I'm guessing after the last two posts describing the intimate details of a teen's sexual proclivities, that most of you are worn out, grossed out and checked out on this topic. But I feel a responsibility to end this whole subject in a more upbeat manner.
No parent is ever ready to see their adorable, cuddly child turn into a sexual animal. But there is no stopping it. Embracing it and helping your teen to develop healthy, safe attitudes toward sexual behavior is as much a part of the parenting job as teaching kids to look both ways before they cross the street. It really can be as simple as saying to your teen, maybe after an incident you heard about involving sex or a found sext message: "Life is about to really change for both of us now that you are moving into having relationships that may include some fooling around. Clearly, this will be hard for me, so hard to think of you in this way, but I love you and I am excited for you to understand what it is like to be in a relationship in which you get to know each other in new ways. Here is what I will try to do, I do want you to be able to come to me when you need help. I'll try not to close my eyes and cover my ears yelling lalalalalalala can't hear you!" I'll try not to judge you or criticize you for having feelings that are totally normal, and I will hopefully help you to stay emotionally and physically safe. I know that you will be in situations you have never been in before where kids might be doing stuff that you are not ready for and that make you uncomfortable. I really can help you with that kind of stuff, at the least we can brainstorm some ways that make you feel more comfortable in those situations and some strategies for getting yourself out of them without feeling like you are making a fool of yourself. I love you and I am excited for you, and I want you to be safe."
And there you have it. You will have opened the door to understanding that sex is a part of growing up, and that you want them to feel that they can come to you for help and guidance, not criticism and punishment. Seeing your teen in this new body, and knowing all that entails can be scary, but letting them know you embrace it and accept these changes at least gives you an invitation to the party.