Talking to Your Parents about Sex

“Talking to Your Parents about Sex,” New Era, Aug. 2020, 38–39.

Talking to Your Parents about Sex

Yes, it can be awkward. But your parents are a better source than the internet or your friends.

It’s OK to have questions about sexuality. And it’s OK to talk to your parents about those questions. You might be surprised about how much they can relate to you and your questions and experiences.

When it comes to sex, what you’ll encounter on the internet, in media, and from friends and classmates may be confusing—in terms of both information and morality. Your parents can be the best source of trustworthy and reliable answers about sexuality. They want what’s best for you. Chances are, they’ll be happy you want to talk to them about this.1

If you and your parents have never talked about sex, here are some tips:

Spiritual and Mental Preparation


Illustrations by Andrew Robert

  • Pray. Ask Heavenly Father to help you know what to say to bring up the topic with your parents.

  • Be brave. Whether or not you’ve made a mistake, don’t hesitate to ask your parents to help you. They care about you and want the best for you.

  • Remember that your parents were once your age. They had to navigate growing up too. They will be able to understand and relate to your experience.

  • Think positively about how your parents might react. Think of a time when they helped you in the past. Imagine the conversation going well.

Practical Preparation

  • Decide which parent you want to talk to. While some youth find it easy to talk to both parents together, some are more comfortable talking to one parent alone first. This is normal, especially with a topic like sexuality.

  • Schedule a time to talk. Ask your parents to set aside a time to have a conversation. This gives you both time to prepare.

  • Make a list of things you want your parents to know and questions you have. Having a list of thoughts or concerns can help you remember what you want to talk about. And if there is something you don’t cover, ask them to have another conversation.

  • Practice starting the conversation. Maybe you want to start by asking a question. Or maybe you want to start by asking your parents to just listen until you’re ready for them to respond. (See the “Conversation Starters” sidebar.)

  • Talk with your parents about other topics in ordinary situations. Practice opening up about your normal day-to-day life and activities. You can do this anytime you are together, such as at mealtimes or bedtime.

After You’ve Started Talking

  • Talk about the law of chastity. It can be helpful to ask your parents about their understanding of the law of chastity. If you have broken the law of chastity, your parents can be a source of support as you repent and connect with the Savior. Ask your parents about their experience with finding joy through repentance.

  • Be patient with them. Your parents might feel a little uncomfortable talking with you about sexuality at first too. But they want to help you, and it will get easier as you continue to talk.

  • Don’t be afraid to have frequent conversations with your parents. As time goes on, you might have more questions. This doesn’t have to be a one-time thing.

You Can Do This

At first it might be awkward to talk with your parents or another trusted adult. Remember, your Heavenly Father loves you and wants you to prepare to develop a healthy relationship as an adult. Part of your preparation includes understanding healthy, appropriate sexuality and learning how to communicate about it now. Heavenly Father can help you talk to your parents about sex and other difficult topics as you reach out to Him.


  1. There may be valid reasons why you feel you can’t talk to either of your parents. In this case, try talking to another trusted adult such as a Church leader.