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Relationships & Sex Education

Parents and carers

Talking about Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) can sometimes cause a level of worry or anxiety for parents and carers.

The information below can offer guidance on what RSE is and how to support your young person as they learn more about this.

RSE: information for parents and carers

Talking about Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) can sometimes cause a level of worry or anxiety for parents and carers. The information below can offer guidance on what RSE is and how to support your young person as they learn more about this.

Our RSE sessions cover a variety of topics, providing young people with information and the opportunity to explore in an age appropriate and safe way. We equip young people with the knowledge, skills and resilience needed to make safer choices as they grow to adulthood. This includes learning how to recognise and manage risk, how to spot signs of healthy and unhealthy behaviours in relationships and how to find support services which can help them protect their sexual health.

RSE does:

  • Give young people the opportunity to discuss what to expect from relationships
  • Encourage positive self-esteem and self-worth
  • Explore consent in relationships and the importance of understanding the law around young people and sex
  • Give factual information on risks, STIs, pregnancy and prevention
  • Encourage young people to talk to parents and carers about relationships and sex education

RSE does not:

  • Just talk about sex
  • Promote sex, at any age
  • Presume all young people are sexually active or experimenting
  • Undermine different cultures and religions
  • Take away the responsibility of parents and carers

Many young people fear that their parents will be disappointed, angry, or upset with them if they talk to them about sex and relationships. A parent’s reaction is really important.

Top tips for parents

  • Try not to lecture your young person
  • Take the opportunity to talk naturally as topics come up on TV, radio or social media
  • Make conversations feel natural – don’t seek out time to have the ‘BIG TALK’
  • Try to listen to them and be prepared for questions – it’s okay if you don’t know the answers
  • If you don’t know the answer, find out together
  • Praise your child for feeling like they can talk to you about this topic
  • Reiterate that you are always there for advice and support
  • Don’t promise confidentiality from other parents or carers in the young person’s life
  • Use opportunities such as car journeys or setting up and clearing up around mealtimes to support more casual conversations

As a parent, you are not expected to have all of the answers. You may choose to support your child in accessing a sexual health service where they can have access to professional sexual health advice from doctors, nurses and health care advisers.