You, as the parent can prevent teenage pregnancy. By all means, talk to your kids.
A Sample Scenario of Teenage Pregnancy
All it took was a late May Friday evening when Brayden, a senior high school student, took his sweetheart, Kelli, a sophomore, to the movies then to his home for pizza. After dinner, they went up to his bedroom and made love as the light of the full moon shown in the darkness. Both shared great feelings of passion and lust. Little did Brayden know that he impregnated Kelli. Little did Kelli know she would soon become a mother.
Throughout the summer, they both dated steadily when Kelli and her parents began to notice she was starting to “show” in late July. Kelli was stunned when her doctor told her she was pregnant. Needless to say, her parents were rather upset.
Once Brayden found out, he was startled and scared. He was quite resentful knowing he’d become a dad much sooner than he anticipated. There was no way this was going to happen to him. It was that point in time he decided to cut ties with Kelli, leaving her to “hold the bag.”
As the unborn baby grew, Kelli was a bit worried, but most of all, heartbroken knowing that Brayden left her. Frightened and worried, she wondered how she was going to take care of it while attending school. Should she have an abortion? She despised that idea greatly.
Maybe she can drop out of school and find a full time job. Hopefully, Brayden will change his mind after graduation and come back to support them. Good luck with that! Kelli wishes this was only a dream, but the nightmare has just begun.
What Would You Do If Your Daughter Was Pregnant?
How would you, the parent, react if your teenage daughter told you she was pregnant? What if your adolescent son told you he got a girl pregnant? Most likely, not too well.
Whoosh! What a nightmare if I must say so! However, this can be prevented if you talk to your kids about teenage pregnancy before they get the chance to make this bad dream come true.
Yet, for many parents, the possibility of their child(ren) becoming pregnant or impregnating a girl never occurs to them. Likewise, teens are so eager to have sex but never think about the consequences of doing so. It’s like these people have the attitude, “It won’t happen to me.”
The sooner you can talk to your kids, the better.
When Do You Have Talks With Your Kids
First, you must decide how old they must be before you talk to them about teenage pregnancy. There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer as children develop and mature at different rates. Hence, it is best to observe your child’s behavior and how he/she talks about the people he/she hangs out with. If they become friends with people of the opposite sex, this is the best time to discuss this.
Children like to talk about what they want to do when they grow up. If your child doesn’t, ask them. As they speak, listen for hints involving marriage and raising a family. Pay attention to everything they say, especially if they share their thoughts fluently.
On the other hand, some kids never openly express their interest in people of the opposite sex until they start dating. For them, this is the best time to discuss teenage pregnancy.
Teenage Pregnancy Discussions Need Not Be Difficult
Initiating that first talk about teenage pregnancy with your child may seem rather awkward and uncomfortable. However, it need not be.
Your first thought might be, how will my teen react? What if he/she becomes defiant and at the same time, defensive? How do I handle this? What do I tell them?
First of all, approach them in a calm and kind manner. Maybe hug them or stroke them in a loving way. Start by saying something like “I have something I really need to talk to you about.” You don’t want to come across as tense or angry. Make it clear to them that they haven’t done anything wrong. Once they realize you’re not going to punish them, they’ll relax and listen.
Second, let them know that you’re not out to ruin their fun or that they shouldn’t hang out with the opposite gender. Understand that it is natural for them to have a sex drive and become socially active. Tell them you were the same way when you were their age and you can relate to what they’re going through.
Third, express the dangers of teenage pregnancy in a way they can understand. If it’s your daughter, stress to her how easy it can be to become pregnant. Ask her how she would feel if she had a baby a year from now. Also, ask questions about how she would care for the newborn.
If it’s your son, ask him how he would feel if his girlfriend had a baby. What would he do? Would he help her care for it or would he suddenly break ties with his sweetheart? Most of all, make it clear to him what burden he has put on her and ask him how she should handle it.
Forth, express to your teenager, any way you can, how difficult life would be to bring a new baby into the world at such a young age. Teens never think about how they would support the newborn. Instead, they likely assume that their parents are naturally prepared to raise the kid as if it were a new sibling.
Meanwhile, don’t let your son or daughter convince you that it will never happen. It can! It has happened to millions of teenagers who never thought they’d become impregnated or knock a girl up. If they still argue the point, you’ll have no choice but to show them, tough love.
Perhaps, it’s time you had a brief talk with them about sex.
Talking to Your Kids About Sex Can Help Them
Again, this need not be a stern or tense conversation. Simply call each kid you must talk to aside in a relaxed manner. Help them to relax and tell them they didn’t do anything wrong, but why you must have this conversation with them. All you need to say is “I’d like to have a talk with you because I don’t want to see you get pregnant or impregnate someone else before you become an adult.”
Traditional Beliefs About Sex
Traditionally, sex has been thought of as a highly inappropriate topic to discuss with children. Our ancestors believed it was to be done strictly between a married man and woman. Couples were not to live together until they got married. To break any of these rules would be a mortal sin. These beliefs were handed down through the generations. Pre-marital sex was symbolized as a wrongful act, a curse, and a defiance of religion. Hence, so many parents refrained from talking about sex with their children.
