Wednesday, February 18, 2009 Posted by Shattered Paradigm
Talking to your teen about "the birds and the bees" is every parents nightmare, no one wants to have to explain sex to their children. At this crucial time in their lives what you do say or don't say can be life changing. Your children are thinking about it and talking about it just not with you. Their are so many myths in school on the subject from different positions to not get pregnant to dangerous ideas of being protected from sexually transmitted diseases because of other silly rumors. If you don't talk to your teen about sex the repercussions can be much worse then a half hour talk at the kitchen table.
One of the reasons parents tend to avoid the dreaded conversation is they think that their kids are to young or they won't really be thinking about it until college which just isn't true. According to the CDC teen pregnancy's in 2006 were at 435,427 infants born to kids between the ages of 15 to 19. Even scarier still was a recent report that found one in four teenage girls between the ages of 14 to 19 was infected with an STD, many of which are incurable and will be with them for life. These figures alone should help jump start a conversation with your children at the youngest possible age.
Before you sit down with your teen you should defiantly have a game plan laid out so it can go as smoothly and less stressful as possible. The first thing is to make sure that your both comfortable and it's not a confrontation but a open conversation. Many parents find that having an itinerary of the talk will make things faster, easier, and more complete. Start off with talking about what sex is, when it's appropriate to have sex, different forms of protection, and how to use them correctly. These are all important points you should touch on. Make sure to always be open to questions, and even as much as you cringe to hear it, try and force some out of them as well. Talk about pregnancy myths and the statistics of STDs in the Country and even State. Usually between hearing about how a baby could potentially destroy their future and just how gross STDs really are they tend to think a second time before they act. Also creating easy access to condoms decreases their chance for pregnancy enormously.
Every family is different and children develop at different speeds. It's up to you to know when the time is right to have the talk with your teen. Don't think that just one talk is enough, gentle unconfrontational reminders are extremely important. When your teen gets a new boyfriend/girlfriend is a good time to have another little chat and maybe the right time to open up that access to condoms even if they're not sexually active. Remember life changing events can take place and it's up to you to make sure your child lives a healthy and safe life.