How do you tell your parents that you’re having sexual intercourse with your partner?
While some teens have had lots of conversations with their parents about this topic starting at an early age, some teens and young adults may never feel comfortable discussing sex with their parent(s). This is probably because all parents are not the same. There can be many different reactions which are often based on religious and cultural beliefs.
If and when you decide that you are ready to talk to your parent(s) and let them know that you are sexually active, you’ll want to put some thought into how you will go about telling them. The timing and the way in which you tell them is important.
Here are some tips:
- First, decide if you want to tell one or both of your parents.
- Choose a time when everyone is relaxed and together.
- Tell them that you want to talk to them about something serious.
- Stay calm and on point, and tell them that you have given a lot of thought to what you’re about to tell them. It’s best to be direct and say “out of love and respect for you, I want to be honest about the fact that I’m sexually active”.
- Assure them that before you became sexually active, you and your partner talked about it.
- Reassure them that you were not pressured into having sex and you and your partner are using protection to prevent STIs and unplanned pregnancy.
- After you break the news, give them a moment to let what you told them sink in.
- Listen to what they have to say and be respectful. They may thank you for being honest with them. They may even ask how they can be helpful (such as bringing you to check-ups with your health care provider).
- If you realize that the news was too much for them to handle, tell them that you didn’t have to tell them, but you wanted to be honest and communicate that you made this important decision.
- If they become angry about your decision to become sexually active, you may want to say something such as: “I can see that what I said upset you. I’m sorry, but I wanted to be honest with you. You told me that I could come to you with any concerns I might have. I respect your opinion and values, but I feel I have made a good decision for me.” Then, tell them that you’ll think about what they had to say.
- If you don’t feel like you can talk to your parents easily, you may want to talk with someone else such as an aunt, big sister, or another adult you trust and can talk to comfortably.