Kathy McCoy, Ph.D.
Telling your teen to “just say no” to sex may not be nearly as effective as helping him or her find their own best reasons for saying no. You might say to your teen:
• First, say no if you don’t feel ready. Feeling ready, instead of pressured, can make sex, when you finally choose to engage in it, much more enjoyable.
• Second, abstain if premarital sex is against your beliefs and values. Your own feelings and values matter a lot. If you violate these, the guilt and anxiety you feel will override any pleasure.
• Third, be cautious if this is your first love. You’re so vulnerable to hurt. Take it slow. Work up building a strong stable relationship, as well as your own self esteem, before even thinking of having sex.
• Fourth, say no if your partner is pressuring you. Beware of the person who ignores your feelings and tries to bully, threaten or cajole you into sex. If he or she really cares, your partner will respect your feelings and values.