Sandra’s story: At the age of 21, Sandra shared her story of sadness and grief. When she was 17 years old she was the homecoming queen, a cheerleader, and a small group leader at her church. She started to date a guy that was 3 years older than her and she found out she was pregnant 3 months into the relationship. Her boyfriend immediately told her to get an abortion and said he would take care of all of the details. Sandra felt confused, scared, and alone. Without telling anyone, she went with her boyfriend to an abortion provider that was about an hour away from her house. They wanted to make sure they didn’t see anyone they knew.
It’s now been 4 years. Her “boyfriend” is long gone. And she is pregnant again. This time she knows she doesn’t want to abort but at the same time, she is not in a good place, and having a baby doesn’t make a lot of sense. So, she is vulnerable.
Over and over I hear stories like this. These are the types of stories that validate the need for parents to be trained, teens to be educated, and medical pregnancy centers to be supported.
How can a teen engage in a dating relationship and not end up in this type of scenario? Many parents believe promoting “safer” sex is the option. As a parent are you prepared to talk to your teen about relationships, sex, intimacy, healthy boundaries, and the benefits of not engaging in sexual activity? If a pregnancy does occur, what are the options?
Option 1: Although placing a child for adoption is not very popular in our country at this time, it’s still an important option to consider. Adoption can be a positive alternative to abortion or parenting the child. It can be a positive experience for the birth parents, the child, and the adoptive parents. Yet, most of the students I present to consider this to be the least favorable option.
Option 2: Parenting the child is common among the teen community, although not as common as abortion, but it usually ranks as the number 1 choice or the number 2 choice when teens are working through their decision in reference to this crisis. Teen parenting brings mixed emotions. Yes, an abortion was not the selected choice, which is courageous, but can the teen handle the responsibility of raising a child? Most young people struggle managing their own time, let alone the constant pleas for love and attention from a baby.
Option 3: Due to the legalization of abortion in our country, abortion is an option. And the most selected option chosen among the teen community. Not only does our culture promote the use of emergency contraception’s like Plan B and RU-486, the media in our country presents the option of abortion as the easy, quick fix, no strings attached option, and often times, young people agree with them.
Whether you are pro choice or pro life (I really don’t like either of those political labels), I think most individuals would agree there is a lot of confusing and contradictory information being presented on both sides of that discussion.
All of the options are difficult and all of the options have short and long term affects. So, my challenge to you, the parent, would be to engage in this type of dialogue with your teen sons and daughters. Does your teen know where you stand in reference to teen sexual activity? Does your teen know they can come to you if they have questions? Does your teen know they can come to you if they find themselves in trouble? Does your teen know the risks related to teen sexual activity? Do you, the parent, truly know the risks?
Equip yourself! Empower your teen to know the truth! Empower your teen to set some healthy boundaries! Collaborate with your teen and create safe and healthy dating environments. Hold your teen accountable. Have a check in system in reference to this topic. Your teen is desperately trying to figure this all out. As the parent, you are the best resource for your teen to turn to!
To learn more about this topic and how to have these types of conversations with your teen, schedule a parent training.
|Tuesday Talk- We don’t all agree on the solution, but we all agree there is a problem.||Tuesday Talk: What would you say?|
|Tuesday Talk- We don’t all agree on the solution, but we all agree there is a problem.|
|Tuesday Talk: What would you say?|