Many parents are painfully aware that talking to their children about sexually transmitted diseases is not easy. But however difficult parents find this topic to be, having a conversation about STDs with your children is really important. Besides, talking about STDs will not motivate your children to go out and have sex. Instead, it helps them to understand their bodies well and create honest communication about sex and relationship. In addition, as a parent, when you are answering any question about STDs, relationships, or sex, be cautious about your answer and do it in an age-appropriate way. This guide will enlighten parents looking forward to talking to their kids about the risk STDs poses by giving them proactive measures and possible treatment.
Why is it important you talk to your children about STDs?
Nowadays, children need to know the risks of sexually transmitted diseases and the better ways to protect themselves against the menace when they become sexually active. Some of the better ways adolescents can protect themselves from contracting STDs is by abstaining totally or having safer sex through the use of condoms.
It will interest you to know that more than 30 different parasites, bacteria, and viruses are transmittable from one human to another through sex.
For instance, there are eight common STDs. Of the eight, four are curable; gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis, while the other four are incurable viral infections, including herpes, HIV, hepatitis B, and human papillomavirus.
Talk to your child
Before you initiate a discussion with your kid about STDs, it is essential to set some groundwork for this discussion, more so when your kid is young. For instance, be ready to answer any questions a child may ask about their body. As a result, you will build a strong and trusting relationship that paves the way to discussing crucial topics with your child.
Besides, it is vital to ensure you keep your discussion about STDs short, meaningful, and precise. This action gives your child enough time to comprehend your conversation.
It is also crucial to look at what is happening in your child’s life. For instance, if your children are teenagers, go for additional reliable information like early pregnancy amongst teens; this topic will open a discussion on unprotected sex.
Share with children relevant information about STDs by doing prior research and equipping yourself with pertinent facts from reliable sources. Discuss more with your child on the most common STDs, symptoms, and various treatment methods you can apply.
Always go for a language your child understands well, and if they would like to read more on their own, have a reliable source and materials like websites and printed material you can offer.
During the discussion, avoid any scare tactics. Instilling fear in your child when you are discussing STDs will make them feel uncomfortable. Also, during the debate, it is a good idea to deal with any misconception your child has about STDs.
What you should do if your child has an STD
When your child is diagnosed with an STD, ensure they undergo all the medical appointments and take their medication in the recommended time. For instance, if your child is diagnosed with chlamydia, ensure they complete the required chlamydia treatment as advised by their doctor: typically a short course of antibiotics.
There are some STDs with symptoms that may disappear during treatment. However, that doesn’t guarantee the STD is gone. After completing the medication, request for another test to ensure it is gone.
It is also essential to offer your child emotional support when they are diagnosed with STDs. For instance, if your child feels comfortable sharing their experience with a therapist on a particular matter, book an appointment with a therapist.
Although it is often uncomfortable for parents to talk with their children about STDs, it is an important conversation to have. It is best to start talking about the subject early and slowly build on your kids’ understanding. Let them know how such diseases spread and some of the protective measures against contracting STDs. That will help them understand the risks of contracting STDs and how they can protect themselves once they become sexually active.
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