Teen Pregnancy Prevention – For Parents
Contact Chavonda Carr
Fax: (410) 548-5184
Talking with Teens about Sexual Health
Does talking with teens make a difference? Yes! Teens report that their parents or caregivers have the
greatest influence over their sexual decision-making. Most teens say that making decisions about
delaying sex would be easier if they could talk openly with their parents.
Some tips for talking with teens from the CDC
● Stay informed. Where is your teen getting information? What health messages are medically
● Look for opportunities to start conversations, like in the car or immediately after a relevant TV
show or movie.
● Have frequent conversations. While having “the talk” is important, having many discussions that
occur early and often can make more of an impact.
● Be relaxed and open. Conversations about sex and relationships may not be easy, and it is okay
to share when you are feeling uncomfortable or do not have all of the answers. To keep the
door open, encourage your teen to ask questions and be prepared to give honest answers.
● Avoid overreacting. Your teen might share personal information with you to get your input.
Negative reactions might discourage this behavior in the future. Listen carefully to your teen’s
opinions, even if it differs from your own.
● Provide opportunities for conversation between your teen and health care professionals. By
taking your teen to preventive care appointments and allowing time alone with the provider,
you create opportunities for your teen to talk with professionals about health issues that may be
What topics should parents or caregivers discuss with teens?
● Talk about what makes a healthy relationship.
● Communicate your own expectations for your teen about relationships and sex.
● Provide factual information about preventing sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy
(e.g. abstinence, condoms and birth control, STI testing).
● Focus on the benefits of protecting oneself from STIs, HIV, and unplanned pregnancy.
● Help your teen find and receive sexual health care services.
Further reading here: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/protective/factsheets/talking_teens.htm
Check out these resources, too.
● Talking to youth about sexual health topics
● 10 Strategies to Talk with Teens about Sex
Resources for families of LGBTQ+ youth
● Child Welfare Information Gateway