Being a parent is the most difficult and at the same time the most satisfying ‘job’ there is. As a parent, you know that the most important thing is to talk to your children during adolescence about any problem that bother them. Otherwise, your children will find information elsewhere, most likely the media and the internet.
The messages all around
Do you really want your little girl to learn about love and relationships from “Sex and the City”? Do you want your little boy to be influenced with main characters from “Californication” or “Two and a Half Men”? We all love these TV shows but think about the message they’re sending to the audience and keep in mind that not everyone can understand it as well as you. Your children might not find these messages only funny, but they might think of them as of the universal truths. You must talk to your children about everything, even if you find it too delicate. This way, the influence of your words will be much stronger, and they will get the truth from you, and not some half-truths from someone else.
Unfortunately, the danger is everywhere. The Internet has made everything available and within reach; from adult movies to reality shows and every kind of other inappropriate contents. Quality is underrated even in the music industry. Catchy rhythms along with eye-pleasing girls in music videos are easy to sell to the audience. However, nobody really considers outcomes of these new trends. Research done by Advocates for Youth, has shown that most teenagers get information about sex mostly from the media. The vast majority lose their virginity before they are fifteen without even knowing about STDs and unplanned pregnancy.
We know that you are torn apart by two different emotions: your desire not to talk about sex with your child and the realization that you should do it before their friends do it for you. If you wait for too long you may find it too difficult to begin, and even your child will feel awkward and try to avoid it. Nevertheless, you should not be discouraged. Approach the matter casually when you’re both in the kitchen doing the dishes or preparing a meal. That way the situation will be less tense and you will not have to look at each other if you are both uncomfortable, but will still be able to talk. Try not to be too curious and by all means do not judge them no matter what you hear from them. They may be talking about themselves when they’re mentioning something that has happened to a friend.
Do your best to be objective and provide them with some useful information: mention STDs, emphasize that sometimes they do not even have to have any symptoms and still have a disease; mention unplanned pregnancy and just how much their lives would change if it happened to them; and most importantly – talk about contraception. If they are using condoms, they will be safe from unwanted consequences and be responsible. Stress that sometimes their partner will forget to buy condoms but that they should always have one just in case. Your child will appreciate your support and honesty and come to you next time they need some information or an advice.
Remember, you cannot protect them forever nor can you stop them from having sex. Always advise them to take care of themselves and be responsible; that way they will enjoy life and have nothing to worry about. The best move you can make is to be honest with them, be their confidant and listen to them when they open up to you.
Author Bio: Melissa Stevens is healthy lifestyle and environmentally friendly living enthusiast and blogger. She is working with teenagers, so she recommends extra precaution with this topic. Informational credit to Condoms Australia.