Indian teens are becoming sexually active than ever, what are parents to do now?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but chances of your teen daughter (or son) being sexually active are higher than you’d like to believe. Studies reveal that with the age of puberty going down to 9 in girls, and 11 in boys, curiosity in sex accompanied by the tendency to experience it is rising. Despite the sudden physical changes, teens are but children in their minds, and often lean towards the wrong decisions they are bound to rue in later years. The end of a child’s mental capability marks the beginning of the parents’. Instilling fear through a beating or scolding cease to work on a 2017 teen.

With growth in families where both parents work, or unconventional single-parent families, children are raising themselves without adequate adult supervision. You have to realize that the environment they are growing in, is far from the one we got as teens. They don’t run to grandparents for bedtime stories, they resort to laptops, ipads, smartphones and what have you. Don’t expect them to google fairy tales when they have the entire universe at the end of their fingertip. These are the years when curiosity is at its highest, the lure of sex is easy to fall for in this wobbly age. When erotic visuals penetrate the vulnerable mind, it ensues the desire of experiencing what they see. Lack of familial love creates enough room for temporary lovers; a raise in pocket money to make up for your presence grants them an easy access to alcohol and drugs pushing them closer to an active sex life. At times youngsters employ sex as a means to keep their lovers from straying away. If for none of the above reasons, peer pressure does the trick – ‘So you are a 17 year old virgin?’ becomes the most ego piercing question for today’s teens.

That sex is no longer a taboo and virginity has lost its piety – I am not considering the urban mindset only, even the rural mentality has evolved – don’t take away your right as a parent to influence the choices of your child. A warm relation shared by parents’ alone plays a great role in keeping the child homeward and attached to mom and dad, allowing them to guard unwise steps. It helps if the parenting style of both the parents are in agreement so you don’t end up with a confused child. The responsibility of making a child realize the importance of commitment in a relationship, composure, love and wait rests on the shoulders of his mother and father.

Please don’t be insensitive toward the many emotional impediments a child is faced with when virginity is lost at an early age. As a parent, you might not be particularly elated to learn that you 15 year old has lost her virginity, but to shame or reprimand her would only make things worse. You have to squeeze your feet into their shoes for a minute to understand why at all they chose to tread this path. Keep the communication open and unprejudiced.

Tell them that there is no such thing as ‘If you love me, you would do it’. Intercourse is not the only promise of love and loyalty. They must know that saying ‘yes’ once doesn’t compel them to say ‘yes’ over and over again, that they are young and have their entire life ahead of them. Even if few peers bully them, in India, despite the soaring number of sexually active teens, the majority of high schools students are virgins, and it’s again on you to assure your child that being a virgin, by no means, makes her a loser, and that sex is not an accomplishment of sorts.

Gone are the days when parents narrated the bird and the bees story and called it a day. Cross these barriers, sit them down through a frank and unrestrained dialogue on the science of life, its better they learn it from you than from YouPorn. Complete your dialogue by stating that sex is not a quick means to derive physical satisfaction but a gift to be shared with a special person who will make you fall in love. While you are on the topic, do differentiate love and infatuation for them. Don’t forget to educate them on safe sex and cover the topic on sexually transmitted disease as well. Try to steer clear from the age old “virgin till taken” and “sex only after marriage” customs, because that won’t take you anywhere in this day and age. Make your teen feel confident around you; they must feel unjudged, and only then will they confide in you and give you the opportunity to usher them back on the right track.