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How to tackle tough topics with your teens

Open and honest communication is essential for helping kids + teens make better decisions.

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Two teenagers sitting on a bus.

Open and honest communication helps kids and teens understand boundaries.

Photo provided SCCADVASA

While can be hard for parents to know when and how to talk their teen about tough topics, research shows that teens who have positive parent-teen conversations about sex are more likely to make safer, responsible decisions.

To help parents navigate those conversations, here are four tips from South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA):

  • Talk early and often: When kids are young, let them know they are in charge of decisions relating to their own bodies.
  • Listen more than you talk: Ask questions and listen carefully to their answers. You don’t have to agree, but you should respect them.
  • Be honest: Don’t ignore or dodge questions. Provide answers in an age-appropriate way.
  • Know that you’re not alone: Every parent has been there, and resources are available.

Parents, youth, and educators can additionally check out these resources to prevent sexual violence among teens and young adults.

Do you or does anyone you know need help? Find a local service provider.

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