Think your teenager won’t have sex? Flip a coin. Those are your odds. Almost 50% of all teens confess to having sex. Have two kids? Odds are one of them will.
Guess how many teenagers get pregnant every year? Bet you weren’t even close. It’s 750,000. Three quarters of a million teenagers get pregnant. EVERY. YEAR.
And another one? Ten percent of all the babies born in this country are born to a teenager.
With shows like MTV’s Teen Mom exploiting our teenagers under the guise of showing how hard it is to be a pregnant teen, we can only imagine that the numbers above will increase. This pathetic show makes me want to vomit. I typed it into google so I could do some research and the first thing that came up? A poll. Should Farrah, a teen mom on the show, get a paternity test. Yes MTV. You and your show are a pillar of strength and morals for our teens. Thank you.
Apparently getting pregnant as a teenager in the U.S. gets you a reality show and covers on People and US Magazine. And really? What teenage girl doesn’t long to be a movie star? And? All she has to do is be pregnant for nine months. That’s like, totally less than a year. Cool.
With teens like Bristol Palin (our Vice Presidential candidate’s daughter no less) and Jamie Lynn Spears getting pregnant, it is blurring the line. Add to that the glamorization from these shows and publications and we have a recipe for disaster on our hands.
One day Jamie Lynn Spears was all wholesome and Disney and then suddenly People magazine was leaking details of her incredible baby shower.
And Bristol? She is now on Dancing With the Stars. Because you know. All teenagers get to be on reality shows these days. All they have to do is get pregnant.
What does all of this mean to you? It means your job is that much harder. It means you need to be diligent about talking to your teenagers. One conversation and a book is not enough. It is an ongoing and constant conversation. It is ever changing and grows as they grow. KEEP TALKING.
Tell them about pregnancy. Tell them about STDs. Tell them about how emotional sex is. Explain to them that love and sex are inclusive. They SHOULD AND DO go together. Provide them a way of accessing birth control in case they become a statistic. If you feel they are about to have sex or already are, PUT THE BIRTH CONTROL IN THEIR HANDS. Most young people have sex for the first time at the age of 17 but don’t marry until their late twenties. They need to know how to protect themselves.
Teach BOTH your daughters and your sons the meaning of NO. No means No. Explain this to your boys in no uncertain terms. Teach your daughter how to get out of a situation if she finds herself in over her head. Tell her it is OK to change her mind at the last minute. Tell your boys the same.
Don’t bury your head. Talk about sex with your kids. It’s AWKWARD AND UNCOMFORTABLE, but it just might save their lives. Both figuratively and literally.