Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Parent to Parent: Sex Ed. in High School
Parents, it's a scary thought, but studies have found a significant number of kids become sexually active in their teens. That's why, all this month, we've been helping parents talk to their children about sex. Tonight, Dr. Valerie says, when it comes to your high school student, share both the physical and emotional consequences of having sex.
WSVN -- Relationships at Rydell High seemed so sweet and innocent back then, but nowadays it's a lot more complicated.
Just ask the Fonseca family.
Mother Cynthia says she and her husband are very honest with their teenaged daughters on the subject of sex.
Cynthia Fonseca: "We have a pretty open relationship. Her father and I, we talked to her when they were pre-teen because we knew we had to talk the birds and the bees."
Fourteen-year-old Angelica admits boys do flirt with her, but, right now, she's not interested.
Angelica Fonseca: "I've never had a boyfriend, like, you know, kids around this age, girls always want boyfriends."
Cynthia Fonseca: "When I think about high school kids and sex I get scared. What do parents of high school kids need to teach their kids about sex at this age?"
Dr. Valerie Goode: "You talk to your child about being alone with boys and girls, that that's probably not a very good idea."
Dr. Valerie says you should create rules and stick to them.
A good one: No "car dates" for early high-schoolers.
Also, keep your kids busy with activities -- like sports, clubs, etc. -- so they don't have too much time on their hands.
Dr. Valerie: "Usually, children that don't have enough to do will find themselves alone with each other, and then it's likely to happen."
Dr. Valerie says it's normal for teens to think about sex a lot.
So don't avoid talking about it.
Dr. Valerie: "If they haven't been talking about it, they've been thinking about this and fantasizing about it."
Dr. Valerie says take the fantasy away by talking about the real-life consequences of having sex.
Explain sex as a sacred act shared between two adults who are in love.
The best example you can give them is right under your own roof.
Dr. Valerie: "You can pass this on to your child by sharing that with your spouse and showing them what love really is in your home."
Dr. Valerie says it is important to let teens express their sexuality, but teach them that they don't have to be the center of attention.
Angelica plans to wait to have sex until she's married, and she's happy her mom is there to answer any questions she has.
Angelica Fonseca: "We are like best friends. I can say anything to her, and it's good that I talk to her about sex because she gives me a lot of advice on it."
Cynthia Fonseca: "I'm going to be their supporter, and I'm going to always be there for them."
Lynn Martinez: "Dr. Valerie says if your teenager is sexually active, talk to them about the importance of practicing safe sex.
"Next week, we'll tackle the topic of sexual orientation and how parents can best handle it when a child comes out."
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH E-MAIL US AT:
Dr. Valerie Goode:
7711 SW 62 Ave. Suite 203