Tips for Parents

  • spend time with them
  • keep calm
  • keep your messages short
  • remind them of what they do well
  • use humour - never sarcasm
  • set very clear boundaries with positive and negative consequences
  • only argue over things that matter
  • avoid confrontations
  • catch them doing good things
  • regularly give them positive feedback
  • help them define problems and options
  • do not constantly remind them of past mistakes

As Teenagers, we want you, our parents and caregivers, to:

  • be there for us no matter what we do
  • see the story from both sides before acting out
  • be there to guide us, not tell us what to do
  • get information - facts about protecting ourselves
  • stop being embarrased to talk about sex
  • intitiate conversations about sexual health issues
  • put us first, not your latest boy/girlfriend
  • understand that if we ask about sex, it doesn't necessarily mean we're thinking about having sex
  • listen without judging
  • be open and honest about sex and relationships
  • only ask us questions if you're prepared to hear the answers
  • be parents, not friends
  • discuss what's acceptable and what's not

Tips to give your teenagers about alcohol and sex

  • heavy drinking in social situations can lead to unwanted sex or sexual assault
  • alcohol use clouds your judgement and increases the likelihood of doing something you didn't intend to do
  • alcohol can increase sexual desire and decrease inhibitions
  • drink spiking is on the increase  - pour your own drinks and don't leave them on a table or bar
  • don't swap drinks with someone else
  • watch for signs of drug use in your friends
  • know where you are going and stay in well-lit areas
  • don't leave a party, pub or social occassion with someone you have just met or don't know very well
  • avoid walking alone at night
  • clearly state your limits
  • say "NO" firmly and assertively if that is what you want
  • accept a person's decision when they say "NO" - it't not a challenge
  • if the message is not clear, assume the answer is "NO"
  • find ways to get out - distract - shout "rape" or "fire" rather than "help"
  • forcing sex is rape and is a criminal offence
  • never assume you know what someone wants 
  • do not have sexual intercourse with someone who is drunk - consent may not be given and you put yourself at risk of being charged with rape
  • do not joke about, believe or support the idea that the other person "wanted it"
  • accept that no one owes anyone else sex under any conditions

Useful Articles for parents

How to talk to your children about pornography

Keeping your children safe online

Helpful Links for Parents

Vodafone digi-parenting
Parent Help               Attitude        
Teen Tools The Parenting Place                
Head Space Net Safe
Ministry of Youth Development
Radio NZ interviews on kids
miomo - making it on my own
For Helpline support phone Youthline on 0800 376 633 For Email support go to parenttalk@youthline.co.nz