Topic C: Planning informative dialogues with teenagers
|It is important not to moralize towards teenagers or to threaten them with the consequences of sexual behaviour. It is useful to start by creating an atmosphere of trust, a matter of fact approach and to focus on the positive aspects of love relations of devotion, natural and healthy sexuality.
Starting with the positive approach, you can later discuss with them how to secure a healthy love life by also knowing the risks of sexuality. You have already learned a lot about relations work in the training sessions, and this approach applies also to open dialogues about love relations.
You can do the following one hour session for example once every month with a group of teenagers, or with just one teenager:
Please reflect on these questions when planning the one hour sessions:
- How do we talk to teenagers without moralizing, but in a calm and matter of fact way?
- How can we use short stories from our own childhood and youth to describe the joys and troubles of falling in love? How can we describe the natural reservations and shame issues in our lives to the teenagers?
- How can we teach them the basic rules of sexual relations: Showing respect, taking a “no” for a “no”, being sensitive instead of sudden and brutal, and to respect the privacy of their partner?
- Can we use our own stories as an invitation to them to tell about their hopes, dreams, and their love relations with the other sex?
- Can we make teenagers laugh to ease the tensions and make them feel comfortable before we start talking about contraception?
- How can we keep a focus on the natural and good things in relations when we sum up the session?
- How can we show that we are accessible and ready to help them if they have problems in relations with each other or in love affairs? How can we ask them what may prevent them from seeking help and dialogue with us if they need it?
- How should we react if they tell us about situations of abuse from parents, other teenagers, staffs, sports trainers, etc.?
- With groups: should we divide the discussion groups into boys and girls?
- How can we inform others (including our superiors) that we will work on the subject, and secure ourselves from the risk of accusations?
After some sessions the teenagers/teenager may feel more secure and comfortable about discussing intimate problems in relations and feel your accept for openness. You can then start to discuss more intimate matters and inform about contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and other topics.