Parents please don’t be naive in thinking that your teenager is not having sex, the majority of teenagers are. We have to better educate our children on the risks of unprotected sex. This task may sound embarrassing for both you and your teenager but it must be done. Schools only scrape the surface when discussing unprotected sex, stating that they can catch STD’s and fall pregnant; where they fail is by not shocking our teenagers with the realities of these subjects. We as parents will have to do this.
Teenagers think that “it can’t happen to me because my boyfriend/girlfriend is clean, they have only had a couple of partners”. You need to give your teenager a reality check, so they KNOW that it can happen to them. Inform them that every time they have unprotected sex with just one partner, that they are potentially having sex with a thousand! Then explain that their partner may have only had sex with five people, then that five have all had sex with five people, then that twenty five have all had sex with five people and so forth! Also explain that it only takes one person in that link to have an STD to pass it on to everyone else after them in the chain.
Explain to them fully that there are more STD’s than just the killers like AIDS and HEP. Tell them about diseases like Chlamydia that won’t kill them, rather make them seriously ill and make them infertile; so that when they decide to settle down and have a family, it won’t happen because they were thought their boyfriend was ‘clean’! Tell them about genital warts, and the horrible and embarrassing process to have them removed! Petrify your teenager, MAKE them wear a condom!
Then most importantly you have to remove the glamour from teenage pregnancy. Inform that the majority of teenage mothers are single, unemployed and poorly educated. Then let them know about the sleepless nights, the constant 24/7 attention that a baby needs. Not being able to go out with their friends, tell them they would have to kiss their social life goodbye. Again petrify your teenager and MAKE them wear a condom.
My final advise is to make condoms readily available to your teenager, if you cannot bring yourself to do this have a friend or relative do this for you, make sure that they don’t live too far away though. Don’t count the condoms that they take, as this might scare them into not taking any at all! Remember that they will give them to their friends who don’t have access and bear in mind that they are young and inexperienced; it might take a few condoms just to get one on!
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