The Centers for Disease Control reports that almost half of all new STDs reported each year are contracted by high school students. In addition, almost 80 percent of sexually active teens did not use birth control pills during the previous three months while having sex and 39 percent of respondents did not use condoms. Given such statistics, you may be prompted to double your efforts to prevent your teenager from having sexual relations. Honesty about your desires and demonstrating your own values regarding the topic are key factors to reducing or preventing sexual activity in your teen, according to the National Organization To Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy website.
Talk About It
Bringing up the topic of sex will not cause your teenager to start having relations, according to the National Organization To Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy website. Ideally, you need to start the discussions before your child is in high school; however, any time is better than no discussion at all. Be honest about your desire for your teen to abstain until he or she is both chronologically and emotionally ready to engage in sexual relations. Acknowledge the fact that teens may feel pressured, especially if their friends are sexually active, and assure your teen that you will always be there if he or she wants talk to about those pressures. Together come up with ways your teen can avoid getting into a position of feeling pressured: don't go on lots of one-on-one dates, avoid drinking alcohol, choose group activities when possible, etc.
Monitor Age Differences
Prohibit your teenager from spending time with someone of the opposite sex that is several years older. An older man looks very romantic to a young impressionable girl. Your teenager may be unsure how to say no to someone who is much more worldly and experienced. Let your teen know that he or she cannot have friends who have cars until the age of 16 and even then the friends must be 18 or younger.
Keep Your Teen Busy
Goals and ambitions will help your teenager feel more self-confident about his or her future. Stress the importance of education, and talk openly about what a teenage pregnancy will do to his or her plans. Having a child will significantly impede the ability to go to college and enter a chosen profession. Encourage your teen to participate in community service or work a part-time job to stay busy and interact with others who have goals. Hobbies, extra-curricular activities and community service will help build self-esteem, which is an important element to reducing early sexual activities.
Teach your child restraint before the teen years. Waiting until the time is right makes more sense than rushing into something that he or she may regret later. According to Parent Further's website, instilling a strong, positive value system while your child is young will set the stage for later discussions. When the topic of sex comes up later, tell your teen that one way to demonstrate his or her value structure is to abstain from sexual relations until he or she is old enough to understand the consequences of such relations.
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