I know you may be uncomfortable broaching the topic of condoms and safer sex with your teens. As a mom myself, I can tell you we've all been there.
Most parents are not comfortable thinking about their teens having sex, much less talking to them about it. Also, social norms and religious beliefs make things more complicated and more emotionally charged. However, I cannot stress this enough that this may be the most important conversation you will have with your teens ... because it has the power to truly save their lives.
As responsible and caring parents, we share our opinions on a range of topics. We monitor media, teach healthy eating, and immunize our babies. But, once our children hit the teen years, a lot of parents clam up and don't know what to do or when to do it. It makes perfect sense, as very few if any of us were ever properly educated on condoms and sexual safety ourselves. But, it is up to each of us to break this pattern and the overall health of the next generation truly depends on it.
Now, you need to realize that you cannot rely on your child's school to talk to your teen about condoms and protecting themselves. And, avoiding talking about safe sex is not going to keep your teen from having sex. So, the best gift you can give is to arm them with the best information possible.
Here are three statistics you should know:
- Most teens think that you can visually tell if someone has a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), which is not the case.
- One out of every four sexually active teens currently has a STI.
- One in every two sexually active youth will contract a STI by age 25.