Your teen's doctor can help, too. And if they don't, that's perfectly fine. Emphasize that alcohol and drugs impair judgment and reduce inhibitions, leading to situations in which date rape is more likely to occur. Alcohol or drug use Avoidance of friends and social events Excusing a dating partner's behavior Fearfulness around a dating partner Loss of interest in school or activities that were once enjoyable Suspicious bruises, scratches or other injuries Teens who are in abusive relationships are at increased risk of long-term consequences, including poor academic performance, binge drinking and suicide attempts. It's often hard to avoid this ever-present topic. What if I think I'm gay? The lessons teens learn today about respect, healthy relationships, and what is right or wrong will carry over into their future relationships.
Praise your teen for sharing his or her feelings. Family acceptance can protect against these risks. Awkward as it may be, sex education is a parent's responsibility. Sex education needs to happen at home, too. It's often hard to avoid this ever-present topic. Be honest and speak from the heart. Move beyond the facts. And if they don't, that's perfectly fine. Looking ahead With your support, your teen can emerge into a sexually responsible adult. Your teen's doctor can help, too. Parents also should be alert to warning signs that a teen may be a victim of dating violence, such as: Remind your teen that it's OK to wait. Present the risks objectively, including emotional pain, sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy. That's where you come in. What if I think I'm gay? Impress upon your teen that no always means no. But when parents and teens need to talk, it's not always so easy. Responding to behavior If your teen becomes sexually active — whether you think he or she is ready or not — it may be more important than ever to keep the conversation going. Your teen needs accurate information about sex — but it's just as important to talk about feelings, attitudes and values. Sign up now Sex education: Any form of forced sex is rape, whether the perpetrator is a stranger or someone your teen has been dating. State your feelings openly and honestly. Help your teen understand that he or she is just beginning to explore sexual attraction. If you wait for the perfect moment, you might miss the best opportunities. Stress the importance of safe sex, and make sure your teen understands how to get and use contraception. Remind your teen that you expect him or her to take sex and the associated responsibilities seriously.
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