October 13, 2016 – How are the teens in your life going to learn about sex? Some parents see the awkward coming-of-age time in a teen’s life as an opportunity to have a comprehensive conversation about sex. They feel it’s their responsibility as parents to introduce the conversation. For other parents, though, the thought of a sex talk makes them want to ignore that it’s a real possibility or run far, far away – at least until dinner time.

Parents use a variety of tools to approach their teens: love, empathy, science, and sometimes fear, threats and guilt. “Teens and sex” is a topic about which we all have unique approaches. When a parent is comfortable talking about sex with their teen, the focus is on compassion, health and safety, and really listening to your teen. The goal is to offer teens the opportunity to consider their own personal thoughts, commitments and objectives around sex and their health.

Citizens for Choice wishes every parent and teen were able to have honest communication about sex. We prefer parents reach out to their teens and offer accurate medical information and assist them in obtaining necessary reproductive health services. We want teens to feel safe and empowered to talk to their parents about sex and how they navigate this time in their lives.

But let’s be honest – not every parent or teen is comfortable with The Conversation. There is no shame in that. Sometimes the conversation is not going to happen at home. That’s where Citizens for Choice hopes to help parents and teens bridge that gap. There is no recipe for the “right” way. The goal is to get your teen the information they need to make healthy reproductive health choices for themselves.

Don’t feel comfortable having a conversation with your teen about sex? There are options! Please let them know about The Clinic! right here in Grass Valley, located at 120 Richardson Street. A licensed RN as well as certified Health Workers are available to answer any questions, in addition to the free/low cost services The Clinic! provides. We are open on Mondays and Wednesdays and turn no one way. Rest assured that your teens will get medically accurate information and the support of a knowledgeable and caring staff.

There are also online resources you can share with your teens or use as a tool to introduce a conversation about sex. Some helpful resources are: teensource.org, to learn about healthy/unhealthy relationships, learn legal rights, research birth control methods, or understand more about the risks of STDS; sexetc.org, a site written by teens for teens; and plannedparenthood.org/teens, a site written by Planned Parenthood dedicated to teens.

Lastly, if you’d like your teen educated in your home, Citizens for Choice also provides our in-home “Know It and Own It” sex-ed talk help. We would be happy to come speak to a group of 4 or more teens in your home. If you’d like more information, contact Kimberly at: kimberlyd.c4c@gmail.com

Here’s to healthy choices and stronger relationships between parents and teens!