By Nurse Diane
When my mother was a teen, teenage pregnancies were mostly unheard of. If someone happened to get in the family way, the girl was usually shipped off to Aunt Clara's house, or to some other remote location before any signs of the indiscretion became apparent.
When I was a teen, it was still quite uncommon for a girl to get knocked up, however if it happened, the girl usually stayed away from school, and was whispered about around town.
These days, seeing a pregnant mother at high school is a common sight, no one even blinks twice when a pregnant girl walks down the high school halls. The vocational schools have day cares and child caring classes, and there is even a television show glamorizing the scenes of teenage pregnancy.
Becoming a parent while you are still a child is not as fun as the media makes it seem. Not only have you lost your childhood, unable to do activities the other kids are doing, but also you are also responsible for another life. You have to provide food, shelter, and heath care for another person for the next 20 years or so - should you decide to keep your baby?
Today is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. While it may not be a popular or comfortable subject to talk about, as adults, we have the responsibility to at least make an effort to inform the younger generation about the repercussions of unprotected sex and the effects it will have on their lives. If you know of a teen, or have one in your home, take today and start a conversation with them, find out what they know, and what they don't.
Stayteen.org has an online quiz here, http://www.stayteen.org/quiz/. Ask your teen to take this quiz as a starting point for your conversation.
To find other ways to help visit: http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/national/.
There is plenty of time for young girls to become mothers. Encourage the teens to wait until they are able to care for themselves and another human.
Mom, Dad, - time to do your research - get the facts - and determine your path forward for your children. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy offer Ten Tips for Parents :
- Be clear about your own sexual values and attitudes.
- Talk with your children early and often about sex, and be specific.
- Supervise and monitor your children and adolescents.
- Know your children's friends and their families.
- Discourage early, frequent, and steady dating.
- Take a strong stand against your daughter dating a boy significantly older than she is. And don't allow your son to develop an intense relationship with a girl much younger than he is.
- Help your teenagers have options for the future that are more attractive than early pregnancy and parenthood
- Let your kids know that you value education highly.
- Know what your kids are watching, reading, and listening to.
- These first nine tips for helping your children avoid teen pregnancy work best when they occur as part of strong close relationships with your children that are built from an early age.
Parents and Guardians – PLEASE take a few minute to click on this link read the entire article.