As a peer educator, I have many opportunities to talk to and educate teens on teen pregnancy and other risky behaviors. It is a lot easier for teens to go to other teens for advice, rather than to their parents or other adults, so it is very important for teens educators like me to know the facts and give good advice.
Sometimes talking to teens about sex and teen pregnancy can be hard. At times, I even find myself at a loss for words when dealing with the subject of teen pregnancy. But in case you find yourself tongue-tied or need some help helping a friend, here are 10 tips for talking to other teens about these important issues that I think will help when you’re trying to get the point across.
- Don’t nag, or act like you’re better than the person you’re talking to just because you know a little more about the subject. Put yourself in their shoes…they’ve come to you for help, so be patient with them and talk to them how you would want to be talked to.
- Listen to what they have to say. Don’t be the one doing ALL of the talking; let them voice their opinions too.
- Know your facts! Don’t make up facts to sound smart. If you don’t know something, be honest about it and offer to get back to them after you get the correct information.
- Also give them you’re opinions. You don’t have to overload the person with facts; you can also give them your opinion on the subject as well. Just be sure you don’t get your facts and beliefs mixed up.
- Teen pregnancy is an important subject. Don’t treat it like a joke. If you take it seriously, then the person you’re talking to will take you seriously.
- Be an example. You’re a role model and many teens will look up to you if you give them a reason to.
- Develop a relationship with the person. Even if you may not know them at first, give them a reason to trust you. Also, be discreet. You want the person to be able to talk to you and open up, so make sure they know that whatever you’re talking about won’t be told to anyone else.
- Talk about the negative effects of media. Don’t make pregnancy seem like a glamorous thing like the media sometimes makes it out to be. Be completely honest and open with the person.
- Keep the conversation going. Get the person you’re talking to interested in the subject.
- Last but not least, tell them to pass the information you gave them on to other teens. It truly is a small world. You would be surprised at the positive impact talking with your peers has and how much it changes their opinion on teen pregnancy.
We are the future, the teens of tomorrow. It is important that teens know the facts and the negative effects of teen pregnancy. Being a role model for other teens is the most amazing feeling ever. We want all teens to be able to achieve their goals and teen pregnancy adds obstacles to reaching your full potential. Mohandas Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” We all want a successful future, and by going out and talking to teens we are getting that much closer to our goal.