Teen sexuality parents & carers handbook Introduction

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Parentz of teenz who are involved in the GET A GRIP teenz program have full access to the complete handbook. This provides common sense guidance to support your teen in navigating healthy sexuality. We invite you to enjoy the introduction and contact us if you would like to know more.

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Teen sexuality parents & carers handbook Introduction

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  2. Welcome Every day, parents and caregivers of teens are confronted with challenging questions and situations surrounding sexuality. It can be an overwhelming task to keep up-to-date and prepared. As each generation passes, concerns from parents and professionals regarding risky sexual behaviour are becoming more apparent. Our kids are heavily influenced by peers, society, pornography and cultural viewpoints. It can be daunting for a parent to realise how strongly their teen is being influenced to behave sexually. The reality is, teens listen to and watch a lot of media, have hormones flooding through their body at varying degrees and are learning how to express sexuality. Navigating these years successfully is important to their sexual, physical and mental health, and their overall wellbeing. Welcome Getting Started Let’s Talk Hot Topics The good news is parents can have a huge influence in their teen’s life and sexual decision making. Regular open, positive and honest conversation between parents and teens can lead to a delay in sexual activity. Teens may give you the impression they don’t need you anymore or pretend they’re not listening, but in reality, this is a time when they secretly find safety in boundaries. Your teen does care about what you think ­ particularly when it comes to sex. However, the – challenge for most parents is having the confidence to talk about the multilayered dimensions of relationships and sexuality. “You know your child best so that makes you a vital and valuable asset in communicating with your child about sex!” PREVIOUS NEXT
  3. Getting Started What’s Important Starting conversations about sex years before your kids reach adolescence will make your discussions easier. Whether or not we are comfortable discussing sex, your teen is learning about themselves, their identity, body image and their sexuality. They want to hear what you have to say and most of all, want your love and acceptance no matter who they are and how their sexuality emerges. Make the most of every opportunity: • Let’s Talk Hot Topics Aim to make your relationship a safe place to ask questions • Getting Started Be someone who knows what they’re talking about • Welcome Never treat their questions as embarrassing Personal development and sexuality conversations are likely to be initiated by your child when they are younger. Making the most of these opportunities and responding with ageappropriate answers will make your job so much easier as your child becomes a teen. What is most important is to know that you are not alone. Every parent needs to talk about sex and sexuality with their child. Parents just like you are struggling with what to say, when to explain and how to deal with the various emotions this topic evokes. Be positive! You know your child/teen best and that makes you the most valuable asset in communicating about sex. This, combined with a comprehensive approach from your teen’s school, will help equip your child to progress positively toward healthy sexual development. PREVIOUS NEXT
  4. Getting Started Common Barriers if the issue was easy, we wouldn’t need a guide! There are many reasons why a parent or caregiver and their teen may struggle with having a good discussion about sexuality. We’ve listed below some of the more common reasons. Sometimes acknowledging the barriers is the first step to overcoming them. 1 2 START TALKING!” PREVIOUS ‘If I talk to my teen about sex and smart choices, they may go out and start doing it! I don’t want to stir up an issue they don’t seem interested in.’ 5 Let’s Talk ‘In some ways my teen seems to already know so much about sex. Don’t they get Sex Ed at school? What more info would they need?’ 4 Getting Started ‘Whenever I broach the subject, I feel awkward and end up embarrassing myself and my teen!’ 3 “Trust your instincts. If you think you should be talking more with your teen about sex and relationships... I’m not sure when I should start talking about sex? What is appropriate? How many details do they need?’ Welcome ‘My teen is already sexually active. I’ve told them about using a condom – what more can I say?’ OR ‘It’s too late- they have already started having sex.’ Hot Topics NEXT
  5. Let’s Talk Before we get to WHAT to say, here are some things to keep in mind about HOW to say it: Welcome BE POSITIVE Whether your teen is dealing with sex and relationships or struggling with body image, supporting your teen will go a long way to building confidence, self-esteem and how to handle social pressures. Getting Started Let’s Talk Hot Topics BE REAL BE OPEN BE NORMAL PREVIOUS You are not going to be able to cover everything in one conversation. Discussing different aspects about sex, relationships and self-image in multiple converstaions (and often) will be of greater benefit to you and your teen. Asking your teen how they are feeling may help them to share with you their thoughts and concerns. Communicating about sex as a health concern keeps it in the context of other health issues they may be facing. Remember the more communication the less heartache and health risks. NEXT
