Parents encouraged to have talk with school leavers

The Department of Health is encouraging parents to help their teenagers make safe choices at Leavers Week by talking to them about sex and relationships.

Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program Manager Lisa Bastian said that talking to teenagers about sex could help them feel prepared, and less likely to make risky decisions in the spur of the moment.

“Research tells us that kids whose parents talk with them about sex and relationships often have sex at an older age, and make safer choices, than kids who are left to find out for themselves,” she said.

“While young people become more influenced by their peer group as they get older, family beliefs and values form an important part of how they identify themselves.”

Ms Bastian said when people had unplanned sex, they were less likely to use condoms, which could result in unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

“It’s important to give advice and offer support, while also showing confidence that teenagers can weigh up different points of view and make good decisions about their own health,” she said.

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