When you find out your child is having sex

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What do you do as a parent when you discover that your daughter or son is sexually active?

It is a sad reality but the truth is that more teens are engaging in sexual activity at a younger age, with more partners, and with less likelihood of practising safe-sex than ever before. There are many risks associated with having sex when you are not mature enough like teenage pregnancy and contracting HIV.

When parents find out their teen is having sex, they are often become angry. As a parent, you cannot reverse your teen’s actions, but you can communicate with them in an effort to influence their future decisions.

However, the first thing parents should do, according to relationship expert, Wendy Walsh, is to keep a level head and talk to their teen. “The most important thing to happen is to find out if they have enough knowledge to keep themselves safe,” says Walsh, “Without being judgemental, you want to make sure they’re armed with all the adult information they need.”

Talk about the impact

As a parent it is your job to provide your teen with as much information about STIs, safe-sex practices and the physical and emotional consequences of having sex. Make sure you support your teen through the emotional and physical complexities that hooking up or having sex may have already caused.

Also Read: Four facts parents need to know about DBE’s ‘controversial’ sex education plans

The effects of teenage pregnancy

Teenage pregnancy has been a highly publicised topic for quite a while now. The truth is that a lot of children become parents because they don’t have enough information but are engaging in sex without protection. Sadly, there are shows on television that glorify teenage pregnancy than to show the true effects of teenage pregnancy.

Issues like the inability to do normal things that other teens do like hanging out with friends or going out, are those that these shows need to emphasise. If you suspect that your child is sexually active, have an honest conversation your teen about what teenage pregnancy may be like.

They are going through a roller-coaster of emotions

Neuropsychiatrist Daniel Siegel says that, “parents should talk openly with their children about what sexuality means, which involves talking about the serious physical and emotional ramifications of having sex too soon can pose.” You may assume that your child knows about the hormonal changes they are facing but for some they are confused about what is going on.

You need to openly talk to your child about the changes and have the sex talk as often and as much as possible.

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