Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is today. It is a day set aside to remember how precious the unborn child is. However, this day represents so much more. It’s about families, young people’s futures, and emotional stability for those young people. Why not mark the day by having a frank discussion with your children about your personal convictions regarding the very sensitive subjects of abortion, unplanned pregnancy, and abstinence. During your conversation, don’t forget to tell your teens and preteens how precious they are to you. Remind them that there is a lot of pressure from peers and the media to become sexually active. Your opinions and convictions mean a lot to these impressionable young people.
Tell your own story
Parents should talk about how they felt about having a baby, even if the story is less than rosy. Children value the lessons they learn from their parents’ experiences. Conversation like this can give your child permission to ask hard questions. They want to know how you would react if they found themselves in the position of an unplanned pregnancy. Answer their questions honestly. Be careful with flippant comments such as “I’d kick you out if you ever…” Or derogatory comments about someone they know going through an unplanned pregnancy. What you say in passing now will stay with them if they find themselves in the same situation.
This conversation gives you a chance to be preemptive in answering questions. Many young people who fear their parent’s reaction will seek out the advice of strangers. Family involvement is crucial when emotions are raw. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, letting your child know that you love them unconditionally beforehand will give them confidence to include you in the decision making process.
Talk to your son
This is a chance to share with your sons that sex has consequences. Share your convictions regarding what his responsibility would be at a time like that. Fathers or grandfathers need to share their joys, failures and past experiences to help these impressionable young men know the reality of fatherhood. Boys are less likely to share their emotional turmoil with parents. Your honesty will give them the courage to share when emotional crisis of any kind comes up.
Talk to your daughter
Daughters need to be reminded how precious they are, reassuring them that they can say no as often as they want when it comes to sexual overtures. Share your own experiences about love, both good and bad. Knowing their parents understand can make all the difference. Girls need to feel secure regarding their parents love for them, especially their fathers. Statistically, girls who do not have a good relationship with their fathers tend to be more promiscuous.
Don’t wait to talk
One final thought. Be proactive; it can make all the difference. Make time to talk to your young people. Don’t wait until they are in high school. Junior high children are becoming sexually active. It is best to have this discussion sooner than later.