Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Conversations between parents and teens

Loved, loved, loved all the comments about talking to your teens about dating and healthy relationships.

October is Let's Talk month, a month set aside nationally to encourage parents to talk with their teens about issues such as sex and healthy dating relationships.

As a parent, if you have experienced the eye rolling, exasperated looks and statements like, "I already know all that!" you may be surprised to learn that the majority of teens DO want to talk with their parents about these issues. According to a new publication by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy, teens say that parents most influence their decisions about relationships - more than friends, the media, other family members, or even their own boy or girlfriend.

If this is a conversation you are uncomfortable having with your teen, there is a great piece called Relationship Redux: Tips and Scripts for Talking to Your Kids about Relationships, published by the National Campaign that I think you will find very helpful.

Here are a few statistics you might find interesting:

One in five teens who have been in a serious relationship say they have been hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner; one in four girls say their boyfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends or family; and one in four teen girls say they have been pressured to go further than they wanted.

One in five teens say they have electronically sent or posted online nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves.

Thirteen percent of same-age relationships among those aged 12-14 include sexual intercourse. If the partner is just two years older, that number doubles: 26 percent of the relationships include sex. If the partner is three or more years older, 33 percent of the relationships include sex.

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