How Do I Protect My Daughter from Unwanted Pregnancy?
Today’s teens (and tweens) are bombarded with subtle and not so subtle messages of sex. Combine that with surging hormones and its no wonder that many parents jokingly consider locking their daughters in their rooms until the threat of an unwanted teenage pregnancy passes. But alas, locking them away won’t go far when it comes to learning how to navigate their way through the world so that they can grow into the healthy mature adults we want them to be.
When it comes to protecting your daughter from unwanted pregnancy, as well as sexually transmitted diseases you must communicate with her about the facts of reproductive health. Remember, studies show that children want to hear this information from their parents, even though it might not always seem like they’re listening. Some parents think knowledge of sex leads to a loss of innocence. But a well informed girl with the support of her parents will be empowered to make better choices for herself in the long run.
Although some parents start talking about sex much earlier, your daughter should have a good understanding of the mechanics of sex and how to prevent pregnancy by the time she starts her period. It’s best that she gets her facts from you rather than the media or misinformed peers.
Sometimes kids get this information in school but the best way for you to be sure she knows is to talk to her yourself. This is better accomplished through many small talks rather than one big talk. Don’t always wait for her to ask you. Take advantage of teachable moments to ask her what she think sabout a sex related topic and have her explain what she knows about it so you can be sure she’s got her facts straight.
Taking the time to be clear about your own values will help in passing them on to your daughter. Let her know if you think sex is something only adults should do or only married adults do. Set the expectation that she will wait to have sex until she is much older. Encourage her in developing her personal talents while maintaining strong family connections. If you have troubles communicating with your daughter then enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member so that she has someone to open up to.
If you suspect your daughter may be having sex or thinking about having sex, don’t be afraid to approach her in a supportive and open manner. It’s extremely important that she has a pelvic exam and uses proper birth control as well as a condom to prevent STDs. Support is also available from your doctor, the school nurse or Planned Parenthood. Also check your library for the many books on the topic of teens and sex.
Sometimes we’d like to keep our kids young forever. But the fact is that they all grow up eventually and it’s our job as parents to guide them into a healthy and fulfilling adulthood. Talking openly about sex is just as important as learning to look both ways when you cross the street.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and are not intended as medical advice. For medical care and advice, you should consult your physician or health care provider on a regular basis. If you have any problem which concerns you, consult your physician immediately.