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:
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?