Top 10 Tips for Parents to Guide Teen on Pregnancy
Awkward as it may be, sex education is a parent's responsibility. By
reinforcing and supplementing what your
teen learns in school, you can set the stage for a lifetime of healthy
Here are some tips you can follow that may help in talking with your teen about
talking to your teen about changes to expect during puberty; your
expectations for their dating, contraception and condoms; avoiding teen
pregnancy, STDs, and
and having healthy relationships. Talk early and often.
ready to listen to your teen and answer questions that might come up.
Children often begin asking questions about where babies come from at a young
age. These are great opportunities to lay the foundations for later talks about
your expectations and values about sexual behavior and relationships. Take
advantage of opportunities to have these important conversations. And if you
think you waited too long, you didnít. Itís never too late to begin this
your teen's point of view. Don't lecture your teen or rely on scare tactics
to discourage sexual activity. Instead, listen carefully. Understand your teen's
pressures, challenges and concerns.
clear and specific about family values and rules about when itís okay to
start dating and your expectations around dating and sexual behavior. If you
have strong beliefs and values around sex and marriage, communicate those
plainly. For example, if you believe people should not have sex until they
are married, say that. If you think teens in high school are too young to be
involved in a serious relationship, say that, and why. Or, if you think the
time to have a baby is after college, say that. Same goes for using condoms
or other birth control methods. Whatever your beliefs, you need to say them
out loud to your son or daughter. And explain why you believe what you do.
in your power to affect change. It might seem like son or daughter
is ignoring you, as if your adolescents donít want to hear what you say,
or that they donít care what you think. Despite how they act, some of
what you say will sink in. In survey after survey, children report that
they want to talk to their parents about their sex-related questions,
that it would be easier to delay sexual activity and avoid teen
pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations
about these topics with their parents, and that parents influence their
decisions about sex more than friends do.
there: monitor and supervise. Establish rules, curfews, and
expectations for behavior through family conversations. Get to know your
childrenís friends and their families. Also, be sure to monitor what
your children are reading, watching and listening to, and encourage your
children to think about consequences from behaviors they may be exposed
to in the media.
early dating. Dating during adolescence is common and can be part of
healthy development. However, serious and exclusive dating relationships
can lead adolescents to have
earlier than they would have otherwise.Adolescents who have sex at an
early age are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and in
other unsafe activities, such as substance abuse.
your child has regular visits with a medical provider. Sometimes a
young person will feel more comfortable asking a doctor or other medical
professional specific questions about sex and reproductive health. The
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that adolescents have private
time with doctors.
about their future. Young people who believe they have bright
futures, options, and opportunities are much less likely to engage in
risky sexual behavior. Encourage your childrenís aspirations to high
levels of achievement and to participate in school and community
activities (such as clubs, sports or music, etc.). Support their
activities and dreams to the extent you can.
Know your children's friends and their families: Friends have a
strong influence on each other, so help your children and teenagers become
friends with kids whose families share your values. Some parents of teens even
arrange to meet with the parents of their children's friends to establish common
rules and expectations. It is easier to enforce a curfew that all your child's
friends share rather than one that makes him or her different-but even if your
views don't match those of other parents, hold fast to your convictions. Welcome
your children's friends into your home and talk to them openly.
Teen pregnancy impacts not just the trajectory of the teen
motherís life, but also has an impact on the health of a community.
When it comes down to teen-parent relationship, strive for a relationship
that is warm in tone, firm in discipline, and rich in communication, and one
that emphasizes mutual trust and respect.
Dated 16 May 2015