Being a mother or a father, you surely have a lot of worries as your teenager grows old. There isn’t a perfect handbook that can teach you how to deal with their drama and rebellious streaks without losing your temper. Every child is unique as well, so you can’t even compare your kid to others and hope they’ll act similarly.
But one thing that scares all parents the most is the prospect of their daughter falling in love and getting pregnant at a young age. A baby will always be a blessing, for sure, yet it’s reasonable to wish for your teen to enter college, obtain a well-paying job, and enjoy life freely before having their own family.
If you want to avoid becoming a grandparent in your early 30s or 40s, keep on reading.
Educate the teenager early
Although sex education is already a part of school programs, you don’t need to wait for that to give them “the talk.” It may be better to speak of it even before the child becomes a teenager so that they know in advance.
“What parents can do to protect your children from these outcomes is first, to talk to them about sex early and often,” said psychologist and sex therapist Shiela Kayem. “And also talking about your values around sex and why you have those values will mean a lot to your children; that’s something they can’t get from sexuality education.”
Know all their activities
Adolescence makes them curious about so many things, including sex and substances. The key to preventing your teen from dabbling in such activities is to oversee what they do in and out of the house. Computer use calls for monitoring too because the internet contains websites that are, for lack of better word, not child-friendly.
Fend off constant dating
Dating is the fun aspect of life that everyone should try at least once. However, your son or daughter can survive teenage years without it. The activity is a gateway to experimentations between couples, which are often sexual. This may potentially lead to pregnancy, so it’s best to discourage dating early in general.
“Talk about what a relationship really is and what a good relationship looks like,” said Dr. Diane Tanaka, adolescent medicine physician. “It’s a relationship founded upon trust, respect, and true intimacy.”
Once your teen asks you regarding your sex and dating life when you were their age, don’t be shy to answer. Share personal stories with them, the good and the bad. A smart kid will process all that information in their brain and try to copy your triumphs and learn from your errors.
Acquaint yourself with their friends
Peer pressure exists, and it can be another cause of teenage pregnancy. To ensure that your child mingles with the right crowd, invite the friends over to your home to assess their personalities. There’s nothing to worry about if they just love to read books or play video games together. But if you notice them disguising an alcoholic beverage like the soda, that’s a different story.
Give them better reasons to abstain
Some teenagers have sex earlier than their peers in case they have personal issues or have nothing else to do. For this reason, you should realize and resolve these problems and open more life opportunities for them at once, respectively. When they’re busy fulfilling their dreams, it’ll become natural for the teen to practice abstinence.
“It’s not surprising to me that one of the best ways to prevent teen pregnancy is for teens to have long-term goals, good self-esteem, and a caring and consistent home environment,” said Joni E. Johnston, PsyD.
Speak about the disadvantages of becoming a teenage parent
Caring for a baby, even if you are financially stable, is hard. The difficulty increases if you’re a teenager who still depends on your parents but now has an infant to feed, clothe, and send to school after a few years. Your teen should be aware of these facts of life as well so that he won’t become sexually active hastily.