How to Talk to Your Child About STDs
Most adolescents are woefully ignorant when it comes not only to contracting sexually transmitted diseases, but also about their own bodies, and life in general. One of the key problems is that as humans, we do not run on instinct only. We rely on learning, and this takes years.Aï¿½
The body out paces the brain during early teens. Desires are present in the same way and intensity (sometimes more so) than they are in adults. For the parent, this can be a real problem. Some of us honestly don’t want our children to grow up! We are frightened by this stage in their lives and would rather they remained innocent little children.
If you find yourself in this dilemma, one of the key things to understand is how the brain and body work during this phase of your child’s development. Once you gain an insight in to this, you can handle the inevitable conversation about STD’s (STI’s) with confidence.
These are some tips that have helped me over the years:
Just give them the facts. Facts can be quite sobering.
Don’t preach or become emotional. Emotions can get in the way of the facts and create resistance.
Explain in a step by step way what is going on with their bodies.
Don’t talk in code. Talk biology to them like in school. Use the correct names for the bodyparts.
Don’t be scared to scare them! It works.
At the end of your little talk, do an image search on the internet for sexually transmitted diseases. Teens respond more to gross images than the wisest medical advice!
That 6 step process worked for me many times. Also, you might just want to explain in your own words some of the following information below. It all helps.
When the physical changes of puberty have taken place, the male is capable of fertilising a female egg, and the female is able to conceive and produce a baby. However, although the body may be physically capable of these functions, it is still necessary for the emotions to develop. It is during the adolescent period – from puberty to 19 or 20 – that physical and emotional developments link and move towards a mature and adult understanding.Aï¿½
Adolescents may form casual relationships and experiment with sex, but they will also be learning moral values and how to become responsible adults. Many adolescents will be looking for a partner with whom to form a permanent relationship, leading to a home and family. The results of unrestricted sexual encounters can be disastrous, possibly ending in unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases or emotional damage.
Sexually transmitted disease
Since the 1960s there has been a steep increase in the number of reported cases of STD (venereal disease), from approximately 175 000 in 1960 to a million in 2008 in the UK alone. These are frightening figures, as the results of STD can be infertility, serious illness or even death, and psychological trauma and acute distress to those infected, their partners and family.
These diseases can be easily passed on from person to person during casual sexual relationships. STDs can be successfully treated when diagnosed early and given professional medical treatment. Special treatment clinics (genito-urinary clinics) have been set up in most hospital departments, and treatment is free. Any person with a STD must not have sexual contact with another person until he or she has been cleared of the infection.