6. Explain your values. It's important to talk about your moral or religious values with your child. They may not adopt them too, but if you explain why you'd be unhappy if they had underage sex, for example, or sex before marriage, it can be a talking point for you both to discuss yours and their beliefs.
7. They'll want to experiment. Of course they'll be curious about their bodies once they hit puberty, if not before. Reassure them that it's perfectly normal to have these new feelings of arousal and encourage them to talk to you if they're worried about their development.
8. What about sexual feelings? Feeling sexually aroused is all part of growing up and it's important to tell them that this is natural. Your boy may be embarrassed by his erections and your daughter may be aware of feelings she hasn't had before. Give them the privacy they need now.
9. Too embarrassed? Don't put off talking to your child because you're embarrassed. They probably will be too. Read up on the subject first. The Family Planning Association (fpa) has lots of useful leaflets and advice that can help you. Helpline 0845 122 8690 www.fpa.org.uk
10. Give them the facts. This is no time to be wishy-washy about the facts of life, but if you're worried you haven't got the latest information, point your teenager in the direction of:
R U Thinking, a really useful website and helpline aimed at teenagers with lots of practical advice on sex, relationships and contraception. They can ring 0800 28 29 30 for free confidential advice too
Like It Is - a great website for youngsters from family planning specialists, Marie Stopes. Advice and help on everything from puberty worries to contraception and pregnancy scares.
Brook - for confidential advice for youngsters on contraception and sex. Helpline on 0800 0185 023
- Next: Getting intimate and the law - more talking points to consider
- The facts about teenage sex
- Read one mum's story of her teenage daughter's pregnancy
- Read in-depth information on HIV and AIDS
- Read the facts on STIs
- Worried about your teen's sex life? Share your concerns in Chat