#203 - 2000 Island Hwy
During the five years it takes to progress through puberty, life with your teen can be a challenge.
Adolescent sexual feelings are very powerful and teens will struggle to deal with them. It is important to remember that experimentation is a normal part of adolescence.
This is a time when teens ‘try on’ adult roles and behaviours. Much to the dismay of parents, these behaviours may include experimentation with alcohol, drugs, smoking, and sex.
Remember, though peers strongly influence social behaviour, your teenagers are taking note of what you have to say about these topics.
There is more to healthy sexuality than teaching your teen about erections and menstruation. Talk with your teen about sexuality not just sex. To develop into a healthy adult, teens need to know about the powerful, joyful, and pleasurable aspects of sex.
Teens need to understand that healthy sexuality is all about making their own choices.
They need to feel empowered to control their own sexuality. If they don’t, they are at risk for bowing to peer pressure, coercion, abuse, and engaging in risky sexual behaviour. Teach your teen how to make informed decisions about his sexual health.
Developing healthy friendships and romantic relationships is an important key to healthy sexuality for teens. They will need your help to discover what makes a good relationship healthy, and to identify the qualities of unhealthy and abusive relationships.
If you believe your teen may be involved in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, take some time when you are both calm to talk. Put your concerns in clear, honest, non-judgmental language.
“I heard you crying last night after Chris dropped you off. Your arm is bruised. What happened?”
Make it clear that you love and support your teenagers and that you are there for them.
If you are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, it is important for you to help yourself and your children by changing your situation. Seek counseling. If you or your children are in physical danger, leave the relationship immediately. Children and teens who experience violence and abuse in the home can suffer emotional, mental, and physical harm. They will have a difficult time establishing healthy relationships as adults.
Teaching healthy sexuality includes arming your teen against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Many teens are not aware of STIs and their symptoms and effects.
They may underestimate their chances of contracting a disease or downplay the risks involved in unprotected sex. Knowledge is the key to counteracting this risky outlook.
Research the following STIs and share the information you find with your child. Talk about the types of contraception that will protect him or her from STIs.
If your child has had unprotected sex, arrange for a visit with the doctor of your teen’s choice to check for STIs.
Your daughter is pregnant. Impossible? No. Despite your guidance and support, your teen may make choices that lead her down this path.
Your son is pregnant. Impossible? No. A young man bears equal responsibility for an unplanned pregnancy.
Find your own strength and a sense of calm. Pregnancy is not an ending, but the beginning of a difficult path. Your child needs your wisdom, support, and resources.
Discuss the options. Provide your teen with information and resources on parenting, adoption, and abortion. Allow the two teens involved to make a decision, and then support them.
If your daughter has had unprotected intercourse within the past 72 hours and does not wish to become pregnant, “morning-after” or emergency contraception pills are available over-the-counter from a pharmacy.
More information on emergency contraception.
Before your teen decides to become sexually active, make contraception options available. While you may not believe in sex outside of a committed relationship, your teen may not share your values.
Teens with access to contraception information and options are not more likely to have sex, but they are safer if they do. Make sure both young women and young men know how to protect themselves and their partners from unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
If your teen has had unprotected sex, arrange for a visit with the doctor of your teen’s choice to check for STIs. Young women should be made aware that emergency contraception taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex may prevent pregnancy.
#203 - 2000 Island Hwy