Preventing teenage pregnancy: tips for parents and educators

Most people have an opinion on teenage pregnancy and there are many different suggestions for lowering the rate of teenage pregnancy in the UK; popular suggestions include:

  • Improving sex education: make sex education more interactive, more interesting and more realistic so that teenagers are engaged and actually bother to pay attention to what is going on in the lesson. Teenagers may feel embarrassed about asking questions in front of their peers so it may be beneficial to have a box where teenagers can put their questions and then they can be answered by the teacher or lecturer without anyone knowing who asked the question. Tailor sex education to what children want and need to know; most teenagers depend on the information given to them by their friends or from television and films, rather than facts; hence the high proportion of teens that think it’s not possible to get pregnant the first time you have sex.
  • Encouraging parents to talk to their children: this can be difficult and awkward, for both parents and teenagers but it can also be a really valuable and important exercise. Talk to your children about their relationships, encourage them to ask you questions or seek your advice and offer to go with them to talk to their GP about contraception.
  • Use the power of the media: the media has a significant influence over young people and this can be used to change the way young people view sex; for example, campaigns can be used to encourage people to use contraception or wait until they are in a secure relationship until they have sex.
  • Set a good example: try to encourage your children to feel confident enough to make somebody work hard for their affections; try to discourage them from jumping into bed with people and talk to them openly about using contraception and being in a loving relationship. Children learn from their parents, friends and relatives so make sure you try to encourage them to behave in a way that you would like them to.
  • Give teenagers a sample of life as a parent so that they can see how difficult and demanding a task it is. Many teenagers may get carried away with the good side of being a parent and don’t realise how tiring and stressful it is to look after a child 24 hours a day. Many schools and colleges are now giving students dolls to look after; this helps teens to think about the consequences of their actions before they have unprotected sex.

Teenage Pregnancy:

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