Many parents dread having “the talk” with their son, but did you know you can make things much easier on yourself and your son if you start having little talks with him at a young age? When your child is very young, you can start by using anatomically correct terms for body parts. As your son grows older, your small discussions will become more educational and in-depth. Here are seven signs that talking to your son about sex is probably a good idea.
1. He’s Wants to Know Where You Are at all Times
If your teen starts demanding to know where you are at all times, he is probably interested in sex and trying to learn about it while you aren’t around. Unfortunately, if he can’t turn to you for answers to his physical intimacy questions, he’ll probably turn to the internet or friends for answers (which may not be the most healthy or accurate way to learn about intimacy).
2. He’s Going Through Puberty
Puberty can be a confusing time for teen boys, and your son probably has a lot of questions about his changing body and hormones. While he’s probably learned about a lot of this stuff through sex education, he may still have questions. If you make yourself approachable and are always willing to answer questions without judgment or embarrassment, your son will be more likely to come to you for answers.
3. He’s Suddenly Concerned About How He Looks and Smells
Teen boys have a reputation for not caring much about personal hygiene (which can drive their parents mad!), but that all changes when they start becoming interested in girls. Have you noticed your son spending more time than usual getting ready for school? If he’s suddenly concerned about the way he looks and smells, it’s time to sit down with him and talk about the birds and the bees.
4. He’s Obsessed With His Privacy
When teens become sexually active, they’re usually preoccupied with privacy. These days, sexual activity can be more than intercourse. Many teens use electronic devices to engage in sexual activities with others online. Sexting is common among teens, with 27% reporting they receive sexts. If your child is obsessed with privacy and keeps his bedroom locked, it may be time to monitor his online activity.
It can be concerning to discover your child is sending nude pictures or explicit messages to others. Instead of shaming him when you discover inappropriate messages, use the opportunity to lovingly teach him how others can use pictures of him as blackmail or as a form of bullying. You can also explain the dangers of sending explicit messages to underage girls or people he doesn’t know. This is also a great time to talk to your son about sexual values, morals and safe sex practices.
5. He’s Annoyed by Your Questions
If you start to give your teen “the talk” or ask questions to determine whether or not he’s sexually active, he may become annoyed. This is probably because he feels uncomfortable or embarrassed about the subject. You may be inclined to give up and let him learn on his own, but try not to. You may need to bring the subject up at a different time, or you may need to approach it in a different way. Sometimes humor can go a long way toward easing tension during these conversations.
6. He’s Developed Behavior Changes
Is your son unusually withdrawn and moody? It could be that he is curious about sex and has desires he doesn’t know how to handle. If you have already established a good relationship with your son and are always willing to answer his difficult questions, he’s more likely to come to you for answers about intimacy.
7.He’s Started Dating
You should ideally have the sex talk with your son before he starts dating, but if you haven’t had the chance, bring it up when he starts taking girls out. Talk about the importance of consent and the consequences of taking physical intimacy too far if a girl isn’t ready. You should also talk to him about how to practice safe sex and the potential consequences of failing to do so.
Talking to your son about sex doesn’t have to be the uncomfortable, blush-inducing moment you’re imagining. If you maintain an open dialogue and let your son know he can ask you anything, you can become his most trusted source of information.