Gloria discusses how parents should talk to their daughters about birth control.
For a parent to talk with a teenage girl about birth control can be a little bit daunting, but it’s less daunting if the parent has been talking with the girl about sex in general from the time she started asking questions, and, you know, you don’t start having questions about sex when you are 15. Those questions start coming up at a very early age, and we need, as adults, to remember that when children start asking questions at those younger ages, they don’t have the same issues that we have about it; it’s just purely mechanical. They just want to know how does this stuff work and so, when they ask a question, we answer it and answer it straightforwardly, and if we start to set a pattern about answering those questions straightforwardly when children are very young, then when the daughter gets to be 13 or 14 or 15 or 16 and asks the question about birth control or we want to talk to her about birth control, it’s much less difficult.
But let’s say we haven’t done that because let’s face it–it just doesn’t always happen that way. Still, it’s easy for a parent if the parent will simply be very straightforward about it and to open it by saying, “Look, I am not saying that I think you are sexually active. I am not trying to pry into your life, but there is information that I want to make sure that you have because I love you so much, I want to make sure that when you do have sex, you can be responsible and you can protect yourself.” And then I think if a parent doesn’t really feel comfortable sharing a lot of information or may feel that she or he doesn’t have sufficient information, again to have that conversation in the doctor’s office, in front of a Web site or take the daughter to Planned Parenthood or their healthcare provider.
Another way to do it is that, my goodness, watch television together one night. You are probably going to see a program on television where an issue about birth control is going to come up and that provides a rather nice opening to say, "Well, what do you think about that? What do you think about the decision that the girl on that program made? What do you think? Do you have questions that you would like me to answer?”
About Gloria Feldt:
Gloria Feldt is a nationally acclaimed activist, author, keynote speaker and commentator on women's lives, rights, health, and leadership from where the personal meets the political. She’s been dubbed "the voice of experience" by People Magazine, one of America’s “Top 200 Women Leaders, Legends, and Trailblazers” by Vanity Fair, “Woman of the Year” by Glamour, and a “practical visionary” by her colleagues. She was a teen mom whose life’s passion for reproductive justice led her to a 30-year career with the world's largest reproductive health care provider and advocacy organization, Planned Parenthood.