So, that one time my mom gave me a six-pack of condoms at the dinner table with my stepfather and sister? Yeah, that happened.
As a teen, I was mortified.
As a parent, I'm thankful.
Most of my friends never had the talk with their parents, let alone received birth control.
I have always been open with my kids about the birds and the bees and sex education. I always will be. It won't be my business when they have sex but it IS my business to make sure they are given the information and tools to be safe and smart when they do.
I think it's hilarious when people tell me, "Oh, you're so lucky you have boys! You don't need to worry about them coming home pregnant." Oy vey, really?
Do you know what type of sex education is taught at your child's school? I know that fifth graders are taken to a health center where they learn the basics about puberty and reproduction. I also know the students — at least the boys, of which my youngest was one — spent most of that time giggling. My older son told me it wasn't until high school when students learned about sexually transmitted diseases and some forms of birth control.
Sure, nothing is foolproof when it comes to sex. But I think if I wasn't giving my kids information about everything (or at least access to resources if they ever don't feel comfortable talking to me or their dad) then I'm foolish. Yes, abstinence is the only way to not impregnate someone (Thanks, those of you who think moms of boys have no worries! Again, "Oy" is all I can say about that.), get an STD or get pregnant.
But abstinence as the only choice isn't realistic.
I think comprehensive, accurate sex education helps kids gain self-respect for themselves and their bodies. Kids need to know about much more than the birds and the bees. They need to learn how to respect themselves (and others), their bodies (and others') and their options when it comes to birth control, safer sex and family planning.
Bottom line? Abstinence-only education is a joke, and getting an STD or being faced with an unplanned pregnancy is no laughing matter.
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