rates have been falling over the last couple of years, in large part because parents and schools have been better than ever before about giving teens as many tools as possible to make smart choices.
Evidence of effective ways to prevent teen pregnancy is overwhelmingly in favor of a comprehensive education and good communication.
Looking for how to prevent teenage pregnancy in South Africa? Read this! Here are strategies and tips for helping high school-aged girls, teenagers prevent pregnancy.
1. Educate yourself and your teen about sex
Education is, according to the statistics, your best weapon in preventing teen pregnancy. It has been shown repeatedly that the more a teen understands about where babies come from and how they can prevent pregnancy, the better off they will be. Of course, it’s possible you were taught incorrectly too, so you’ll want to refresh your memory before educating your teen.
2. Help them bust pregnancy myths
When kids don’t get educated about sex, they’ll try to make their best guess about how stuff works. Often, those guesses are horribly, hilariously wrong. Now, as funny as some of these ideas can be (“You can get pregnant from kissing!”), sometimes misinformation can lead to your teen getting pregnant or getting someone else pregnant. You’ll want to make sure that any misconceptions they have are thoroughly dealt with so that they can make good choices for themselves.
3. Make birth control private but accessible
Even with open communication and a good relationship between the two of you, your teen might still feel uncomfortable about asking for what they need when it comes to preventing pregnancy. You can eliminate this concern by making sure that they can access birth control without having to ask you directly. One option would be to teach them where to go to get birth control on their own and at low cost, such as by making their own doctor’s appointment.
4. Communicate with your teen about your concerns
Now, no one’s advocating here that you just run into this 100% liberal and promoting sex to your teen as if there are no consequences. It’s important for you to talk to your teen about what you worry about and how sex can go wrong. If you communicate your concerns in a healthy, non-judgmental way, you’ll actually e more likely to convince them that they might want to wait. Talk to them about the health risks, emotional risks, and the risks to their future
5. Talk about drugs and alcohol with your teen
Drugs and alcohol are also a nearly unavoidable part of growing up. While your teen might normally make very good choices, it only takes one night of bad choices to wind up with a pregnant teen. Head this off at the pass by letting them know that if they’re going to do those things, they need to at least do them in a safe environment. Tell them that impaired judgement can lead to poor decisions about sex or no ability at all to even make the choice.
6. Give them hopes for the future
If your teen has goals and hopes for the future, they’ll have much more incentive to stay away from sex or at least be responsible about the sex that they do have. Help them pursue their dreams in order to keep them busy and make their goals seem reachable. Encourage them and help them believe that they can be more than they are now.
7. Keep them busy
If your teen’s day is packed with activities, they’ll have less time and energy with which they can get themselves into trouble. Don’t expect that this will make them abstain from dating and physical intimacy altogether but it should remove some of the opportunities and certainly keep them from having sex just because they’re bored.
8. Pay attention
At the end of the day, you can’t control the choices that your teen makes: you’re simply not driving the car that is their life. But if you need to, you can direct their path by limiting the roads they can take. Pay attention to what they’re doing. If they’re dating someone much older (for girls) or much younger (for guys), do what you can to make sure that they make good choices. You should also talk to them if their dating relationships seem to be very “serious”. If your teens are going out a lot to parties, it might be time to reign in their behavior. While these situations aren’t always easy to control, doing something is better than doing nothing.
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