READER REPORT:

Puberty 'too late' for sex talk

PETER WILTON
Last updated 05:00 09/02/2014
teen sex
AVOID PROBLEMS EARLY ON: After puberty parents will see the harvest their previous efforts in providing sexual education have reaped, writes Peter Wilton.

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We asked our readers to talk about how they deal with teen sex at home. 

Despite what some parents may think, a young person will know whether they are ready to have sex or not.

That is where a young person's right to self-determination - sexual self-determination - comes in.

They have been well-prepared about the onset of puberty and contraception before puberty. By the age of 13 or 14 the bus will have left the shelter. That is, by then, parents will reap the harvest of their previous efforts in providing sexual education.

If their children have grown up in a family in which there is a normal attitude towards nudity, and they know about puberty well before they get there, there should not be a big problem. A daughter will expect her first period, know what it is and how to deal with it. A girl or boy will be aware of contraception and the options open to them.

At this age they are young adults and will also develop their own sexual desires, which may differ from their parents'.

Left to their own devices, they will also know when and where they want to take part in sexual activities. Parents should not underestimate this. Exaggerated constraints are just as adverse as bad influences outside the family. If parents do not allow a girlfriend or boyfriend to stay the night or go on holiday with the whole family, their own daughter or son will find their own way. Where there's a will, there's a bush.

If their upbringing has been right, they may even come to their mum or dad at this age and talk about the emotional implications of a sexual relationship. In this case, a parent, whether a mother or father or both, can be proud.

If they have avoided the issue or just thrown a book at them, they may have problems.


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