How to deal with adolescent pregnancy issues?

Dr. Purushothaman
November 29, 2013

teenage pregnancy

You are reading the newspaper and came across the story of a teenage boy becoming the world's youngest father at fourteen and the girl in question is fifteen and happens to be his neighbor. The news has made you sit up and contemplate talking to your girl about puberty, sex, pregnancy, abortion, AIDS, sexually transmitted disease and all other things related to it.

There is so much of information that you feel you need to tell your daughter but are unsure where to start and how she will react. You don't want to scare her with an information overload.

So when is the right time to inform your angel about her first steps into womanhood and how what is the right approach? Most girls attain puberty around eleven to twelve years of age and some even earlier at nine. So the best age to start with important details about puberty should be eight years.

Most children get their first sex education from school but they still have a number of questions that they probably feel shy to ask in front of their class and it is time you stepped in and cleared all their doubts.

Most children when they are young tend to tell all that happened in their classroom and when your daughter mentions about her first sex education class you will need to approach it in a mature way. Parents usually panic and end up telling the bees and honey story to the child which will only make them more curious and they might end up getting information from all the wrong sources.

You will need to sit with your daughter and explain to her the changes that will take place in her body due to puberty. Let her know about periods and the number of days they last, how she will start developing breasts and also inform her about pubic hair and hair in the armpit region. You need to make her understand that these are normal aspects of growing up and that she should not panic regarding the changes in her body.

Most teens get very inquisitive and tend to ask a lot of questions. Don't try to avoid a question and answer truthfully.

If your teen is in the 13-15 age groups you can also take her on her first visit to the gynecologist. This will help her gain valuable insight about menstruation, reproduction, sexually transmitted diseases and contraception.

As a parent of a teenage daughter there could be certain days during the month that she gets very moody and irritable and this change could be due to premenstrual syndrome. You can help her come to terms with her mood swings by being supportive and loving during those days.

One thing that most parents of teenage daughters are scared about is adolescent pregnancy. Now how does one talk about sex and are there any signs to know that your teen could be indulging in unprotected sex. Most teens develop an interest in the opposite sex and this is a natural phenomenon but the trouble starts when this attraction turn physical.

We live in an era where teenage sex, date rape, AIDS and adolescent pregnancy are considered quite common. As parents how does one educate and warn about the consequences of reckless and unprotected sex? What are the signs that the teen is sexually active?

If you suddenly find your daughter becoming very secretive about her friends and in particular boys then you need to keep your antenna up. You will need to look for evidences like condoms or birth control pills or any sort of medication to cure a sexually transmitted disease in her room or purse. If you do find any of these items do not panic or lose temper. You will need to approach this situation in a calm manner. First you will need to explain to your child that sex is a beautiful emotion used to express love between a man and a woman but there can be disastrous consequences if it is indulged in during your teen years.

Next you will need to explain the pitfalls of teenage pregnancy. You will need to explain to her that adolescent pregnancy is unsafe both for the mother to be and the child as the teens body is not fully equipped to carry it for the full term. Apart from the physical problem there could also be a lot of mental distress. The maturity needed to fulfill the role of a mother is lacking and this could lead to taking more responsibility for which the teen is not adequately prepared.

As a parent gain the confidence of your daughter and try explaining things in a simple but direct way. Tell her all the dangers of unprotected sex and the consequences of an adolescent pregnancy. Most teens don't realize the consequences of their actions and as parents it is our duty to help them understand their responsibilities and fulfill their dreams.

In the book "Solving Teenage Problems" various tips to deal with teenage pregnancy problems have been provided. The book also provides various communication models to have difficult discussions with teenagers, so that you can structure your conversation to achieve optimal results.

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