Published on Aug 26, 2022
How Can Parents Help Their Teens Explore Their Sexuality?
Sexuality is the most concern topic among teenagers, and it is sexual behavior, opinions, infatuation, and feelings toward other people. As a parent, you may think it is not the right time and age for them to be introduced to sexuality.
But it becomes easier if they are educated earlier to discover, identify, and differentiate about right or wrong.
Teens may find a topic like sexuality to be confusing. As for healthy development, it is essential to know about teens' sexuality and sexual identity. Don’t confuse sexuality with sex only; it also includes:
- How your child feels about their developing body.
- To know about feelings of attraction, affection, and intimacy.
- Developing and maintaining a relationship.
Do you Know About LGBTI?
Male and female are not only the gender identity of people. LGBTI stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex,” which falls under others gender identity. People are refrained from talking about it in many societies as it doesn't follow our past gender identity classification. This was their opinion and view from very past days; now it is different today.
People are different from each other. UNHCR has given other words for LGBTI such as LGBTI+, Queer, and many more.
Parents are the first teachers of their children. A parent always teaches the first step to their child. Similarly, it is the responsibility of a parent to give them enough knowledge that will help them seek and discover themselves.
The only thing that the parents can do is provide them with guidelines to go in the right direction. An individual has to themselves discover and find the answers they are searching for.
Tips for Parents to Support Their Teens to Explore Sexuality
Talking about sex is still like talking about crime in our society. However, people are now being more educated and having a broad concept. Still, for better understanding, every good thing must start teaching from home. So aware of your teens about sexual health and sexuality. Below are some tips for parents to support their teens in exploring their sexual identity:
Create Less Strict Environment
Your teens might be afraid to share their views and opinion due to your strict parenting. So try to be your teen’s close friend. It helps you to know your teen’s likes, dislikes and understand them.
This can even create a positive relationship between you and your teens. As a result, your teen might feel more comfortable sharing their feelings with you.
Take an Interest in their School Experience and Social Life
Ask them daily about their schooling experience. They might be uncomfortable to tell you, but when you share your own experience as a teen, they might feel comfortable. Ask the question and listen to them with keen interest.
Let them Speak
Parents may not be sure about what their kids are going through. But they start to make an assumption. Assumptions lead to confusion. Give them time and space. Whenever they become ready to share, try to listen seriously.
Feel Proud and Praise them for Being True to Themselves
It is difficult to admit LGBTI. Individual who comes out as LGBIT have to face a lot of dilemmas. Whenever they share, be happy and proud of them. Make them clear that you do not opposes sexual identity. This makes them want to share more stories and the confusion they are having. This will help them to speak out their heart and mind.
Always Make Sure that You are With Them
Tell them that you are there for them even if the situation is not going right. You will support them in every path. You will stand , love, and accept them as they are.
Create an Environment to Express your Teen’s Feelings
Teenagers may feel uncomfortable and uneasy talking about their sexual orientation. Tell them it is normal to be attracted physically and sexually. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Your child is growing, and this is normal for everyone.
Sometimes they feel difficult to express it, creating a friendly environment where they can express their view and thoughts with you.
Set Some Examples
Teenagers are often confused with their sexuality. They may seek help for determining their sexuality. As a parent, you need to deliver positive feedback and response.
Your feedback and suggestion can boost them to admit themselves. They may find strength and confidence and make a difference through it.
The ways to set examples are:
- Mention the famous personalities who are among the LGBTI community. Their success stories despite being different. Praise them, their works, and most important their self-esteem.
- Show huge respect to the LGBTI community. And strictly prohibit jokes and insulting behaviors on them due to their sexuality.
- Watch out for some movies and series together where the LGBTI characters are delivered encouragingly and confidently.
- Show that you have an interest in their choice, and you respect that.
- Show that you are in favor of your teen’s sexuality.
Managing your Feelings
If your children are confused about their sexual identity. Parents may feel confused, afraid, and clueless about the situation. But the best thing to do in this situation is to control your feelings that could affect teenagers more. Rather try to remain calm in this situation.
Every LGBTI fears that their family and friends will not accept them. So, remain rational and do not show any form of anger and emotions to your child.
Your teenagers may change their views and perception due to peer pressure. Friends are the source of learning. Teenagers try to imitate each other. This may lead your children to become more confused and blank about their sexuality. So as a parent you can help to resolve this issue by giving advice.
If your child is not able to communicate with you. Many children feel that talking to their parents is difficult. So, you can search for a good supporter who will help them influence and give a good suggestion.
If you have any of your relatives close with your child or any friends of your child who could provide support and give a good direction. Ask them to be there for your teen. If they still cannot speak out, then provide them with a counselor or mental health care.
Give Sex Education
Sex education is essential. AS soon as they become teenagers, the parents should explain to them about sex education. The department of health has added different courses and curriculum in school to give education about reproductive health care, sexual educations. But as a confused child-parent must try to clear their confusion and queries.Understanding Sexuality of your Teens
Many teens or people who are among the LGBTI group are differently treated. They are verbally, physically, and mentally tortured. Most of them are a victim of different bullying activities in their schools and high-schools.
LGBTI people are more stressed out and suffer from different mental and emotional issues. They develop depression, anxiety, self-harming, lack of self-esteem. And even homeless and often get abused in comparison to others.
The activities that impact their mental health are as follows:
- Becoming the target of verbal and physical bullying which is detrimental for both Bully and Victim
- The pressure from the parents and society to change or reject their sexuality.
- Lack of support and understanding from their parents.
- Feeling of knowing they are different from others.
- Being denied and isolated.
- The pressure of managing their school, profession, and relationships.
- The pressure of assembling their individuality and place in society.
- People around them questioning their sexuality.
Talk About the Important Stuff
- Your child has all the right to give their decisions. They can say no to things they don’t believe. Similarly, they have got the right to decide on their body. As parents, don’t pressurize your child. Talk with them and identify what is better for them.
- Give them education about safe sex and sexual health. Teach them about contraceptives such as condoms to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- If your child is sexually active, they should know about chlamydia. Testing of chlamydia is important as it doesn’t show any symptoms.
What Happens if Teens Don’t Know about Sexuality?
- When they try to find answers for their Sexuality. They might come across inappropriate and undesirable content online like pornography, violent and brutal content.
- They may involve in illegal activities like alcohol and drugs due to mental instability.
- They may want to avoid everyone. They may become an anti-social and introverted person.
- Depression and mental instability in teens.
- An abusive relationship with their partners.
- Loss of interest in study and learning due to having psychological and mental pressure.
- They may try to harm themselves and even try to suicide.
- Become a victim of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Consider talking about sex and sex education, physical intimacy as a taboo.
- Your teens may not know about limitations and warning signs of the body.
- Cause anxiety disorders due to cyberbullying, sextortion, and pornography.
People may not find it serious but discovering yourself and trying to discover yourself is one of the most difficult things as a human. If your child is trying to discover themselves, it is due to growth and maturity.
Teens explore sexuality as they don’t have any concept about sexuality. Parents don’t think that it is a good age for them to learn the meaning behind it. As a result, they tend to search for them by themselves. They try to explore inappropriate content like pornography, violence, and many more. This even leads them to go in the wrong direction.
Being lesbian, gay, or bisexual transgender is not their choice, it's given by nature. So as parents show your love and affection towards them. Stay calm and act as a Friend. Appreciate them, accept them and be proud of them. Make them feel more comfortable and free. Don’t go against their decision and stop yourself and others from questioning their sexuality. Treat them equally and Let them live freely.