No one likes a lecture least of all teens. If they feel you about to pounce they will sigh, roll their eyes or simply ask you to stop with a, “please not now.” The one that gets you to hurry along is the, I know, I know, I know, it’s a good way to get you to stop talking because who likes to be interrupted? But before you stop talking make sure your teen really knows what you’re talking about otherwise you may end up leaving with a false sense of security about your teen’s wealth of knowledge.

The nature of teens is that they want to know everything, but they don’t. By the way, neither do parents. It’s just that you know more a lot of the time because you have lived longer and you have friends that may have made similar or the same mistakes. You learn from those experiences and that puts you in a great position to teach. So when your teen hurries you along and in essence says, “Stop talking.” You have to be crafty about how you choose to ensure they know the message you are trying to convey. This takes a lot of patience and willingness to take their behavior not as an insult designed to hurt your feelings, but part of the ignorance of youth. So what can you do? Try this.

Try interrupting yourself finally after all the “I knows” and admitting, OK perhaps you do know this well then could you teach me? Tell me what all the methods of birth control are and one difference between them. Pretend I am an eighth grader and you are asked to teach their sex ed class and you have to give them this exact information. Let them have a go at it. Take a mental note of things they may have missed, but do not interrupt them.

You can also try suddenly forgetting so they have to fill in the blanks. Play dumb. So I know there is the pill and you have to take it every…crap I forget. Was that every week or every month or right before you want to become sexually active? Do you know?

Sometimes you have to pretend your teen does know everything in order to know what they actually know. And if you find out that your teen really does know well that is one thing you can check off your worry list and add to your confidence in your teen list. Whew!