What Every Parent Should Know About Teen Masturbation

During puberty, teens do not only develop physically and emotionally but also on a sexual and relational level. It is a period of uncertainty and insecurity for both teenagers and parents. Discussing sexual matters and masturbation with your teens might be a sensitive and uncomfortable thing to do. However, as parents, it is your responsibility to be open and set up a healthy base for their sexual behavior later in life.  


Should I discuss masturbation when I introduce the topic of sex? 

It is not a must during your conversation about the birds and the bees to discuss masturbation with your kids. That is a personal choice that depends mostly on your cultural and religious background. However, sometimes, it could be beneficial to introduce them before they start experimenting on their own. It gives you as a parent the opportunity to do research and give them correct information about hygiene, clear misconceptions about the practice, and advice about moderation in practicing it. Also, it sends a clear signal to your teen that you are open to questions. It will guide them through the personal journey of becoming sexual beings.

What to consider when talking to your teens about sex in general?

  • Know that this conversation will be as uncomfortable for your teen as it is for you.
  • Plan an appropriate amount of time for this conversation. They might have questions and sometimes it takes a while for them to accurately formulate what they want to ask about and know. 
  • Do not give too much information at once. Give them a very short introduction with facts. Wait for their questions and answer what they find most important first; it might be totally different from what you see as a priority. Always put emphasis at the end of the conversation that your door is always open to further questions. 
  • Research the internet. Figure out what the current sources teens use to gather information are. Research different topics individually, and filter between real and fictive sex information. Then, use this information in your talk.
  • You should be prepared for questions or ideas that might go against everything you believe in and stand for culturally or religiously. Never, at this point force your opinion about things on your teen. It will build a wall between you and them. Your point of view can be conveyed without emotions or force, and you agree to disagree to keep the door of trust between you and your teen open. You can come to your point of view later.
  • Always teach teens that whatever sexual relationship they will have in their life should be based on mutual respect and consent. 

Things to consider when you talk to your teens about masturbation


If you decide to make a more progressive step and include the topic of masturbation in your sex conversation for educative reasons or because you believe your teen practices it, the best way to go about it is: 

  • Mention that masturbation is an urge and that a big number of teens do it. Over 80 percent of boys and around 65 percent of girls do it. It is an explorative practice that gives pleasure, relaxes and helps you find out your likes and dislikes.
  • Human urges also need to be controlled and they are different from love.
  • Talk about the fact that masturbation should never keep you from fulfilling your educational and social duties and that when it does, they need to be aware of that. They can talk to you about it or if that is uncomfortable you can always help find a specialist to talk to.
  • It is nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about.
  • Do not discourage the practice or punish it because it can have severe psychological effects on their future sexual health.
  • If your teen says they do not masturbate or have not thought about it (while you know they have), accept the answer. Do not mention you might have heard them, seen them or inspected the sheets.
  • Talk about hygiene, washing hands, changing underwear or sheets.
  • Mention that not every form of masturbation seen on the internet is safe. Advice to always do research and not haphazardly use gadgets that could hurt them.

Realize that as uncomfortable as this step might be, it sends a clear message to your teen that you understand what they are going through. You respect that they are maturing and developing sexually, you know they have urges, insecurities, and questions. You are always there to guide and answer. As a parent, our growing teens will not always do what we preach sexually or in life. But, they need to know that no matter what they are loved, and you are there even if you might have different views or opinions.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.