t preach. Turn any conversation into a dialogue where you ask as many questions as you provide answers.
- Talk about facts versus beliefs. Sometimes factual information can challenge what your faith community believes. It is certainly valid to share your beliefs as long as you label them as such while delivering factual information.
- Assure them that they can choose when and if to have sex again.
- Make sure they are aware of the many choices for birth control.
- Make sure the youth in your care is aware of how to avoid getting or spreading HIV, herpes, or other sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).
- Be mindful that regardless of their past sexual experiences the youth in your care may be struggling with their sexual identity. Make it clear that you will be accepting and non-judgmental .
As the youth comes to know and trust you, she might want to talk to you about more difficult topics such as dating violence or prior abuse. Do the best you can do but realize you are not expected to be an expert in these areas. There are professionals you can reach out to for help in addressing these issues.
Here are some resources to help you and the youth learn more about abuse and dating violence: