Signup for our newsletter to receive pregnancy, parenting and child health updates.

ask an expert

How do you know if your child is having sex?

I am nervous to talk to my teen about sex, but I want to be approachable too. Can you help?

Lori | Expert


Teens tend to be fairly secretive about their personal lives so this is a difficult question with as many answers as there are parents and kids.  

Some tell-tale signs are that teens grooming habits tend to change when they start liking someone. They take more time with their appearance, carefully styling their hair, brushing their teeth and showering more regularly than before.

They may be spending a great deal more time going out alone with their boyfriend or girlfriend and have no real answer for where they were and what they were doing. 

If your teen has reached the point where he or she has discovered the opposite sex it’s time for some open communication…what our parents called “The Talk.”  It’s not just about the birds and the bees anymore, it’s about good health, safety and self respect.  

You can start by simply asking them if they are having sex. They may not admit it, but it is important that you are honest and tell them how you feel about the subject. Discuss the responsibility, emotional feelings and possible health risks that go along with being sexually active and the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy.

They might be embarrassed talking about this with you, but as I told our kids, I’d rather discuss it and be embarrassed now than be sorry that I didn't talk with them later.

Read more answers by Lori