How You can Help Eliminate Teen Pregnancy

Notes in personal organizer

How You can Help Eliminate Teen Pregnancy

Two questions are on our minds. If a teen finds herself pregnant are the parents to blame? Or should we point our fingers at the teen’s own bad choices? We ask because the issue hits home. 

If you don’t want your daughter to be one of the one million teen girls who find themselves pregnant every year, consider this:

  1. Be a role model. Our kids often follow where we lead. Consider your life. Are you living with integrity? Are you only having sex within the bounds of marriage? The saying “Do what I say not what I do” never works.
  2. Talk about what love is. Love is not sex. Going “all the way” with someone doesn’t prove your love (no matter what they show on television). True love is shown through life-long commitment and by valuing the other person. Remind teens they are responsible for setting sexual limits on a relationship. Remind young women, “Sex won’t make him yours. A baby won’t make him stay.”
  3. Remind kids it CAN happen to them. Having sex, even so called “protected” sex, can lead to pregnancy. It can happen even to kids from a good family. The only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is not to have sex.
  4. Emphasize that even “good girls” get pregnant. Having a good report card, being a good person, having an important parent, or being conscientious will not protect you from pregnancy. According to teenpregnancy.org, one in three young women get pregnant at least once before they turn twenty—good girls included.
  5. Let your daughter know that most teens wished they had waited. Sex before marriage can not only lead to pregnancy, but there are other health concerns, such as STDs. There is also emotional baggage. According to teenpregnancy.org, 60% of teens “wished they had waited longer” to have sex.
  6. Encourage your teen to plan her actions BEFORE the situation arises. Talk about set boundaries and not putting herself in situations that will cause her to compromise those decisions. Help her make good plans for her future and stick to goals.
  7. Talk about media’s wrong messages. The media (television, radio, movies, music videos, magazines, the Internet) are chock full of material sending the wrong messages. Just because we see everyone in Hollywood having sex and having babies doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Babies are a responsibility, not a fashion accessory.
  8. Encourage secondary purity. Teens can say “no” even if they’ve said “yes” before. Today your daughter can make the right choice and choose abstinence.
  9. Realize parents can only do so much . . . but make sure it’s done! As a parent, you cannot be around your child 24/7. Yet, we can do our best to prepare our daughters. Don’t wait.
  10. Let you kids know you are available to talk about every issue in life. It’s also important for parents to open up a two way conversation, not a one-way lecture. Parents can do this by turning the above topics into questions such as: What are your boundaries? Do you think sex proves you love someone? What do you think of the messages media gives out?

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Comments

  1. Great article, Tricia. Something else we can do to prevent teen pregnancy is to talk to our sons. It takes two to make a baby. If we taught our sons to abstain from sex until they married and led by example and followed the 10 steps you’ve laid out (tweaking them for the guy perspective), that would go a long way in helping too. I think we’ve got to battle it from both sides of the gender fence. We’ve got to instill more virtue back into the world around us. And it starts at home.

    Blessings,
    Andrea

  2. I think #9 is the most important. We MUST prepare our daughters, because we won’t be there forever.
    Thank you for your posts and encouragement!

  3. I did all that and then some. I work in OB/GYN and my daughter was full aware of the results of having sex before marriage. I had her in church from the time she was 1 week old and she accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into her heart when she was 10 years old. When her boyfriend of 3 years broke up with her, she almost immediately started dating again. With warnings of “guard your heart” as she was walking out the door for dates with the new guy, she became pregnant by someone she had known for only six weeks. A year and a half later, I am attempting to find myself again as I no longer know who I am. I have never felt like such a failure in my life.

    • Denise, my heart aches for you! Though we do everything we know to do, say all the right things, sometimes people still make bad decisions. All we can do is pray and lean into God. He hasn’t abandoned you or your daughter. He’s ready and available to give you comfort, to offer you peace, to smile rays of sunshine into your life. You may not know who you are right now, but He does. You are a child of God. That’s where I would start. Trust Him, lean into Him, search His Word until He reveals to you your next step. If we seek Him, He will reveal Himself to us. And in the journey, we discover ourselves.

      I hope this encourages you today.
      God bless you!

      Andrea

    • We can do everything “right” and our kids still make mistakes. All of us make some type of mistake in our lives … the amazing thing is that GREAT things can come out of unplanned pregnancy. I was born from an unplanned pregnancy, and my son was born out of one, too. What we often see as disappointments God sees as gifts.

  4. Susan Stitch says:

    Great article — and it applies to boys, too! Girls need support from their boyfriends, not pressure. If we teach our sons respect, purity, and honor above what the world presents, they will have a better chance to avoid becoming fathers earlier than desired.

  5. Katrina Epperson says:

    Tricia, I believe this is one of the most important conversation a parents can have with their children, both boys and girls. My daughter is 17 and we’ve been talking for years, now I pray she continues to make good choices. My son is 12 and we are starting to talk. I think you are right with your advice.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Blessings

  6. I got pregnant at 19 despite having excellent Christian parents who did all the right things.
    What I want to say is that God can still work incredible good from situations born in sin. For Denise, and every other parent feeling like a failure when their teen got pregnant, I want them to hear this and know this: humans make mistakes, but God doesn’t. He is in control and He can work all things together for good if your daughters surrender to Him.

  7. Excellent, very practical advice. Thanks, Tricia.

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