Adolescence is a vulnerable period, in which the young person is bombarded with various information about sex, which may come from unreliable sources.
That is why it is important that you, as a parent, do not remain silent in the face of the dangers to which he is exposed when he begins his sexual life. From the age of 12 or even earlier, the child must begin to have knowledge about sex and how to protect himself and his partner from an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. The following tips will help you talk to your teen, whether he’s a boy or a girl, about condoms and other methods of contraception.
Don’t impose on him, but hold him accountable
You may think that talking about sex with your child is a way to encourage him to start his sex life. Well, it’s not quite like that. Numerous studies have shown that sex education delays, in many cases, the moment of starting sexual life.
The teenager needs such information and that is why you must talk to him about both abstinence and contraception. However, it does not impose on him what to do, because many times teenagers tend to do the exact opposite.
Better try to hold him accountable. You can use a line like: “When you decide it’s time to start your sex life with a person you have feelings for, always, always use a condom. It will protect you from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.”
Talk to him about your hope that he or she will delay starting sex until he or she is mature enough to do so. At the same time, you have to realize that most young people don’t wait very long, especially not until marriage. And it is understandable if you think that today most young people get married around the age of 25.
Explain to the teenager how pregnancy occurs and what impact it can have on his life if it occurs at an inappropriate age. Also, tell him about the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease if he doesn’t use a condom.
Also remind him about emergency contraception and the fact that, like birth control pills, it does not protect him from sexually transmitted diseases. However, if he or she had unprotected sex or the condom broke, he or she can prevent pregnancy if he or she takes the morning-after pill within 72 hours of intercourse.
Numerous sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, the HIV virus or syphilis, can be present in the body without having obvious symptoms. Tell him that all these diseases can only be prevented by using a condom and that, at the same time, he must have annual medical tests and a gynecological check-up, in the case of girls.
The tests will help him detect and treat such conditions in time. Also, a discussion with the doctor will help him orient himself in terms of the right contraceptive method.