Conversation Challenge: Let's Talk 2019

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Conversation Challenge: Let's Talk 2019

by Amiya Perkins and Jacqueline Pelella
October 3, 2019
Let's Talk Month 2018

Parents and champions are the #1 resource young people look to for information on sex, love, and relationships. That can cause a lot of pressure for parents and champions, but it doesn’t have to. We've provided a challenge with talking prompts to help you get started.

  1. Pair up with a young person in your life.
  2. Share the social prompts below on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram once per week for 4 weeks (i.e. one prompt for each week of October).
  3. Follow the prompt guidelines to jumpstart conversations with your young person about topics related to sex, love, relationships, and contraception. These prompts serve as quick and easy ways to talk with your teen about these topics which in return will form a relationship between you and your teen that is authentic and rich in communication.
  4. Share what you’ve learned with friends, family, and on your social channels, at the end of the month.

Prompt Guidelines:

Challenge 1 (Week 1): Make note of your values, beliefs, and understandings about sex, love, and relationships.

Lets Talk Challenge 1

Conversations about sex, love, relationships and contraception give you an opportunity to share accurate information with your teen and to discuss your sexual values. Your values influence how you talk about these topics, so take some time to think ahead about what messages you want to send. Use the questions below to help you clarify your sexual values, beliefs, and understandings:

  • At what age did you begin to date? When is the right time to start dating?
  • Were you sexually active as a teen? What do you think about school-aged teens being sexually active? Becoming parents?
  • Did you use contraception as a teen? What do you think about teens using contraceptives? Is abstinence best for teens?
  • Who is responsible for setting limits in a relationship? How is that done?
  • How do the answers to these questions affect what you will say to your teen?

Challenge 2 (Week 2): Use “teachable moments” to start the conversation.

Lets Talk Challenge 2

Teach your teen to think critically by talking with them about what they are learning about sex from the TV shows and ads they watch, the magazine articles they read, and the music they listen to. We’ve listed below a few questions your young person may be curious about. Try using popular culture to address these questions. If they’re hesitant to bring these questions up to you, perhaps you could try framing them in a “what would you do if…” way:

  • How will I know when I’m ready to have sex? Should I wait until marriage?
  • Will having sex make me popular? Will it make me more mature?
  • How do I tell my partner that I’m not ready for sex?
  • How do I manage pressure from my peers about having sex?
  • Can you get pregnant the first time having sex?
  • How does contraception work? Are some methods better than others? Are they safe?

Challenge 3 (Week 3): Define and discuss the meaning of love and what indicates a healthy relationship.

Lets Talk Challenge 3

Despite sometimes being short-lived, adolescent relationships have a huge impact on young people. They play an important role in young people’s day-to-day lives and have a significant impact on their ongoing emotional and social development. They also lay the foundation for romantic relationships in adulthood. Help your teen choose friends and significant others with similar values of yours by discussing the meaning of love:

  • What does it mean to love someone? How is that done?
  • How does love differ between family members, friends, and significant others?
  • How do you think people know when they’ve met the right person?
  • What does it mean to be in love with someone? Will sex bring you closer to your partner?
  • What are the key elements of a healthy, long-lasting relationship?

Challenge 4 (Week 4): Share a story.

Lets Talk Challenge 4

Oftentimes, it is easier for parents to start the conversation by sharing a personal experience. Share a story with your teen about an encounter with sex, love, or a relationship you’ve had as a teen/young adult and how that experience impacted your adulthood (you can also share a story about family communication about sex). This will act as an indicator for teens that their parent is open to sharing genuine information to which they can relate. After sharing your story, be sure to discuss the following to your teen:

  • Did you have a champion in your life to discuss sex, love, and relationships with as a teen? Were you able to openly and honestly talk with them about sex, love, and relationships? Why or why not?
  • What is the importance of doing so with your teen?
  • Ask your teen to share an experience with you.

Conversations about sex, love and relationships should include asking your teen what they think and know. Listen as much as—or more than—you talk to be sure their voice is being heard and their opinion is being respected.