Talking with teenagers isn't just about making sure they know about contraception and sexually transmitted infections.
Teenagers want to know about relationships, love, emotions, friends, resisting pressure into having sex. They may start having girlfriends and boyfriends.
You can talk about the many sides of love and sex and help them through this transition.
It’s important to explain to young people that relationships mean considering the needs of their partner and talking to their partner.
For some parents it can come as a shock to hear your child say they might be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Remember that your child might feel isolated or scared at being ‘different’. Your reaction will be very important to them. They may have been harbouring anxieties, fears and confusion for some time. Supporting them goes a long way.
Many parents find it easy to accept their child’s sexuality. Others may feel anger or disappointment. Bear in mind that a person cannot ‘turn’ gay or straight. A person's sexuality is an essential part of who they are.
Coming to terms with your child’s sexuality may take some time. Even if you find it difficult, it's important to show support and reassure your child you love them whatever.
If your child experiences homophobic bullying there are a number of ways to approach this.
Other helpful organisations include Families and friends of lesbians and gays (FFLAG).
By law homophobic bullying is considered a hate crime. If it’s happening outside of school, you can ask for help from the police.