A parent’s worst nightmare: their child having sex! It leads to all kinds of worries. Wouldn’t you like to know the tell-tale signs so that you can nip it in the bud! There are none! Kids of today are sly, super secretive unless you are monitoring their phones and Facebook, watching them at school—there is a lot happening that you don’t know about, unless, of course, you have the ideal situation where you have an open and honest relationship with your child.
Studies have shown that there is an association between HIV status and a younger age of sexual debut. This is likely because of an increased number of lifetime partners brought on by longer duration of sexual life. Basically, the younger they start, the more partners they are more likely going to have. With girls, the younger they start, the more likely they will have older partners that further increases risk of infection.
You might be able to pick that your child likes someone at school—if they suddenly change their grooming habits, dress more stylishly and seductively. They might be spending more time with a particular friend or not able to account where they have been. Traditionally, we don’t just talk to our child about sex, but times have changed. We need to have that talk about sex because it’s about good health, safety and self-respect.
Talking about sex with your child can be extremely uncomfortable but it is important to engage in THE TALK sooner than later. Most parents approach is ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’. If you ask the children if they are having sex they will probably swear upon God denying it. But don’t leave it at that, talk frankly with them about the responsibility that comes with sex, emotional feelings, health risks, safe sex, condoms and unplanned pregnancy. If they are having sex, they can always think twice.
Prevention is better than cure. Start the conversations early as a child goes through adolescence. I remember a friend from high school—he was 12 at the time—who was raised with two elder male siblings by their single mother. She sat them all down and told them about safe sex. She showed them where to find condoms in her bedroom if they couldn’t control their urges. Now, that’s bold! Those boys have grown up into fabulous men with loving families!
You can influence your child, but ultimately they make her own decision. It is up to you to make sure they try and make informed decisions.