During the last few weeks we had a surge in teenagers requesting termination of pregnancy in our clinic. I thought it was exam time and learners were supposed to learn but they obviously do not go jogging after a study session!
A very interesting case was that of a 14-year-old girl from a Muslim family. She is tiny and looked very innocent but told her parents a story to spend an afternoon at a 16-year-old boy’s house. He then wanted sex and she managed to say “No” the first 2 times but then gave in. They eventually had sex 4 times that afternoon. A few weeks later she told her mother that her period was late. They did a pregnancy test that was positive. The mother said it was fine and that they could keep the baby. They then told the father who absolutely freaked out. The father decided that there would be no baby. He brought his daughter in to our clinic and she had to take the abortion pill while he watched. He then saw an atorney and started a case of statutory rape against this young boy. His daughter was taken to the shop and had to select a tracksuit and every morning she has to run with her father. She has to spend a great deal of time praying for forgiveness of her sins. He wil keep her busy and she will have no more time to hang out with boys.
I do understand that the father was upset and angry but would like to use this example to explain a few points.
· Young teenagers want adventure. They need to be active and try new things. If parents do not create adventure for their teenagers they will go and look for it. Teenagers will often experiment with alcohol, drugs or sex because it is forbidden fruit and doing it creates and environment of exitement.
· Young girls are sexually immature. They do not engage in sex because they want to but because it sounds exciting and most often because they land themselves in a situation they do not know how to manage. This girl said “No” and then changed it to a “Yes”. Parents often change their “No” into a “Yes” if their chidren nag long enough. If they are a teenager they do the same around their friends. It is very important for parents to understand that a “No” always has to stay “No”. It is very important for your child to know what “No” means and to know how to say “No” and stick with it.
· Children have to learn from a young age that bad decisions have bad implications. If teenagers decide to be sexually active they do not ask their parent’s permission. The parents are often not aware of it and they are not present when it happens. If a sexual encounter a teenager consented to ends up in a pregnancy it is the problem of that teenager to manage and not the problem of the parent. If the teenager plans to keep the pregnancy that is fine but the teenager has to come up with a way to look after the baby – financially and emotionally. It is not the parent’s baby. It is their grandchild. Parents often think they are nice to their children to sort out all their children’s problems but they are wrong. It is the parent’s responsibility to give their children the skills to cope with life, make good decisions and sort out their own problems.
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