So your teenage daughter comes to you and says “Mom, Dad – I think I should go on birth control.” Before you lose control, take a minute to breathe and take solace in the fact that she came to you and didn’t go behind your back. Many parents immediately are taken back and react impulsively and sharply probably with some very hard choice words about being too young, immature and not ready. Take care to not alienate her and push her into either having sex without protection or getting birth control on her own without you.
How you handle this situation and what you say will set the tone for having a healthy relationship or destroy the trust you have worked hard to build over the years. As a parent you need to express your concern and feelings about your daughter’s choice to have sex and be protected. At the same time your daughter needs to express her feelings about sex and birth control. Listening to your teenager talk about sex may not be easy but it is important to hear what their reasoning and feelings about sex and relationships. It is important for you to be open and honest; with your daughter you may not support her decision, but listening to her lets her know that you value her opinion.
By talking to her respectfully and letting her know that you love her and that what is important is having a healthy relationship. Explain to her how adding sex to a relationship can complicate dating and additional emotional stressors that go with the decision to have sex.
Now that she has been open and honest it’s time to take her to a doctor to make sure that she is getting what she needs. You can take her to your own GYN or take her to a local planned parenthood in WNY. There are many options for birth control and Planned Parenthood has all the options listed on their website. Taking her to the doctor can ensure that she can ask the questions that she wants and you can ask the questions that need to be asked. Be sure to make sure that she knows that birth control is only a method to protect against pregnancy and that to protect against STD’s they need more protection.
While the subject of sex is always a difficult one for parents, not talking about sex with them can lead to serious consequences, like STD’s and pregnancy. While the topic may make your heart skip a beat, imagine the tug at your heart if your child comes to you and tells you they have an STD or are pregnant. The best advice to you is remain calm and be proud of yourself for raising a child who is comfortable enough to come to you and talk about a tough subject. Kudos to you!
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