Create Time to Talk
Driving a teen to soccer or to meet her friends at the mall may seem like just another chore, unless you recognize it as an opportunity to talk. Of course, you may have to get the conversation going. Try telling your child a little about your day or inquiring about her friends, before asking her how things are going. If you aren't available to chauffeur, try to make a "date" on a regular basis to do something you both enjoy together, like cooking, hiking, or going to a concert or museum. Once you're accustomed to time alone together and have created a comfortable level of sharing, try approaching a touchy subject. Do Your Research
"Before I discuss topics like sex or drugs with my son," one father says, "I do a little homework. Often it's as simple as checking the phone book for hotlines or asking my doctor to recommend some pamphlets. If my son is not willing to discuss a touchy subject, I can still give him a number to call or an article to read. And, of course, I tell him I'm always available if he needs my help."
Don't mount a personal attack, deliver a sermon, or convene a family conference to open a dialogue on a tough subject. No matter how serious the subject, it's important not to be heavy-handed or focus exclusively on your child. Say you've read an article or heard about a troubling situation from a colleague or a friend. Share this information with your teenager; then ask her opinion rather than offering yours. Suppose you're discussing AIDS, and you mention that many people feel "It can't happen to me." Has your child heard similar opinions? Do her friends discuss AIDS among themselves? What are some strategies to stay safe? When a teen feels that the two of you are exploring a subject together, she's likely to share her own thoughts. (http://life.familyeducation.com/parenting/teen/29706.html) Children and teenagers who are exposed to sex through the media are more likely to engage in sexual activity than those who are not, according to new research.
A study by an American team has found a direct relationship between the amount of sexual content children see and their level of sexual activity or their intentions to have sex in the future.
The survey published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and online, claims that film, television, music and magazines may act as a kind of "sexual super peer" for teenagers seeking information about sex. It also suggests that the media have at least as great an influence on sexual behaviour as religion or a child's relationship with their parents and peers.
More than 1,000 American children between the ages of 12 and 15 were asked to list the kinds of media they were exposed to regularly. They also answered questions about their health and levels of sexual activity, including whether they went on dates, kissed, had oral sex or full sex.
Researchers then examined the sexual content of 264 items on the list, which included teen magazines, teen movies and TV programmes. They looked for examples of romantic relationships, nudity, sexual innuendo, touching, kissing, puberty and sexual intercourse.
The study found that films, TV programmes, music and magazines usually portrayed sex as "risk-free". Sex was usually between unmarried couples and examples of using condoms or other contraception were "extremely rare".
The study concluded: "The strong relationship between media and adolescents' sexual expression may be due to the media's role as an important source of sexual socialisation for teenagers....