It might be uncomfortable, but it is important that parents talk with their teens about pregnancy. Having that discussion, in a non-judgmental way, can inspire a teen to really open up and ask the questions that are on their mind.
It can also help build trust between you and your teen. That’s important if you want them to come to you for answers about pregnancy in the future. Make sure you speak with your daughters and your sons.
The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is high.
The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate among countries that collect complete data. The teen pregnancy rate has been on a decline since 1990, but the rate is still high. Parents who talk with their teens about pregnancy get the opportunity to share their views about it. This discussion could lead to questions about contraception, abortion, sexuality, and other topics.
Not all schools teach Sex Ed.
A parent should not assume that their teen’s school has a sexual education class. Some states require it, while others do not. There are some schools who are teaching “abstinence-only” sexual education which emphasizes waiting until after marriage to have sex. Other schools teach medically accurate sexual education courses that discuss pregnancy, contraception, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Not sure what your teen’s school includes in it’s Sex Ed classes? It would be a good idea to find out. Doing so will enable you to provide information to your teen that the school does not.
Parents can debunk myths about pregnancy.
Some teenage girls believe that it is impossible to get pregnant the first time they have sex. Some teenage boys think that it is impossible for a pregnancy to occur if they … shall we say remove themselves from the act a bit early. There are teens that think a pregnancy cannot happen if the girl had sex while menstruating. Parents can clarify that it is entirely possible for a pregnancy to occur in all three of these situations.
These are just a few of the myths about how to prevent pregnancy. Your teenager may bring up a few more that are even less medically accurate!
School Sex Ed courses don’t typically cover emotions.
We’ve all heard stories about young teenage girls who want to get pregnant because they want someone (the baby) to always love them. There are some teenagers that believe that a pregnancy is exactly what they need to ensure that their current boyfriend or girlfriend will stay in a relationship with them. Parents really need to address the emotional aspects that their teen has connected with pregnancy before a pregnancy occurs.
Image by Janine on Flickr.
Related Blogs at Families.com: