May is a special recognition time for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
According to the Campaign, teen pregnancy and birth rates in the United States have declined by 44 percent and 52 percent respectively since the peak year in 1991 and are now at record low levels.
There is an increasing need to inform kids about trending the right path by providing them appropriate information in the time of need.
Things to keep in mind before starting off,
- Use simple language but respect their intelligence and curiosity.
- When necessary, identify and encourage them to ask for help from other trusted adults; it doesn’t always have to be you.
- The best way to prepare for a sex talk is to maintain open lines of communications. Let the child knows that you’re not going to judge him/her, and that your responses come from a place of concern and care and love.
How to Start,
- Have bigger ears and a smaller mouth while talking to teens about sex. After all, you want to know what your child thinks before you begin to instruct him on what you believe.
- Start off initially with less detail they need. Don’t feel pressure to teach them everything in one long speech. You can start by teaching them the names of body parts related to reproduction (focus on the ones they can see — like the penis and vagina). As they get older, you can fold in more details.
- Teach them about respecting people’s boundaries and your community’s expectations around sex talks.
- Kids should be informed about how and why one decides to become a parent and talk about other people in their lives who are child-free.
- Make kids understand that being a parent is a BIG responsibility, and that there are ways to wait until you’re ready.
As a parent and a close confidant, you can have honest conversations about birth control, especially as your kids grow older or if they ask questions about preventing pregnancy.
Research has shown that providing teens with open and factual discussions about sex and preventing pregnancy don’t encourage kids to have sex any earlier. In fact, they instead increase the chance that he/she will make more responsible decisions about taking care of the physical changes and protect themselves when they do eventually have sex.