Top 10 Tips for Parents to Guide Teen on Pregnancy

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 sexuality.

Here are some tips you can follow that may help in talking with your teen about relationships and pregnancy prevention.  


Start talking to your teen about changes to expect during puberty; your expectations for their dating, contraception and condoms; avoiding teen pregnancy, STDs, and HIV/AIDS; and having healthy relationships. Talk early and often.


Be 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 dialogue.


Consider 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.


Top 10 Tips for Parents to Guide Teen on Pregnancy   Be 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.


Believe 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.

Be 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.


Discourage 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 sex 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.


Top 10 Tips for Parents to Guide Teen on Pregnancy   Ensure 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.


Talk 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

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