Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ask Dr. Seth: What Should I Say to My Daughter?

Dr. Seth,

My daughter is 13 years old and has become friendly with a boy she knows. I know they like each other and see each other when they're hanging out in a group. The other day, she told me about a girl she knew who just had sex for the first time. I want to make sure that I send my daughter the right message so that she doesn't do this herself too young, but I want to make sure I handle it the right way. What's the best way to handle this?

Karen, 41, Florida

Dear Karen,

You're not along dealing with this issue. Parents all across the world have to worry about the sex issue with their children. While it's healthy and normal to want to give her good guidance on this subject, it's important to understand that there is no perfect way to handle the subject - just do the best you can.

When you talk about sex with your daughter, send a clear and simple message but do not employ authoritarian fear tactics - this could cause your daughter to rebel and act out. Have a conversation about why it's better to wait to have sex and the risks one faces if they become pregnant too young. A good way to approach this is to tell you daughter to think about her dreams and goals for her life, and to encourage her to keep her eye on the ball. Explain that getting pregnant too young can often get in the way of reaching your goals and dreams. Best of wishes to you and your daughter.

Dr. Seth

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