As young children, we were protected by our parents when it came to what we could read or watch on television. Teaching our children right and wrong and guiding them through life is a major part of parenting. And as that child grows, we are supposed to allow them to mature through their experiences and their education. But when we limit our children’s education on important, but uncomfortable, topics such as sex education, we are only setting them up for failure.
With teenage pregnancy statistics rising every day, parents are always wondering how could this happen; but the truth of the matter is that it can be prevented by providing a thorough sex education class in our schools. Young girls and boys are curious and it’s only natural for them to question their curiosities, but why not provide a safe and comfortable place to discuss and learn about our sexual behavior. I think it would be a good idea to offer a sexual education class that would begin in middle school and continue into high school. This would give adequate time to instruct and discuss different sexual topics such as being promiscuous, sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, condoms, teen pregnancy, etc.
With teen pregnancy becoming more and more common, shouldn’t we take the initiative to help prevent them by educating our youth, but not scarring or forcing them into not having sex? In 2005, there were 3,470 teenage girls in the 14-19 year old age bracket that were pregnant in West Virginia. In the United States, in 2005, there were 712,620 teenage girls pregnant. Among those 3,470 teenage girls that were pregnant, how many were educated by their parents on proper birth control methods or sexually transmitted diseases? How many of those teenage girls went behind their parents’ backs and engaged in unprotected sex? With numbers like these, it’s time to step away from our comfort zones to do what’s right for our children. When a teenage mother is asked why she didn’t take appropriate precautions to not get pregnant, her response is that it wasn’t provided by a parent, or she was scared to talk it over with her parent.
I know that we don’t want our children having sex, but it’s happening with or without our permission. As parents it’s our responsibility to provide them with love, care, education, and to meet their basic needs. Educating them and providing them with proper birth control should be right up on our list of needs with eating, shelter, and clothing. The discussion of proper sexual precautions should be on our “to-do” list with taking the SATs and applying for colleges. Let’s take the time to think about what kind of future we want for our children, no matter what their age is now, and then think about what steps we can take to make that future happen. How well do you know your children? How well do they know you?