How to Tell Your Parents You Had Sex

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What should you say to mom and dad about your sexual activity?

Making the decision to tell your parents you’re having sex may seem scary and feel very awkward but talking to your parents about sex can be a good thing. They might have valuable advice or information to give you that you may have never thought of before, like how to have safe sex, set boundaries or get consent.

When to Tell Your Parents You’re Having Sex

The best time to tell your parents you’re having sex is when you’re ready and comfortable. Starting the conversation can be the hardest part.

To start, ask your parents what their values are when it comes to sex. This is a great way to show them that you respect their opinions. You could also ask, “How did you first learn about sex?”

Asking them questions about what it was like when they were your age is a great way to learn and bond with them by listening to stories from their past. If you want to take a different approach, you can start by talking about something from a TV show or a movie.

However you start the discussion, tell your parents why you are asking or starting the conversation.

  • Is it to try to understand what they expect from you?
  • Is it to get information?
  • Is it to help you make a decision, or help a friend make a decision?

Telling them why can keep them from asking you questions that might feel overwhelming or make you nervous.

If you’re concerned about your parents’ reaction, you might want to put off the conversation until you feel you and your parents are ready to accept what you may have to tell them. If your parents aren’t around, you can turn to another adult you trust, like a family friend, relative, school counselor or a healthcare provider.

If your parents can’t be involved in helping you for whatever reason, don’t worry — you can still take care of your sexual and reproductive health. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, teens can get family planning services without their parents signing off on it. Family Planning services include STI testing, birth control, GYN visits and more.

Get started taking control of your health by reaching out to an FHCCP healthcare provider.