From the early ’90s, the teen birth rate has declined 38 percent until January 2009 when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that the teen pregnancy rate showed its first increase in 14 years between 2005 and 2006.
The cost of teen pregnancy is high–financially and emotionally–on the teens and their families. Here are some things you can do in an effort to prevent teen pregnancy in your own home.
Staying involved with your teenagers is your first line of defense against teen pregnancy. Know their friends, where they hang out, what they’re doing, and who they’re involved with. Invite your teen’s friends into your home and make them feel welcome—give them a place to be together where rules and responsibilities are clearly outlined and observed.
Talk with your teenager about sex. Sure, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s also essential. Teens need to know where you stand on important issues and sex is one of them. Whether you’d prefer they wait or you’re willing to provide them with birth control–they need to know and they need to hear it from you.
Be realistic. The teenage years are passionate and new–be sure your expectations of your teenager are realistic and attainable.
There are many websites with a wealth of information available to you and your teen. Providing them with statistics and information to augment your argument of abstinence or protection will give your case further support.
Having your teenagers see the real cost of teen pregnancy through statistics and true stories will be valuable in helping them to make choices that will keep them from being a statistic.
Keep your teens active in sports, school and other extra curricular activities that they care about. Teens with interests and goals are going to have more motivation to keep their lives in control.
Set goals with your teenager. Talk with your teenagers about what ideas and dreams they have for the future. Engage them in activities, programs, and experiences that will reinforce those goals and dreams and keep them from being derailed by teen pregnancy.