DEAR KELLY: I'm a guy and just finishing middle school, and I keep hearing my mom tell my dad he needs to have "the talk" with me. I think (almost positive) they are talking about sex.
I don't know how to tell my dad he doesn't need to and that I pretty much have learned everything I need to know from my friends.
It's not like I've had sex before or that I'm planning to any time soon, but my friends have kind of filled me in and I think I know enough to not have to have "the talk."
I'm afraid my dad is going to make some big deal to go have this talk and I really don't want to. Recently he asked me if I wanted to go do "guys day" somewhere and like do hiking or fishing or a Giants game, and I know that it means he wants to have that talk.
Is there a nice way to break it to my dad I don't need to have the talk and, honestly, I probably know way more than he ever thinks.
DEAR JW: Thanks to things like the Internet and cellphones, teenagers are far more knowledgeable about sex than most parents think. Your generation has been introduced to sex and sexual information faster than your parents' generation.
I'm guessing your parents think you know some stuff about sex, just not as much as you think you know. This doesn't take away from the fact that having "a talk" (hopefully it's not the only one) is important for you as a teenager. You both may be nervous, or it may seem awkward, but it is valuable and important as you grow up and mature into a man.
Even though you think you "know enough" (and we never know it all!), it still doesn't mean you shouldn't listen to your dad when it comes to sex.
He might have some words of wisdom you have never heard from your friends.
Teenage boys, as great as they seem to you, may have some misinformation and not offer the best advice on something as serious as sex. Your father might say things you have never thought about or have a different twist on the subject than your adolescent friends. In his mind, "the talk" may be an important moment for the two of you to share, and he wants to be a part of your passage into adulthood.
Not to be dramatic, but it is a big deal to be able to have an open conversation with your dad about sex. Sex is a pretty big thing and has some big consequences if you don't take it seriously. Talking with your dad now may lay the foundation for future conversations you may want or need with him.
Developing a bridge of communication where you know that you can talk with him, anytime about anything, is vital to your journey in becoming a man.
Remember, knowledge is power. The more you know, especially from all different people, the better armed you can be. Sex involves so much more than just the physical act your friends have told you about.
Talking about sex with your dad will help you have a healthy balance of information so you can develop responsible sexual behavior and the emotions that come with it.
Most buddies don't talk about how to be sexually responsible and focus more on the act itself. Your dad's view comes from a place of concern, care, morals and values. He deserves a chance to talk with you and feel like he has done his job as a dad.
Jump at the opportunity to go hiking, fishing or to a baseball game with your dad if it means you get to have time alone with him. That in itself can be a gift.
Be open to what he shares. Ask your dad any questions or let him know what your friends have told you so he can tell you if you are correct.
Take value in his words. Your friends are coming from a different place on sex than your dad. Learn about more than just what your friends have said about sex – learn about self-respect and respecting others.
His advice may be what carries you through a point in your life where you are confused or unsure of things. His words now may be the backbone of your choices.
Write to Kelly Richardson at Teen Talk, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15880, Sacramento, CA 95852, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.