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How to Teach Abstinence to Teenagers

by Tiffany Raiford, studioD

You probably don't dream of the day your teenager makes you a grandparent, but you do expect your teen to get good grades, go to a good school, find a career she loves and live a happy, successful live. Teenage pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases are typically not included in that happy fantasy. According to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in 2002, teens are more likely to abstain from sex when their mothers make it a habit of disapproving of teenage sex. Talking to her early and often is one way to ensure she hears what you have to say about abstinence.

Sit your teen down and have a serious discussion with him about abstinence, at a time when neither of you is distracted or in a hurry. Start off your conversation by telling your teen that abstinence is the absence of sex and that it is entirely possible to have a wonderful relationship with a girl without engaging in sexual intercourse.

Discuss what can happen when she decides to have sex, such as unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, advises Disney Family. Just talking to your teen about not having sex isn’t enough. Let her know that some diseases are spread using other means than just sex, such as HIV and hepatitis, both of which can be obtained by sharing a dirty needle.

Tell your teen that other forms of birth control such as condoms, the Pill, birth control shots, rings, patches and even spermicide are not completely effective at preventing teen pregnancy or the transmittal of sexually transmitted diseases, advises KidsHealth. Talk about other forms of birth control so that your teen is fully educated on how protected he is using a condom or having sex with a girl who is on birth control such as the Pill, a patch, a diaphragm or even with a birth control implant. The effectiveness of condoms and other forms of birth control depend on how well made the product is and whether or not it is used correctly. According to Planned Parenthood, approximately 9 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year using the Pill, shot, ring or patch. Approximately 15 to 24 percent of every 100 females will get pregnant using condoms, diaphragms, sponges and the withdrawal method, and 25 percent will get pregnant using spermicide. Additionally, according to KidsHealth, STDs are spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, which means the only form of birth control effective at preventing certain STDs is the latex condom, though any sort of sexual contact can spread STDs, even if intercourse is not involved.

Keep the lines of communication open by allowing your teens to ask questions when she has them. Additionally, if you don’t know the answer to something, be honest and tell her that you will find out and get back to her. Honesty helps your teen feel that you respect her, which makes her respect you more. When she respects you more, she’s less likely to want to disappoint you by going against your wishes.

About the Author

Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida.

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