GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Talking about sex with their kids isn't something parents usually are excited about. The often taboo subject is sometimes left to the school or other adults to cover and that isn't always a good thing.
Sexual health is an important concept to talk about with young people.
Jacklyn Grabow from Grand Valley Family Health Center joined the WZZM 13 Weekend Morning News team to talk about why it is important to have that conversation with kids, even starting as early as 8.
Grabow says teens may not know where to go or whom to talk to about issues, questions, or concerns.
She says the best form of prevention is communication.
When parents speak openly and honestly about sex it creates a better outlet for them to ask questions and express concerns.
If parents are uncomfortable talking to their children about the topic, then Grabow suggests taking them to a doctor and allowing them to talk about it there. Often kids will open up to a medical provider, and they can have an open honest discussion to make sure they are getting the care that they need.
In the state of Michigan, and many other states, teens are allowed to come and see a provider in regards to sexual health- whether testing for STDs or interest in contraceptive management- without mom and dad's awareness.
That means starting at the age of 14, a teen can go to the doctor and get the medical attention they need without the doctor notifying that teen's parents unless there is cause to believe the teen is in danger.
While this law is in place to help teens and parents, Grabow encourages communication between the two groups about relationships and sexual health to make sure they understand everything involved with sexual health.
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