What is your approach to talking to your teen about sex?
Parents have always shuddered at the thought of their teenagers starting to date and become sexually active. These days, kids are getting into dating and romance younger than ever. What’s a parent to do?
Teen Issues with Sex: The Dangers
Teen sexually transmitted diseases are a real concern. Statistics show that people between the ages of 15 and 24 account for 50 percent of all new cases. This is on top of the concern of an unwanted pregnancy. Parents are clearly right to be worried.
Most kids have already been warned about the unintended consequences of having sex. Unfortunately, a teen’s underdeveloped brain pretty much guarantees that they will make bad choices.
Teen Sexuality: Getting Real about Safe Sex
Parents must decide for themselves how they will navigate these issues. You can forbid your teen from having sex, but it won’t necessarily work. You can’t be around to watch your kids at all hours of the day, and forbidding them from dating or being around romantic interests could make the idea of sex even more enticing.
Rather than forbidding dating all together, consider taking some actions to ensure your teen stays safe. You can usually get a supply of free condoms from your local health center. Encourage your teen to get regular exams to ensure they remain healthy. Also discuss the possibility of birth control to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
Moving Forward: From Teens to Adults
Ultimately, when a teen chooses to begin having sex, they’re making one of the first truly adult choices of their lives. This can be difficult for parents, but it’s going to happen sooner or later. The more we can encourage safe sex and other healthy practices now, the better.