In this generation, parents have stopped giving their children "The Talk." This is extremely understandable because I learned what sex was when I was, like, five. However, I feel like we should revamp "The Talk." You know your kids know about sex, but do they know about safe sex? I feel like it's important to teach your children about contraceptives. Once they get into high school, instead of teaching abstinence, let them know that if they ever feel they're going to be having sex soon, you will supply them with contraceptives. I know this sounds crazy, but if that's not the way you do it, your kids are more likely to go behind your back and have sex and possibly practice unsafe intercourse. This can risk your child getting an STD or conceiving a baby.
So, should you just let them have sex whenever they want? Absolutely not. Let them know that contraceptives don't always work and that they should wait to have sex until they know it's the right person. However, never teaching them about safe sex and just hoping they'll do the right thing has never worked. That's how we produce teen parents.
Western culture has totally failed at providing useful sex education and that's something we need to fix. I personally believe that we could lower the percentage of teen parents if we only teach our children about sex and provide them with contraceptives just in case they're ever in the moment. I know that seeing your children grow up is upsetting and knowing that they're having sex is probably even more upsetting. As a virgin, I don't plan on having sex any time soon, but one thing my mom has done for me that I will never forget is letting me know that I can go on birth control if I find a serious boyfriend. She told me this when I turned sixteen and it's honestly one of the best parenting moves she's ever made. Your children aren't going to keep their virginity forever. So, when they lose it, make sure they're ready.
In 2017, 194,377 15-19-year-olds gave birth. A vast majority of those girls feel like they weren't educated on what sex really was. Many people think that the chances of getting pregnant are as rare as winning the lottery, but in reality, nine out of ten couples (who have unprotected sex) will get pregnant within a year. So, how do you expect your kids to just automatically know there are options besides abstinence? Not only that but if we're only preaching "don't have sex" to kids, how do you think they'll feel when they do have sex? Probably really guilty. We slut-shame young girls for having sex, forcing them to keep it a secret. So, just be open with your children. This way we can prevent teenage pregnancy by making sure everyone is informed on how to properly prevent conception.
We need to make sure everyone understands that having sex is okay. It can come with major consequences, but as long as you're prepared to fight against those consequences by using condoms, getting on birth control, and having a safe space with your parents or children, you'll be fine. Learning how sex works and how to prevent pregnancy can save so many young girls from ruining their lives. We all should take on the responsibility of teaching our children these things.
So parents, please let your kids know they're safe to tell you when they're making big decisions. Don't be an authoritarian parent, be an authoritative one. In other words, it's okay to be strict as long as you're loving and understanding.