Despite what our grandparents or great-grandparents believed, sex need not be a naughty subject. It is only a natural part of life and without it, we humans cannot reproduce. After all, every animal specie has some form of sex and cannot survive without it.
Over the decades, family members would scoff the subject of sex. Parents and older siblings were conditioned to believe that sex should never be spoken of to pre-adolescents. Children were prohibited to talk about anything having to do with sex because they were too young to understand it. If they did, this was a means for serious punishment. Hence, the subject of sex became a traditional symbol of fear.
Sex Talk Is Everywhere Nowadays
Nowadays, sex is universally spoken about everywhere. This means that your children are learning about the topic in many ways, whether you’re aware of it or not. Sex talk starts in the mid to late elementary school years and progresses through high school. You see infatuation on TV, in the movies, not to mention what gets posted on the internet. Though they may know it’s wrong, your children CAN’T HELP but hear or see things about the subject each day. Still, they may not fully understand what happens during sex.
And the worst thing of all, like it or not: You can’t stop them from finding out things about sex.
Explain the Basics and Leave It At That
Still, you need to discuss the basics of sex and why safe sex is important. You need not explain it in explicit detail, but simply tell them when people make intimate contact, especially when nude, sexual intercourse occurs. If the male partner passes semen (a bodily fluid) into a female’s organ, she’ll become pregnant. Enough said!
If it’s your son, tell him to wear a condom. If it’s your daughter, tell her to take a birth control pill. Without these things, you both will give birth to an unwanted child.
Teach Your Children What Parenthood Is Like
You can give your children hands-on experience of parenthood by organizing special activities. Rather than imposing chores they must follow, try to make these activities seem fun. Here are some things you can do:
- Having them babysit. Encourage them to get babysitting jobs for extra cash or have them take care of other people’s babies.
- Have them prepare a shopping list for the baby. Take them along to the grocery store and have them put these things in the cart like diapers, baby food, wipes, powder, etc. As they do, make them keep a running total of what they would spend on these items. Then, of course, put all the stuff back on the shelves.
- Take them shopping for baby accessories. Show them where they can buy a crib, baby swing, playpen, baby clothes, and some toys. Make them aware of all the shopping they’ll need to do and total up what all these things would cost.
- And if they’re still not convinced, fill a backpack with books and make each kid carry it around with them for an entire evening. Offer them an incentive if you must. They can spend their time as they normally would, but whatever they do, they can’t put down the backpack until they go to bed. Why? Just by doing this, they get the actual feel of what it is like to be an expecting mother carrying the weight of the unborn baby.
Would Your Teen Like to Be a New Parent?
And now for the final discussion with your teen: can he/she handle being a new parent?
Here are some questions you must ask him/her:
- Who’s going to take care of the baby when you’re at work or school or with friends?
- How will you come up with the money to support the newborn?
- Are you ready and willing to give up your leisure activities to take care of it?
- How will you manage high school when you now have a baby to care for?
- What if you have to take time out for maternity leave?
- What if you find out the baby is too much for you to handle?
- Would you consider abortion if need be?
Simply ask them these seven questions and any others you can think of and see how they respond. Most likely they’ll say something like you (the parent) will take care of my child. Again, they’ll expect you to support it and help raise it. After all, you raised your teen, why can’t you raise his/her baby as well?
If they say these things, you’ll need to put your foot down. Be flat out and tell them you won’t and cannot support the newborn. Lie or exaggerate if you must. Warn your son or daughter that if he or she engages in teenage pregnancy, they are on their own. I know that sounds harsh, but your kid needs to wake up and face reality.
Have your child watch the documentary: Teen Pregnancy in the 90s: Kids Having Kids. A WRAL Documentary It can be found on Youtube.
If your teen still refuses to cooperate or even listen, tell them they can’t keep the baby.
On the other hand, your teen might tell you that both of us are going to get married and raise the child together. And everything will be honky-dory. NO IT WON’T!!! More than likely they’ll change their minds, ditch that plan, and each will go their own way. Teens should never get married for the sake of accommodating an unplanned pregnancy as they don’t realize the problems that teenage marriage will create. See my post: Teenage Marriage: Wait and You’ll Be Happy.
So, whatever you do, be sure to talk to your son or daughter about teenage pregnancy and the problems it creates. If you do this before it happens, you will save yourself much grief, strife, and financial strain. Meanwhile, your teen can hold onto his/her freedom and enjoy their adolescence.
You, as a parent, need to educate your children about underage sex and teenage pregnancy. Talk to them as soon as they make friends of the opposite sex. Many parents neglect do this and assume it will never happen to their kids.
Teens are eager to have sex but never think about the consequences of how they’ll be affected in the event that one should impregnate the other.
If you suspect your teen is engaging in sex, this is the time to express your concerns. Don’t be forceful or yell at them, but talk to them in a persuasive manner. Have them partake in duties such as babysitting and shopping for newborn necessities. Ask them how they would pay for everything the baby would need and what accommodations they must make to take care of it.
By teaching your teen about early pregnancy, you can assure that they won’t have to live with an unwanted child. And in the end, your kid can keep their freedom and you won’t become a grandparent. Do you agree with these suggestions I made? Is there anything I failed to mention? Please feel free to comment, but do so in a serious, kind manner.