M.J. is a single mom living in Visalia, adjusting to her only child getting ready to graduate from high school and go off to college. She has a Master of Science degree in Psychology, Bachelor of Science degree in Counseling Psychology, and has a certification in Life Strategies Coaching.

Dear M.J.,

I’m a single mother of a teenage boy, and I know I need to have ‘the talk’ with him soon. What’s the best way to go about this so that it isn’t awkward? Or should I have a close male friend talk to him? HELP.

Not Ready Yet

Dear ‘Not Ready Yet:’ Unfortunately there is absolutely no way to make ‘the talk’ conversation not awkward, but that is okay. You need to have this conversation with your teenager now, in all of its awkward glory, because you want to build a foundation of trust with him. Start by acknowledging how incredibly awkward this conversation is and let him know that it is okay to talk about these awkward, uncomfortable, weird conversations at anytime necessary. It is important to have such conversations because he needs to know that you will be there for him in the future when he has questions, concerns, or finds himself in a situation that you wish was only just awkward.

As the mother of a teenager, I can tell you that your child most likely knows more than you would ever feel comfortable admitting and some of the information he ‘knows’ is most likely incorrect. Start by assessing where he is in his understanding of all things ‘the talk’ and follow that by explaining the important things he needs to know. End the conversation by letting him know that no matter what kind of questions he may have in the future, he can come to you.

Think of ‘the talk’ as more of a way to raise a healthy, respectful-of-others-and-himself, responsible, good man. There are consequences to actions and not just physical ones, but emotional ones as well. Let this be the start of many, many conversations to come. And remember: You’ve got this.

Send your questions to direct@dmiagency.com with the subject line “Ask M.J.” All questions will be published anonymously.