The following is a guest post by Planned Parenthood Arizona’s Director of Education Vicki Hadd-Wissler, M.A.
At Planned Parenthood Arizona, we hope families are talking about changing bodies, healthy relationships, love, and sex throughout the year, and with May’s National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, parents and the important adults in the lives of teens have a unique opportunity to talk with teens about pregnancy prevention. The month is aimed at helping teens to identify their plans for the future, and consider how those plans would be impacted by an unintended pregnancy.
Ongoing conversations between parents and teens build in protective factors. Studies have shown that teens who report having ongoing conversations with their parents about sex wait longer to begin having sex and are more likely to use condoms and other birth control methods when they eventually become sexually active. Even more surprising for many parents is that these studies also show that teens want to hear about what their parents have to say about sex and relationships.
Planned Parenthood Arizona can suggest some amazing resources to fit the needs of your family and to start dialogue with a teen you love.
To help teens think about short- and long-term goals and plan for the future, visit Planned Parenthood’s Fast Forward App. Planned Parenthood’s mobile tools for teens can support the efforts of parents to provide factual, age-appropriate sex education. Planned Parenthood makes tools and resources to support parents in their role as the primary sexuality educator of their children.
Books for parents and teens are also a great resource for getting the conversation started and helping parents and other caring adults to be the “go-to” resource for their kids.
- From Diapers to Dating: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Sexually Healthy Children, by Debra W. Haffner
- Sex & Sensibility: The Thinking Parent’s Guide to Talking About Sex, by Deborah Roffman
- Talk to Me First: Everything You Need to Know to Become Your Kids’ “Go-To” Person About Sex, by Deborah Roffman.
- It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, & Sexual Health, by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Michael Emberley
National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month is a great opportunity to talk with your teens about their future plans. Keep those conversations going!