Dating and Relationships
Close to 40 000 teens in Canada become pregnant each year. Adolescents are fertile people! They have an 85% chance of getting pregnant when no birth control is used.
Teen pregnancy is only one concern. Statistics show that the rate of Chlamydia infections in this age group accounts for over half of the reported cases in Canada and numbers continue to rise.
Schools can be one helpful provider of sex education, but they can’t do the job alone. A Canadian study found that “parental support for birth control use” increased the chances of girls correctly and regularly taking their pills.
So What Can Parents Do?
- Do encourage teen abstinence
- Do state your beliefs and values about sexual behaviour
- Do acknowledge that in the end teens will make their own decisions
- Do remain an askable parent and create an open environment
- Do make sure your child has basic “sex ed” knowledge
- Do get your teens to talk to a doctor or health nurse when they begin dating regularly
- Do offer to drive them to appointments if transportation is a problem
- Do discuss concerns about, multiple partners, adolescent pregnancy and love, feelings of regret and sexually transmitted infections
- Don’t try to scare your kids about sex, it doesn’t work with teens
- Don’t threaten to withdraw your support
- Don’t believe the rumour that openness causes early sexual behaviour-the opposite is true!
- Don’t hesitate to call a health nurse if you have questions or concerns
- Don’t forget issues like; consent and limit setting, assertiveness, self control, privacy, reputation and self respect
Health ACTION Line 1-800-660-5853