  6. Let’s Talk Solutions to tough Questions helping you answer those tough questions! 1 Not sure when to start talking, what is appropriate or how many details they need: Use every opportunity – when your child sees movies, TV shows, raunch t-shirts, music clips – any time is a good time to help them contextualise what they see. If your child has seen sexually explicit content, they need a safe space to deconstruct those messages, without being made to feel dirty or ashamed. (This may require professional support.) Welcome Getting Started Let’s Talk Hot Topics Be led by your child as to how many details are required. Ask them lots of questions to make sure you understand what they are asking. A detailed explanation of a head job will be very embarrassing for you and your teen, if they were actually asking about a hedgehog! 2 PREVIOUS I feel awkward and embarrassed: Most parents are!! Perhaps your own feelings about sexuality will be confronted as you launch into this topic. Self-preparation is key. Take a deep breath and remember that these regular conversations are for the benefit of your teen’s healthy sexual development. If you find yourself becoming over-anxious about discussing sexuality, perhaps consider some self-care and talk with a professional. NEXT
  7. Let’s Talk 3 My teen knows everything already: Nice thought, but the truth is, there’s always so much more to consider when it comes to healthy sexuality. If your school has sex ed, find out what they cover and compliment your teens learning. Utilise the ASK YOURSELF series, found at http://www.youthwellbeingproject.com.au/teenz This series of questions offers you and your teen an opportunity to consider the different aspects of healthy sexual development. 4 5 Welcome Getting Started Let’s Talk Hot Topics I’m concerned that if I talk about it, then my teen will want to go out and do it: Studies have repeatedly shown that comprehensive sex education does not lead to earlier onset of sexual activity and, in some cases, will even lead to it happening later. And about 80% of teens say that it would be much easier for them to delay sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations about these topics with their parents. My teen is already sexually active: Has your teen got a GP? Do they know about contraception and are they aware of where to access a sexual health clinic? Have you helped them to get their own medicare card? Be there for them and offer extra support if their relationship doesn’t work out – they may need more emotional support than they are willing to admit to, so if they don’t want to talk to you, help them find a safe and wise alternative. PREVIOUS NEXT
  8. Hot Topics Does your school have a sexual health program which helps you talk to your teen? Youth Wellbeing Project gives schools, youth organisations and parents the opportunity to partner together to deal with the realities of what your teen and their peers may encounter in the coming years, and equips teens with strategies to help them make smart choices. GET A GRIP teenz has been developed to positively educate teens with an understanding of how to build healthy relationships, look after their physical, sexual and emotional health; and make smart choices. Depending on the delivery setting, GET A GRIP teenz involves participation from teachers, support workers or suitably qualified and approved community volunteers. GET A GRIP teenz is a vital part of equipping your Welcome Getting Started Let’s Talk Hot Topics At all times, your teen will value the support of you, the parent! child to look forward to life, love and empowerment as healthy members of society An educational program on self-awareness, smart choices and sexuality. Parentz of teenz who are involved in the GET A GRIP teenz program have full access to the complete handbook. This provides common sense guidance to support your teen in navigating healthy sexuality. PREVIOUS NEXT
  9. Hot Topics Weekly Core Elements #1: Pressures Standing strong against peer and cultural pressures #2: Smart Choices Finding clarity and making smart choices in complex situations #3: Respect & Consent Understanding relationship expectations and the balance of power Welcome Getting Started Let’s Talk #4: Proactive Intervention Recognising the warning signs and taking action to combat gender-based violence #5: Sex & The Body Being proactive in avoiding STIs and looking after physical health Hot Topics #6: Pregnancy Making a healthy decision in a complex situation #7: Pornography & Sexting Deconstructing representations of sexuality in media and culture #8: Diversity Valuing the individual and creating understanding about sexual diversity #9: ‘Whole-person’ Sexuality Strengthening communication and assertive responses to pressure #10: Creating my Future Realising that healthy sexuality is so much more than just physical Get a GRIP teenz is based on whole-person centred sexuality education. This approach encompasses the dimensions of wellbeing (physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual), in light of research related to behavioural patterns, neuroscience and social determinates. A positive overlap and interconnectivity of these factors, collectively provides young people with a sense of value, empathy, resilience and confidence in their ability to embrace their sexuality and attain sexual wellbeing. PREVIOUS NEXT
  10. Hot Topics GET A GRIP teenz offers a whole-person centred approach in the wellbeing of adolescents and addresses the real issues surrounding sexuality and relationships. The program: • Provides current and relevant information Welcome Getting Started • Encourages youth to question prevailing social attitudes • Establishes boundaries of mutual respect based on unambiguous consent • Identifies how sex is connected to intimacy Let’s Talk Hot Topics • Empowers young people to make smart choices • Equips youth with understanding and tools to negotiate sexual choices and life challenges • Gives youth an opportunity to assess how smart choices will have a positive effect on their self-worth; and emotional, mental and physical well-being. In a safe environment, facilitators encourage your teen to assess their knowledge, attitudes and perceived risks and norms which affect their behaviour. Information is personalised through highly interactive activities appropriate to culture, developmental level and previous sexual perceptions. ‘If you haven’t found the perfect time to chat about sex - NOW is your golden opportunity!’ PREVIOUS Contact us: Phone: 07 3102 3684 Mobile: 0438 124 780 Email: contact@youthwellbeingproject.com.au Web: www.youthwellbeingproject.com.au Contact us to ask us how GET A GRIP teenz can help you, your teen and your local High School or Youth Organisation! NEXT

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