You may welcome the chance to discuss topics like contraception, sexuality, the mechanics of sex, pleasure, sexual health or abortion or find them distasteful or difficult.We all have our comfort zones so considering the resources below can identify where you might want additional assistance.Useful resources Your library is often a good source of relationships books for children and teens (plus parenting texts) as are the following websites/ organisations.

Bish UK has resources for parents and teens, as does Scarleteen and Teenage Health Freak.

These cover a range of topics from the physical/biological to the personal and emotional.

If you have a child/ teen with additional needs, Robin at Scarleteen has compiled numerous resources on sex/ disability while this guide may be useful for parents of a child/teen with a learning disability.

The good news is you’ve probably had many conversations with your child about friendships and feelings over the years.

Rather than having one ‘big talk’ now, you can continue with these everyday conversations adapting them to your child’s needs as they grow.

It’s worth stating from the outset that what might seem like a simple ‘sex talk’ potentially covers a large area and as other parents will also have the same worries as you I’ve included a lot of resources here to help you explore a variety of topics for different ages/ needs. We all vary in how to approach it, influenced by past and present experiences of sex education and interpersonal relationships; plus our faith/ politics/ personal values. Do you have a support network of friends/ family who can help keep parenting in perspective and be an outlet to celebrate your child’s life?

You will adapt discussions to your child’s maturity, comprehension, and any additional needs. It is fine not to always have a ready answer, to tell your child you will find out (or direct an older child/ teen to resources that you can talk about later), and admit you find some topics challenging. Start with the relationship you and your child know best – the one you share together. How does thinking about creating a positive, boundaried and loving relationship with your child make you feel? Or does it trigger negative memories of your own childhood or anxieties about your abilities as a parent?

Homestart and Surestart can help you get the best for your family whatever its make up (e.g.

single parent, two parents, a blended family, or if you are a carer or foster parent). Then list topics you are less confident on and note the reasons why.

As might counselling for you individually or with your partner if you are struggling with interpersonal relationships. Some parents are very happy to talk about biology, physical development, reproduction and birth; others fear it’s too technical or they might get the facts wrong.

This may seem a strange place to begin but it will help build your confidence to talk about potentially difficult topics, but also show your child a positive relationship model they can build upon in future life. Some parents prefer discussing emotions, respect and love while others find this awkward or triggering.