Talking about Sex – the First Step in Preventing Teen Pregnancy
- Each year in the U.S., nearly 750,000 teens get pregnant – most unintentionally
- When teens are able to talk with a parent or other significant adult about sex and protection, they’re less likely to engage in early and/or unprotected sexual intercourse
If we don’t want our children having children while they’re still children, we have to talk to them about sex and contraception. The month of May is designated National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (NTPPM), sponsored by Advocates for Youth, and we’d like to take this opportunity to urge you to have that talk with your teen (if you haven’t already).
It’s important to know that talking about sex with a teenager doesn’t mean that you condone their being sexually active. Many parents want their teens to wait until they’re married, or at least until they’re old enough to make informed, responsible choices about sex. And the parents feel if they talk to their child about both abstinence and contraception, they’re sending mixed messages.
The fact is, teens are already getting mixed messages – from their peers, movies, TV and social media. As parents, it’s our responsibility to help our kids sort through it all.
Let your teen know what your values and beliefs are about sexual activity. At the same time, it’s important for your teen to have accurate information about birth control and protection so they’re better prepared to prevent an unplanned pregnancy or disease when they decide that they’re ready for sexual intercourse.
When we talk to kids about the situations they may face and what their options are, it helps them think critically. As parents, that’s one of the most important things we can help our children to do.
And if we don’t want our children becoming parents before they’re ready, it’s something we must do.
If you need some guidance about having “the talk” with your teen, the doctors and staff at WHCMA are glad to help. Just give us a call.