Many parents experience shock when they find out that their children are sexually active or curious about sex. Some parents go to great extremes to prevent their teens from engaging in sexual behavior. Many times they are shocked to find out that, despite their best efforts, their children still find a way to have sex. This is why it is sensible to have an open dialogue about sex with your teen. You do not have to agree with their decision, and you can offer solid advice to strengthen your disagreement. However, it is imperative that you equip your teen with information to protect them. The following are a few suggestions.
Perhaps your teen daughter has expressed an interest in taking oral contraceptives. You may be in agreement with her decision, but a number of parents worry about whether or not their teens will forget to take their oral contraceptives. You could consider giving your child the contraceptives yourself at the same time each day. Another option would be downloading a birth control reminder app onto their smartphone. If your child exhibits a pattern of not taking their oral contraceptives as prescribed, consider an alternate form of birth control such as an intrauterine device.
Unfortunately, some teens think that condoms are all that is needed to prevent unwanted pregnancies. You should explain to them the fact that condoms can break. Also, ensure that your child knows that they should use condoms even if they or the person they have sex with is using another contraceptive. Ensure that they understand that condoms can reduce the risk of contracting STDs, but a broken condom could still place them at risk.
Some parents feel awkward talking about STDs with their children. This is sometimes because they have never contracted one. You can use community resources such as a family planning center in your area to help you with STD education. They will likely have several teaching tools. For example, they might use videos, photos, statistics, and reading material to educate teens.
Hands-on Baby Training
Some teens carelessly have sex because they do not think that they can get pregnant or impregnate someone else. There is also a disturbing phenomenon in some communities that involves teens trying to purposefully have children. A family planning center can set your teen up with a doll that has demands similar to a real baby. For example, it will cry, need to be fed, need to be changed, and nurtured. These lifelike babies can also produce reports to show if the teens taking care of them are "abusing" them. For example, doing things such as shaking, hitting, not changing or feeding, or throwing the dolls can be detected. You might also want to consider offering to supervise your child babysitting a young child in your community for free to give them an idea of what parenthood is like.