Sexual Conversations at Home with Your Young Person or Adolescent

October 02, 2020

Our team from The Potocsnak Family Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine shares tips on how you can start sexual health conversations with your young person. 

During this period of social distancing, we know you may have more quality time with your kids and may want to have conversations around topics that are important to address but often challenging to navigate. Here’s a guide on how to use some of our favorite media tools so you can get those chats going and keep them positive!   

General Sexual Health EducationAMAZE the way to go for content on questions like “Where do babies come from?Watch with the littlest ones in your life! For your 4th-8th graders who missed out on their spring school-based sex ed, you can supplement e-learning time by assigning! You can watch the videos together, or have your kid choose a few videos to watch and then share what they learned back with you.  

Learn how to support your teen’s sex ed needs with Scarleteen, which has all the detailed info you could want on teen and young adult sexuality without any shame or stigma attached. Read up on topics ranging from LGBTQ dating and masturbation to sexual first times and disability and sexuality. For real-life examples on how to have a number of these conversations, check out our Never Fear Talks, short videos of actual young folks chatting about consent, masturbation... with their chosen adult.  

Porn & Sexually Explicit Media: As students likely have more unsupervised internet timthan ever before, here is an excellent resource on having relevant conversations at home about pornography.  

Sexting: Ask your young teen how they or their friends are handling romance, crushes, dating, and intimacyare friends sneaking out to see significant others, or are they relying more on communication via text, social media, DMs, etc.Check out this article on sexting in the time of social distancing.  

Private TimeAn increased need for independence and an interest in exploring one’s body are common for adolescents. Emphasize to your kids that these needs are developmentally appropriate! Find ways to make sure each family member gets time to themselves. (This is extra challenging with everyone home. Explain the importance of respecting the signs of private timesuch as closed doors, by knocking, asking permission, etc.!) If siblings share a room, help them make a schedule. For more advice regarding how to talk to your kids about masturbation, check out these helpful tips! 

TV: Make sure your family takes breaks from being on separate screens. Watching TV together can be a great opportunity to spark a conversation without it feeling like The Talk. We’ve listed some of our favorite shows with themes relevant to young folk and their families below!  

  • Sex Education on Netfllix (ages 16+ on Common Sense Media — explicit language, conversations around sex and brief nudity) - sexuality, masturbation, STIs, communication, etc. 
  • One Day at a Time on Netflix - sexism, homophobia, coming out 
  • Blackish on and Hulu - puberty (season 4, episode 6 “First and Last) 
  • Mixed-ish on and Hulu - first dates (season 1, episode 15 “This Charming Man”) 
  • Steven Universe on Hulu, Cartoon Network - identity, dating, big emotions, gender
  • Never Have I Ever on Netflix – crushes, dating, and navigating multiple cultural perspectives (ages 14+ on Common Sense Media) 

Find us: For more resources on how to talk all things sex ed, visit us here and follow us on Facebook and Instagram (While on Instagram, go ahead and follow our friends Sex Positive Families and Scarleteen as well!)