The advent of relationship with girlfriends, boyfriends and sex in adolescents within a family context always makes for an interesting time for parents.
Teenagers normally begin consensual sexual activity around 14 to 16 years of age. This is often a very stressful time for parents, who want to protect their offspring and prepare them against any hurt, shock or harm. The disagreements about decisions being made about an adolescent’s life can lead to stress and conflict.
Having a girlfriend or boyfriend and learning how to interact with the opposite sex, sometimes in an intimate way, is a vital part of growing up. Learning to respect one’s own body and that of another person early on in life is a foundation stone of a happy and wholesome sex life later on.
Parents quite rightly want to preserve the innocence of their children. Modern life with magazines, television, film and the internet often leads to early exposure to sexual content for children and adolescents. Research shows this has a profound impact on children’s attitudes and behaviours toward sex and relationships.
It is important as parents to maintain a working knowledge of the types of media being consumed by your younger family members and to monitor their attitudes about the subject. Some content should be blocked and there are many technological products to help with this. It is impossible to ban the internet, tv, video games and social interaction, so coaching your offspring in how your family values frame your attitudes to sex will help them to form their own values. Sexual activity in people under 14 is more likely to be abuse and represent a sexual offence and should be reported to the police.
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To speak with a psychologist about young relationships and early sexual experiences of your own or your children, call for an appointment today.