starting the conversation

Again, I feel like I say this a lot but, it feels like it has been a while since I’ve sat down and just written. So, today I want to talk about something that is kind of controversial (okay maybe really controversial). I was originally going to talk about identifying insecurities in yourself and how to combat it, but this topic seemed more interesting and I want to save the topic of insecurities for a video blog. So, my topic for today is why I feel schools should start teaching sex education more and way better.

I remember in middle school in sixth grade, we were separated into boys and girls and each group was sent to different rooms to watch a video about puberty. I could tell by just looking around that no one was paying attention, and no one cared. At the time, I wondered why no one paid any attention because this was stuff that was important to know. But, there was also that the video was poorly made and so no one took it seriously. Fortunately, my mum had got me one of those books on puberty with those awkward drawings and kind of awkward advice but it was really informative (I’ll link the book my parents got me down below). So, I considered myself lucky that I was so informed as compared to my ignorant classmates, who giggled everytime the p-word came up. Though, to be fair this was back in sixth grade.

At the end of the video, the teacher supervising said that in eighth grade we would be watching another video on safe sex and protection. It never happened.

My parents never gave me the dreaded “Talk” because they always believed in abstinence until marriage. So, I never knew about birth control pills and the other types of contraceptives available for young teenage girls. It was pure idiocy to believe that you could get away with practicing sex without some sort of protection and yet, a lot of people I knew believed that. Of course, in high school we learned some things, but it wasn’t enough to be completely informed about all the risks.

I learned a lot of this through research because I am not one to take unnecessary risks because I was too lazy or because it was too embarrassing. It is important to know.

A lot of parents often feel uncomfortable talking about this subject, but it is really important to be transparent about this topic in particular. You do no one a favor by keeping your child ignorant of something like this.

My advice to starting a conversation about this is to start with asking them about what they know and don’t know and fill in where they are lacking. Here’s a list of questions to cover a general spectrum of ideas (some are gender specific so be careful about what you ask):

  1. What do you know about the female/male anatomy?
  2. What do you know about practicing safe sex?
  3. What do you know about contraceptives? (and parents even if you don’t want to contemplate the idea of your kid having sex at all, please have your child get some sort of IUD or pill or even have some form contraceptive available-because it’s better to know that they are practicing safe sex over not knowing at all what your child is upto until it is too late)
  4. What do you know about STDs?
  5. Give general advice about how your child should abstain from sex in general lol.

So, final thoughts. I think that schools do their students a great injustice when they allow them to be ignorant of safe sex and puberty. This is a topic that will never be ‘comfortable’ to talk about but it is a must. I wish that I had been given the talk and had access to contraceptives like birth control pills just for the reassurance, that safety net.

Puberty Book– This book is one that was created by the American Doll brand and they have a lot of self care, teenage help books for girls.

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DAY5

Hey guys! It’s day 5 on my a-post-a-day challenge and I’ll be honest-I’m so tired of this already. TWO DAYS left!

So, topic of the day is MYTH vs. FACT- the modern teen edition!

 

 

“Teens are addicted to technology.”

When we talk about technology in such a broad sense, it can mean a number of different things. But most people imply use of the internet and the thing about that is most of the time, ‘being ‘online’ means that we’re all engaging with other people at a rapid pace. It isn’t that we’re addicted to staring at screens all day, its that we’re addicted to each other. That we can’t go for more than a couple hours without some kind of human interaction-even if it’s through a screen.

“Teens are being careless about personal info on the internet.”

Its funny because you realize that unless you personally know me outside of this blog, other readers might ‘know’ a lot about me-but they don’t know me. We’ve grown up in an age where social media is such an important part of our culture, it’s part of being informed on a much larger and faster scale. I think that we know the importance of not sharing specific things because we know how dangerous social media is-because we can see its potential, both good and bad. And, one way we do it is this, having multiple accounts for different outlets. I have an email for personal info and friends and another for school. I have an Instagram for this blog and one for my friends. Its this compartmentalization of our internet footprints that keeps us safe.

“Teenagers never want to talk to their parents about their problems.”

This is a common belief I feel is incomplete. I think that this misconception is rooted in the idea that different generations will think differently and are raised with different societal expectations. That maybe my problem is something that my parents wouldn’t ever be able to help with because they’ve never had that experience. I don’t think that teens don’t want to talk to their parents. I think they do but they’re afraid of being misunderstood.

“Teens are drunks, smokers, and become parents before 18.”

Sure, there are teens who do drugs and drink and have unprotected sex. There are always a couple. So, let’s first talk about teenage pregnancy, you’ll find that in the US, as of 2016, there were only 20.3 births for every 1000 teenage females from the ages 15-19. It is the lowest teen birth rate recorded in the US and it has been continuing to decline. Guess you could say that thanks to sex ed- kids are smarter these days, no?

Tobacco use by teens and young adults has declined substantially in the last 40 years. In 2017, only one in twenty-five high school seniors was a daily smoker and less than one in ten smoked within the last thirty days.

A lot times underage drinking is something that people assume happens quite often-usually social drinking. But in actuality from 2002 to 2015, rates of underage drinking decreased and have remained relatively stable since then.

But all these facts don’t really mean much until you realize that this generation compared to the previous one have done all these things, but this generation just had lower rates-meaning they did it less frequently than their parents did.

There are definitely many other myths about teens but these few cover the more common general ones.