Teen pregnancies seem to be becoming prevalent in our society. I’ve been to a number of youth camps and youth training institutes. I usually get invited to speak about the situation of young people in the Philippines and how we should deal with youth.Teenage pregnancy comes up almost always. It’s a pressing issue, don’t you think?
Let’s forget for a minute about the right attitude towards sexuality and deal with the experiences of our friends, relatives, the friends of our friends, and our schoolmates.
Do you know a teenager who got pregnant out of wedlock?
When I ask this question in youth camps, almost all hands come up. Without having to use statistics and numerical values, we recognize that teen pregnancy is indeed a problem in our society. Our population is now running at 90 million. With teenagers becoming sexually active, we cannot hope to reduce our country’s rate of population growth.Last Saturday, I encountered an interesting article entitled “Teen pregnancies in the Philippines” from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. This article was written by Dr. Rebecca B. Singson, a strong advocate of female reproductive and women’s health issues.
Dr. Singson provided four tips on how to prevent teen pregnancy.
The first one is to “keep them at home with an intact family set up.” When the family is intact and the family members are communicating well, parents can inculcate the values of responsibility and purity among their kids. As more and more parents go abroad, this becomes more of a challenge. When kids are left at the care of grandparents, they are usually more lax than parents and they might not be able to talk about sexuality inside the home.
Secondly, teenagers should be kept in school. Out of school youth tend to become more sexually active outside of marriage. If they can be kept at school, then they can continue learning and preparing for their future.
Parents should “keep talking to them.” Communication is vital to having a healthy view of sexuality. Too often, however, parents cringe from talking about sex to their children. If parents have close relationships with their kids, this should not be a problem. Communication therefore means that parents also care deeply about their kids.
Lastly, “keep them morally and spiritually grounded.” Religion has a big impact on the view of teenagers about sex and sexuality. When they are brought inside the Church, teenagers may adopt the view that sex is sacred and should not be taken lightly. Not only that, teenagers can find a caring community inside the church that could help them deal with the temptations that they face. Such community can also help teenagers become accountable to their parents and to their community. I don’t have a copy of Dr. Singson’s complete article. Yet, these four tips that she shared are an amazing means of helping teenagers avoid getting themselves into the tricky situation of teenage pregnancy.