January 14, 2012

National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is Here

Technically I’m no longer a teen. I’ve beyond surpassed that point in my life, thank god, but I know a lot of people who are just entering the epic rollercoaster of teenagedom and with everything that teens are exposed to these days, it’s important to make sure they are informed as much as they can be informed.

My middle sister is 13 years old. She’s starting high school next year and I can already see her getting curious about things and boys and really who can blame her? Didn’t you have a crush at 13? Because I know I sure did. Thirteen seems so young now that it’s her and not me, but really how young is it? Even though I’m only 24, things have changed so much since I was 13.

Children are maturing faster, doing and learning things sooner than they probably should, but ignoring it doesn’t help. I understand how thinking your 13-year-old child is out there making out with people or groping things that shouldn’t be groped is uncomfortable, but just because you want it to go away doesn’t mean it does.

We live in a world where sex is glorified. It’s out there in the media every day. You can’t hide from it, brush it under the rug. It is what it is. You might not agree, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but again it doesn’t make it disappear or make your child blind to it. Teenagers are inaccessible to parents because a lot of the times parents come off awkward or judgmental and authoritative.

Yes, I gather that’s your job guys, but teenagers are like their own volatile species. You must handle with care. They’re hormonal and slightly nuts and yelling at them, judging them, and or grounding them is not going to help your cause any. Take a leap of faith and try actually talking to them. I don’t mean telling them your opinions and what you think they should do.

Guess what…they don’t actually care what you want them to do, but don’t feel bad about that. That’s the teenager in them; they’ll eventually grow out of it. Sit down and have an honest conversation with them. See where their head is at and what they think about premarital sex. Try to be as open minded as possible.

Show them you respect their opinions and that you realize the decision is their choice, but you’d like to offer your experience and general opinion if they don’t mind just to give them something to think about. You should always respect your elders, but in a teenagers mind to get respect you need to give it. No exceptions.

Make sure they know the facts. Having sex is there choice and I’m not going to say I’m against premarital sex because I really don’t enjoy being a hypocrite, but I believe that everyone is different. What might be right for one person isn’t necessarily right for another. The thing is, you’re going to want to control the situation, but you can’t.

Forbidding a teenager from doing what they want is like a green light for them to disobey you and even if they don’t disobey you the truth is you can’t be everywhere at once. I won’t even list the places people have sex these days because well quite frankly while some of them seem entertaining others are just plain gross.

So even if you want to tie your child up and lock them in the basement until their 18, you can’t actually do that so do what you can. Make sure they are informed in all areas. If your convinced your child is going to have sex no matter what then make sure they know all the different avenues of birth control. Make sure they know not everything is 100 percent effective. The medical and physical ramifications of their choices.

If you’re child isn’t ready for sex or your trying to lean them to the no sex until marriage direction, mention there are other things that have less risk that can be done. Hard conversation, yeah trust me I know, but seriously what were you out there doing at 15 or 16? How do you think that would have changed if someone actually sat you down and spoke to you like an adult?

You’d be surprised that after treating a teenager like an adult and trusting them to make their own choices when it comes to things like this, believe it or not 7 out of 10 of them make very smart choices. So take today or any day for that matter and sit down with your child. Talk to them, you’d be surprised by what one or two conversations and loads of information can prevent. Teen pregnancy is 100 percent preventable. Talk to your teen today…

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