Sex, Dating, and Relating

Mark references these scriptures in the DVD.
Mark Gungor's Sex, Dating, & Relating DVD for Teens

Sex. Dating. Relating. Three of the scariest words for teens and their parents.

Tips for Talking to Your Teens


Know that teens will catch us off guard when they decide to ask questions about sex or other “tough” topics. Resist the urge to flee. Try saying, “I’m glad you came to me with that question.” This gives us time to think of a response, and will let teens know they can come to parents for advice. It’s important to answer the question right away, rather than put off a teen by saying something like – “you’re too young to know that!” Chances are, the subject has already come up at school and they’re already getting “advice” from their friends. When teens ask questions, look at it as an opportunity to help them learn by sharing our thoughts.


As parents, anticipation is our best friend. Anticipate what teens’ questions may be about sex and dating, then think about your responses ahead of time. What to say? It’s different for each family, but become familiar with typical questions and behaviors that occur during the teen years. Do a little digging around popular teen Web sites to find out what’s hot in a teen’s world.


If you’re feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable about a question your teen asks, say so. Acknowledging your own discomfort allows your kids to acknowledge theirs – and may make everyone feel a little less awkward all around. It’s also okay for parents to set limits. For example, you do not have to give specific answers about your own teen behaviors.


Teens know hundreds of names for various body parts that would make us blush. We shouldn’t try to be cool by using these “hip” terms when talking to teens about tough topics. It won’t work. Stick with specific and correct terminology that everyone understands.


When our kids were young, we didn’t wait until they asked if they should look both ways before crossing a busy street. We taught them. Now it’s our job to teach teens how to grow into adulthood by educating them. Decide what is important for your teens to know, and then teach them early and often. Use everyday, naturally occurring events to initiate conversations with teens about tough topics. For example, books, news articles and TV shows can be good discussion starters.


Be aware of the “question behind the question. Keep your radar up and trust your instincts – if you sense your teen is dealing with a larger issue, you’re probably right.


This doesn’t mean “be judgmental.” Teens (although they will protest) want to and should know their family’s values around sexual issues, dating, etc.


Know what is taught about teen issues in your schools, churches, temples and youth groups – and use this information as a way to talk with teens about your family’s values. You should be your kid’s primary teacher in these areas, don’t leave it to the school or the church.


Better “too much, too soon” than “too little, too late.” Talking to teens about tough issues in an open, honest and loving manner shouldn’t cause fear, nor does it lead to experimentation among teens. Teens are hearing about sex and dating everywhere else. They deserve to hear it from us.

Adapted from: “Kids Need to Know”, Family Sexual Education, OR and “Now What Do I Do?” By Robert Selverston, Ph.D.

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2 Responses to “Tips for Talking to Your Teens”

  1. selene wrote:


    This website is excellent! It can help me to understand my girls. parenthood is not easy, but a love being a mother working with them.

    But please, could you let me know if yuo have this information in spanish too?

    Anyway, thanks for your support us, each parent.


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