Anyone who has watched the parents of “Teen Moms” on television is familiar with their oft-repeated refrain, “If only I had listened.” Or, “I should have taken her for birth control.” Or, “My worst nightmare was that she’d have a kid as young as I did.” What these parents of young mothers acknowledge is that they never wanted their daughters pregnant during the child’s teenage years. Most realize that changes in their own behavior might have prevented that from happening.
For teens in Los Angeles, getting birth control information is a fairly straightforward task. Most physicians and nurse practitioners will prescribe birth control to teens in LA County and will keep the information confidential. They will take the time to explain a teen’s options and will work with the teen to find a method of birth control that is both practical for that particular teen and affordable. Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles has an entire section on their website with information for teens. Planned Parenthood will also help teens acquire birth control and will educate and help teens decide among as many as twelve different birth control options.
Yet, as several of those teen moms will tell you, they did not avail themselves of the information. Schools often provide sex education, but the quality of the course is often dependent on the person teaching it, and many teens have a hard time taking in that kind of personal information when surrounded by their peers. That leaves the home as the best place for teens to learn about birth control. The excuse that information will cause a teen to become sexually active sooner is blatantly false. Knowing about sexually transmitted diseases, prevention and birth control options is something every teen needs. And that certainly includes boys. Rather than have regrets, make certain that your teen is aware of the birth control options that are available to him or her, and how to procure birth control before they actually need it. If you choose to wait, remember that in the “moment” your child is likely not to be prepared. If you are like most parents, you likely don’t want to become a grandparent while your child is still a teenager.