On that dreadful Monday morning Jane stormed into Dorothy’s house without even taking the time to knock. “Is everything alright my friend?” asked Dorothy. Without hesitation Jane broke the news; “My teenage daughter is pregnant”. This sparked a conversation that went on for what seemed like hours.
Jane: I’m very disappointed my friend. I didn’t think my daughter would embarrass me like this; getting pregnant at sixteen?!
Dorothy: I am sorry dear, but if you don’t mind me asking didn’t you have the discussion with your girls?
Jane: The discussion??? I am lost. What discussion Jane?
Dorothy: I mean talking about contraceptives. You are supposed to educate your girls about the use and importance of contraceptives. Maybe if she had known better she would not be pregnant.
Jane: You know how I feel about exposing my girls to such things. It seems I will be encouraging them to become sexually active. Now I feel I should not have ignored these issues. So Dorothy, have you had this conversation with your girls? How did it go?
The two women continued talking unaware that Dorothy’s teenage daughter Mildred was listening to their conversation the whole time. After lunch Mildred struck a conversation with her mom Dorothy.
Mildred: Mum can I ask you a question?
Dorothy: Yes dear, what is it?
Mildred: Which contraceptive method is best for me to use?
Dorothy: (In shock and dismay)What??!! Contraceptives for what? Are you sexually active? What contraceptives?
Mildred: But I heard you talking to aunt Jane that she should have spoken to her pregnant daughter about contraceptives and I thought we could also freely talk about it with you.
Dorothy: Aaaah was I talking about you or I was talking about that naughty daughter of hers. Are you trying to tell me that you are also already sexually active? I raised you better than that.
Mildred: But mum why do you give someone advise that you do not use yourself. This subject is taboo in this house yet you advise other mothers to talk to their daughters about it. So if we have questions, whom should we ask? There is a lot of peer pressure and I don’t trust my colleagues to tell me the constructive truth. I would rather discuss these matters with you because I know you have my best interest at heart.
Dorothy: I am sorry for not discussing these things with you but you have to understand that it’s not an easy subject to talk about. My best advice is for you to abstain from sexual activity before marriage. I however know that at times you naughty teenagers go against our advice in which case, contraceptives become an option but I am not advocating for you to use contraceptives. Abstinence is the best.
Mildred : Next time mum, do not give someone advice that you are not willing to use yourself because I had already concluded that you have no problem with us having teenage sex.
Have you had this conversation with your teenage son or daughter yet? Teenage sex is a topic that many parents shy away from yet it is important especially for today’s generation as many teenagers are sexually active. Alternatively, parents can ask other elder members of their extended family or church to talk to their teenage children. There is more virtue in teaching teenagers to abstain from sexual activities as well as telling them the dangers of premarital sex than teaching them to prevent pregnancy and STIs. When you educate young girls about sexual health they are able to make decisions knowing what they are doing rather than become pregnant or get STIs/ HIV and say it was a mistake. It is better to say she was warned but did not listen than to say we never talk about such topics in our house.