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Parenting is full of firsts; first steps, first tantrums, and their first day at school. They all seemed so well explained and no matter how unprepared you may feel, there is an abundance of information and advice on what to expect and how you can help your child. Now that your child is navigating their teenage years, you may have thought parenting would become easier, but this is usually when it becomes more difficult. Adolescence is difficult for teenagers, but it can also be hard for parents too, especially when you don’t know what to expect or how to help your child.

Some parents are confident when talking to their children about sex and relationships and can naturally navigate conversations with ease. However, most parents find it embarrassing talking to their children about sex, maybe even more than their children feel during these often awkward discussions. This can result in fractured, disconnected, and vague conversations leaving young people even more confused than they did before the well-intended chat. Sometimes, these conversations fail to even take place. Having a trusted adult providing factual, reliable, and consistent information can be invaluable to young people who are navigating through a fast-changing, sexualised environment during a time in their lives of immense physical and emotional change.

Many parents may also believe that schools should be responsible for teaching RSE. While it is true that schools do now have a legal responsibility to teach RSE, such subjects are best taught as a partnership between school and parent. While school should provide the basic information on RSE, the home should be a place to explore further to discover what it means for your child.

Schools are now obligated to deliver Relationship and sex education in school. Click here to find out what they are now required to deliver. 

Talking about relationships and sex is not what most people do on a daily basis. The subject is vast and most parents would have last learned about it when they were in school themselves. So, brushing up on some brief sex education is a good place to start. Firstly let's go back to basics and once you're confident with the information you can share, have a look at our top tips to help guide you through the conversations.

Remember, you are not alone in navigating these conversations, many parents have the same worries, concerns, and questions as you. Check out our frequently asked questions and myth-busting to see if we have already answered your question. If you can't find your question(s), send us an e-mail at taz@sthk.nhs.uk and we will respond in 5-10 working days. We aim to publish all questions to help other parents but you can request your question to remain confidential. All published information will remain anonymous for both sender and any person(s) mentioned. 


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