What Teens Want Parents to Know about Teen Sex

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy asks teens from all over the country: If you could give your parents or other important adults advice about how to help you and your friends avoid pregnancy, what would it be? Below are the responses the National Campaign receives most often.


1. Show Us Why Teen Pregnancy is Such a Bad Idea

"Let us hear from teen mothers and fathers about how hard it has been for them. Sometimes, we need real-life examples to motivate us."


2. Talk to Us Honestly about Sex, Love and Relationships

"Just because we're young doesn't mean that we can't fall in love deeply or be deeply interested in sex. Help us to handle the feelings in a safe way."


3. Telling Us Not to Have Sex is Not Enough

"Explain why you feel that way, and ask us what we think. Listen to us and take our opinions seriously."


4. Whether We're Having Sex or Not, We Need to Be Prepared

"We need to know how to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. If we ask you about sex or birth control, don't assume we're already having sex. And, don't think that giving us information about sex and birth control will encourage us to have sex."


5. Pay Attention to Us before We Get into Trouble

"Programs for teen moms and teen dads are great, but we all need encouragement, attention and support. Reward us for doing the right thing, even when it seems like no big thing."


6. Sometimes, All it Takes Not to Have Sex is Not to Have the Opportunity

"If you can't be home with us after school, make sure we have something to do that we really like, where there are other kids and some adults who are comfortable with kids our age. Often, we have sex because there's not much else to do. Don't leave us alone so much."


7. We Really Care What You Think, Even if We Don't Always Act Like it

"When we don't end up doing exactly what you tell us to, don't think that you've failed to reach us."


8. Show Us What Good, Responsible Relationships Look Like

"We're as influenced by what you do as by what you say."


9. Help Us Avoid Unhealthy Relationships

"Help us better understand some of the early warning signs of an unhealthy relationship. It wouldn't hurt to remind us not to give in to something that makes us uncomfortable, whether in real life or in cyberspace."


10. We Hate "The Talk" as Much as You Do

"Instead, start talking with us about sex and responsibility when we're young, and keep the conversation going as we grow older."



For a printable version of this article, click here.


For more information, please visit: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.



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