Parenting To Prevent Sexual Risk
Here are some concrete things parents of preteens can do to set up habits and patterns that protect youth from early sexuality and other risk behavior:
- Accept your role as the primary sexuality educator of your child;
- Learn everything you can so you feel confident and provide books for your child to learn from;
- Monitor your preteen - as children spend time away from parents and school, always know where they are and require them to call if leaving school or home;
- Structure "free time" to avoid long periods of unsupervised time;
- Encourage hobbies, sports & music;
- Encourage children to set long term goals that include college and careers;
- Talk about difficult subjects - sexuality, drugs, alcohol, and abuse, making your values clear as well as your behavioral expectations for your children;
- Share facts about how FEW teens actually participate in risk behaviors to challenge their social norm that may be that "everyone is doing it;"
- Be a healthy role model in relationships; and finally,
- Whatever you do, please do not over react to the stories you will start to hear about what "other" kids are doing.
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