Advice for the sex talk

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Advice for the sex talk

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Stephen Wallace: Talking with kids about sex is really important and I found that even in the highly communicative families, families that typically talk to their children about all kinds of risky behavior, stumble when it comes to talking about puberty or about sexuality or sexual decision making. And that’s really unfortunate because it leaves kids at a disadvantage when they’re struggling with some of the most important first time decisions they’ll make as young people. Maybe especially for boys because they really get the short end of the stick when it comes to open and honest communication with parents. Parents tend to talk to girls in much more nuanced ways about those topics. Whereas with boys, they often hear things like just don’t get a girl pregnant. Or here’s a box of condoms. And what kind of message does that send? So it’s critical that parents engage boys and girls with discussions about emerging sexuality. Puberty, which beginning earlier and earlier in young people. And actual sexual decision making to guide the choices that they make. Some of the things they want to touch on are things like saying to your child, it’s your body. You get to decide how to use it. You may feel pressure from other people or see or hear about to engage in sexual behavior but it has to be the right time for you. And ask them open ended questions. What choices do you think are right for you at this time.

View Stephen Gray Wallace, MS Ed's video on Advice for the sex talk...

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Stephen Gray Wallace, MS Ed

School Psychologist & Author

Stephen Gray Wallace, M.S. Ed., is president and director of the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE), a national collaborative of institutions and organizations committed to increasing favorable youth outcomes and reducing risk. He is a consultant to summer camps on staff training and teen leadership programming and has broad experience as a school psychologist and adolescent/family counselor. Stephen is a member of the professional development faculty at the American Academy of Family Physicians and American Camp Association and a parenting expert at kidsinthehouse.com, NBC News Learn and WebMD. He is also an expert partner at RANE (Risk Assistance Network & Exchange) and was national chairman and chief executive officer at SADD for more than 15 years. Additional information about Stephen’s work can be found at StephenGrayWallace.com.

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