Teenage pregnancy is a very serious and common problem in many countries. American teenagers are as sexually active as people in other countries are. However, they are more likely to become pregnant. One reason for such uneven statistics is limited access to healthcare. Another reason for such high rates of teenage pregnancy is a lack of education. Not many teenagers are aware of all the ways in which they can prevent pregnancy. The following are ways that a parent can help a teenager to avoid pregnancy:
Discussing the Issue
A problem that many parents have with teen pregnancy is avoiding the topic. Every parent of a teenage boy or girl should discuss sex and pregnancy. The age of 12 is a good time to have the discussion as young women and men are beginning to have sex at earlier ages. The parent should sit the child down in a quiet place and gently approach the subject. He or she should never make threats. In fact, the parent should approach the subject of sex very lightly as not to scare the child. Building trust is very important with such a serious issue. A child who feels too overwhelmed may become defensive and closed off.
A good parent will also offer assistance for finding pregnancy prevention products such as condoms and birth control. Many agencies will provide free birth control for young adults and teenagers if their parents help them. Helping a child to obtain birth control products is not the same as condoning sex. Instead, it is a way of making sure the child uses safe methods if he or she makes the choice to have sex. A huge controversy exists about parents helping kids to get protection. In this case, the best philosophy is to be safe rather than sorry.
Caretakers and educators must approach the subject of teen pregnancy with caution. Teenagers are very hormonal and rebellious at this stage. Teaching them about the risks with love and understanding is very important in getting the point across correctly. A child approached in this manner is more likely to avoid making a mistake.