If you are a parent, you undoubtedly worry about your child or children on a regular basis.
In those early years, your concerns are likely focused on that they grow up healthy, avoid any major injuries when learning to walk, and that they form the right friendships in childhood, some of which they may carry through for the remainder of their lives.
As your children get older (especially in their teen years), one of the biggest concerns parents have is sex.
In a day and age when sex is splashed in front of them both on the television and all over the Internet, it can be very easy to see where parental concerns abound from.
So, are you worried about your teen in the bedroom?
Proper Advice Goes Far
In order for parents to feel better about the safety of their children (especially as they become teenagers), it is important they have “the conversation” with their kinds and then some.
Having a child or children before one is ready brings all sorts of complications into the mix, notably that it can tear a family apart.
If your child or children has been thinking about having unprotected sex, let them know the consequences of if they don’t buy condoms.
Ideally, you do not want them having sex while in their teen years, but you also realistically know that wishful thinking and reality are two very different things.
So, what advice can you give your teen or teens in order to assist them in thoroughly thinking through their choices about sex at an early age?
- Emotional consequences – At the top of the list, make sure to point out the emotional consequences that come from having a child too early. Whether they want to admit it or not, teens (99 percent of the time) are not prepared emotionally for the responsibilities and physical and mental energy needed that arrive with a baby. Sure, there are the exceptions whereby teens can handle parenthood at such an early age, but they typically tend to be the exceptions. If your teen is in school when they (or their girlfriend) become pregnant, they might very well have to drop out to raise or help raise a child. In today’s business world (see more below), getting a good-paying job without an education is like trying to find a needle in a haystack;
- Financial consequences – As bad as the emotional consequences can be in having a child too early in life, the financial consequences can be as bad if not worse. Since the majority of teens live at home, they’ve not had to worry about paying for the majority of resources one needs in their daily life. Once a baby arrives on the scene, those resources become more cumbersome and much more expensive. Share with your teen the current household bills that you are responsible for. Doing so can definitely open their eyes to just how expensive it is to get by in the world, especially today;
- Family and friend consequences – While many families will pull together when a teen has a child, others will be torn apart. Before your teen thinks about having unprotected sex, remind them of the close family ties they presently have. You don’t have to (or need to) scare them that they will be left to fend for themselves if they get pregnant or get someone pregnant, but you can share with them the unintended consequences such a choice could have on their lives. The same holds true for their friendships. Once a teen girl becomes pregnant or a young male has gotten someone pregnant, they may very well see a change in how their friends at school and elsewhere treat them. Even though some will maintain close friendships no matter the circumstances, others will unfortunately lose some of those close ties they have had for a number of years.
Despite all the love and attention a teen may give to a baby, it is much to ask someone who is only 13, 16, 18 years old etc. to care for a child 24/7.
Even with family help, the task can seem overwhelming at times.
While you’d like to think your teens are not having sex while still young, you likely know better.
Having a good discussion (both sides talk and listen) can do wonders for all involved.
As a parent, is this a discussion you’ve had with your teen?
Image: Emma Craig on Flicker