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How to talk to your Child about Sex - Ages 12 - 16 (Contd)

How do I talk to my child about oral sex?

First of all, if your child asks you about it, try not to run out of the room, which is challenge enough. The good news is that you probably won't have to discuss mechanics, since she most likely knows what oral sex is. It's certainly wise to have this discussion because, unfortunately, many teenagers now think of oral sex as a low-risk, no-responsibility alternative to actually Doing It -- the same way people now in their forties used to categorise "heavy petting."

Make sure your child understands that oral sex is not a casual business -- that it can transmit diseases, that it can make one or both parties feel used and cheap, and that it should be done only with respect and as a sign of mutual love.

How should I respond to my child's questions about homosexuality?

Many adolescents worry about their own sexuality as they come of age. Your child needs to know that having a same-sex attraction, or even a same-sex physical encounter or two, doesn't mean that he's gay or that she's a lesbian, and that such experiences are common among heterosexual people. Even if she is gay, she probably won't know for sure until she's older.

This is also a chance to talk with your child about respect for others, since kids can cruelly harass gay peers or those rumoured to be so. Your child needs to understand that homosexuality is not a disease, a curse, or an invitation to hatred. It may help to mention that someone they know and like is gay, such as aunt Joan or that nice neighbour down the street.

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Read our supplementary article How to Talk to your Child about Sex - Ages 6 - 12 years
Reprinted with kind permission from