Teaching Your Teen About Preventing Unplanned Pregnancies

While abstinence is the only certain way to prevent a pregnancy from occurring, it shouldn't be the only aspect of sexuality that you talk to your teenager about. Unfortunately, most school systems don't use an all inclusive approach to discussing safe sex, so the responsibility falls to parents. While this may make for an uncomfortable conversation, it also presents you with the opportunity to make sure your child is as well-informed as you can possibly make them.

Too Soon is Better than Too Late

Certain aspects of human sexuality can be introduced to children as young as 8, but don't rush into things this young. Start with basic physiology at this age, and use that as a foundation for future discussions. However, bear in mind that if you don't have a serious talk about sexual relationships with your child by the time they reach middle school there is a good chance someone else will have beat you to it.

Expect both of you to be uncomfortable, regardless of the age of your child, but bear in mind that you're arming them with knowledge that will protect them in the future. The more a teenager knows about the reality of sex and sexual relationships, the less likely they'll be to treat it casually. Talk about the emotional side as much as the biological, and restate your own beliefs on the matter while giving them the information necessary to make up their own mind.

Focus on the Reality

As a parent, it can be tempting to present real life consequences as the only result of having sex too soon. While the shock value can be effective, it can be hard for teenagers to empathize on that level without having direct experience. Don't instill fear in them, but a healthy respect for what that level of intimacy represents and just what kind of emotional and physical toll it can take on both parties.

In addition to presenting a realistic idea of what sexual relationships can lead to, make sure you're talking about more than just pregnancy. Explain the other potential risks of promiscuity, especially among uneducated individuals, such as the risk of STDs and HIV. Even if you do hope that they'll practice abstinence, be honest with yourself and explain the purpose of contraceptives and condoms too.

The first step in preventing abortions is preventing unplanned pregnancy. In order to do this effectively, it's important that parents have frank discussions with their teens and pre-teens about what sex is, what it can lead to and how to avoid unwanted consequences, including teenage pregnancy.

For more information, contact Pregnancy Center Of Wayne County or a similar location.