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Teens shouldn't have to figure it out on their own: it's not fair for teens to figure things out the hard way while parents wait until the damage has been done to try and fix it.

Teens just don't know And the media seems to be there to explain it more than parents. Though this can be true for many things, teens being stupid about sex seems to be on everyone's mind. But it's hard for them to know what they haven't been taught.

Parents don't do it on purpose, but they often don't explain things to their kids. It's as if they expect them to know. Simple things like shaving, changing the oil in their car, or cooking. They are busy, and they can't get their priorities straight.

Most of it teens can eventually figure out on their own. When they can't, the media takes the opportunity to step up and becomes the parent. Their teachings aren't always the truth or what's best. They know it but convince people otherwise. They have their own little ways to stretch the truth to better suit their needs. They don't even have to lie. If they cut out little bits and pieces, it may still be the same. But the message is very different from how it started.

This gives the media the ability to say something like "If teens use a condom or birth control, they won't get pregnant," or "If teens are careful, they won't get an STIY' It's very close to the truth. Therefore, it's believable to many people, people who want to believe it. All they have to do is cut out the right words, and they start making money. Some of the little words can have an impact.

If they would've said, "If teens use a condom or birth control, they lower their chance of becoming pregnant," the message they were sending out would have been much clearer. And if "careful" meant not having sex at all, the second statement would also be true.

Teens have little experience and tend to believe what they hear from friends and the media because they don't know any better. And they never will if they don't have an adult figure that they trust telling them the consequences. They can't know what they haven't been taught. It can be very aggravating when people expect teens to know something they couldn't possibly know without an adult teaching them.

Even if parents do talk to their teens, it may not have any effect on sexual behaviors they've already acquired. That doesn't mean parents shouldn't be there for them. And that doesn't mean parents should try to force them to give up their habits.

Teens are growing up in a society where people are expected to figure things out on their own. When they do and parents try to step in after it's too late and change things, it only makes teens angry because the adult didn't try to help before and now they're just trying to change things. Parents should make sure their teens know how to be safe and let their teens know they're there if they have problems or questions.

I'm not saying teens should be running around having sex. I don't think they should be. But if parents are not there for them, they will pay the price. Parents have already lost most of teens' respect by doing nothing. It's what parents do that will determine whether they get some of it back or lose the rest of it. It's not fair for teens to figure things out the hard way while parents wait until the damage has been done to try and fix it. If the brakes on a car weren't working properly, would an adult wait until they stopped working completely before they fixed them? If they wait that long, they might not have the chance.

This generation is growing up in an independent society with a variety of problems. In these busy times, people often forget to pass on the knowledge they've obtained. If they fail to do so, it may go with them to the grave. The problem isn't with this generation. It's with adults. Teens can't know better if their parents don't teach them any better. Nothing parents do or say may change their teens' minds after it's too late. Get to them before the media does. Knowledge is power. Unfortunately, knowledge is dying.
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Author:Trotter, Matthew
Publication:SIECUS Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2003
Previous Article:Schools should help children survive in the real world.
Next Article:Schools need to teach more about the world around us.

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