Teen Dating & Sexuality


Parents often have their own agenda — don’t do this and don’t do that. But they need to take a step back and leave the judgments aside for this discussion. The most appropriate and important thing for a parent and a child or adolescent in dealing with questions about sexuality and sexual health is an open channel of communication.

Warren Seigel, MD, FAAP, Chairman of the Pediatrics Department & Director of Adolescent Medicine at Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn, NY

Parents are a teenager's primary source of information and guidance in matters of sex, sexuality, dating and love. "The Talk" should be an ongoing series of discussions that take place whenever your teenager has a question concerning sex or whenever a "teachable moment" presents itself.

Adolescence can be tough enough to get through without questions of sex, sexuality, and sexual identity. But adolescents are humans, too — no matter how alien they may seem to their parents at times. Openly addressing the all-too-human questions of sexual development, sexual desire, and the nature of the adolescent’s developing sexual identity are critical. Sharing factual information with and giving good moral guidance to your teenager is a vitally important part of helping your teen understand herself or himself. It can help your child avoid devastating, and possibly life-threatening, errors in judgment.