10 Tips For Teaching Abstinence
If you want to teach your child to abstain from sex before marriage, these 10 tips for teaching abstinence might help. Abstinence is the only one hundred percent effective method of avoiding sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy. If you want to talk about abstinence so your child will listen, try these tips.
- Stress the reasons for practicing abstinence. These include staying healthy and preventing pregnancy, as well as personal emotional reasons. Help your child make a list of these reasons that he or she can refer to if the temptation to have sex arises.
- Practice communication skills. Even if your child believes in abstinence, it can be difficult to stick to those beliefs under pressure. Practice role playing scenarios so your child can think about what to say if he or she is pressured to have sex.
- Let your child know that you are proud of him or her. Give him or her credit for going against the crowd and making individual decisions. However, stress that you love your child regardless of their choices.
- Discuss ways to express feelings for someone without having sex. These can include special dates and outings, notes and love letters, and nonsexual signs of affection. Allow your child the freedom to express loving feelings to a boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Look to the future. Studies show that teaching abstinence can lead to healthier marital relationships. Share these benefits with your child.
- Ask your child to take a virginity pledge. A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that these pledges are extremely effective in delaying sexual activity for teens in grades 7 through 12. The pledge promises that he or she will remain a virgin until marriage.
- Stick to the facts. Giving your child some hard and fast numbers might encourage them to remain abstinent. For example, 10,479 teenagers get an STD every day in America. That's one every 8 seconds.
- Encourage your child to find a partner with similar beliefs. Remaining abstinent will be much easier if his or her partner plans to abstain as well. This also applies to your child's friends and peers.
- Stress that it's never too late. Even if your child has been sexually active, he or she can choose to remain abstinent in the future. This still eliminates the risk of pregnancy and STD's.
- Keep an open ear. You'll be telling your child your reasons for teaching abstinence, but make sure you listen to his or her thoughts and concerns as well. Open communication with parents is a critical part of teaching abstinence.