As a high school teacher, I can tell you that with or without sex education, your child already knows far more about sex than you would like to imagine. They may not have experienced it, but they know all about it from their peers. I have kids too and I worry about these issues all the time, but I can tell you this….
There is sex going on everywhere there are teens – in the restrooms, behind the bleachers, in your house when you aren’t there, at work, in cars, in the park – and so on. It sounds far-fetched but it’s true. Hormones are raging and there is no denying their power. It was that way when we were young and it has only gotten worse. Providing kids with the necessary information to protect themselves from STD’s, sexual predators, and unwanted pregnancy will only make them safer, not give them ideas. Kids need the right information, the accurate information that will keep them safe.
I had a pregnant fourteen-year-old in my class – sweet as could be. She hid her pregnancy from loving parents and the rest of us for six months. I began wondering about the oversized clothing, the weight gain, etc. and finally her friend confided in me and the counselor ended up breaking the news to the parents. Didn’t you know your baby is six months pregnant? No prenatal care, no healthy diet, nothing until she was almost seven months along. That’s not what I want for anyone’s child. Had she not be terrified to speak the truth, she might never have even gotten into the unfortunate situation of being a child expecting a child.
The only thing you can really do is love your child, be open to their questions, provide them with the information they need, and, if they come to you requesting protection, give it to them. You may have taught them abstinence or whatever you like, but studies show that over half of kids who make a pledge of abstinence before marriage end up breaking the pledge before the end of high school.
I am the last person who wants to think of my kids doing these things, but, when the time comes, I will encourage information, vaccinations, and protection. I will also very strenuously encourage them to wait – whether on not I’ll be successful is up to them in the end, as much as I hate to admit it, but I want them to be alive, healthy, and parents only when the time is right, no matter what they choose.