Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Delicate Issue

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Delicate Issue

Article excerpt

I have just found some condoms in my son's bedroom and I am very concerned that he is having sex. He is only 13. I don't even know if he has a girlfriend and I am shocked at the thought of my son being sexually active. I am very embarrassed about talking to him about this. How can I find out if he is sleeping with girls?

CONDOMS could have come from any number of places and it may not necessarily mean your son is having sex.

He may simply have them due to curiosity, peer pressure or because he thinks he is grown up with them. The facts are that adolescents are beginning to have sexual relationships at an earlier age than in previous generations. But it is also important to remember that this country also has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Europe, so at least your son understands the important message of protection, even if he is not using them.

For your son's sake, it is essential that you get over your fear of having a seriously open conversation with him about sex, relationships, protection and keeping himself safe from harm. Although you may already think your son knows all he needs to know about sex, the actual act, there will be a huge vital section of information he probably will not have about protection, having a meaningful and caring relationship, emotional factors, understanding male and female bodies, same sex relationships, alcohol and sex etc. Perhaps you can find out what sort of an education he may have had around school and go from there. Most sex education in schools tends to be very limited and concentrates more on the biological working of the sexual organs etc. As much as this is important, your son needs to understand the full picture and it is important he is equipped with all the information and that he knows where he can go to for advice, help and more information. The conversation will probably be uncomfortable and one-sided to begin with, but through reassurance and letting him know he can approach you about any issue, they will improve over time.

This does not mean you are promoting or encouraging him into having sexually active relationships, but by ensuring your son has a good informative education, you are ensuring that he has all the facts before he makes any decisions, and that he knows how to keep himself and his partners safe. …

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