Discourage early, steady dating. Encourage friendships, groups of friends and going out with a group activities. Some kids have boyfriends/girlfriends just because they are bored. Get your teen out and about with a youth group, organized sport, hobby, etc. Allow your teen to invite friends to you home for a movie night or games. The more your teen's friends hang out together as a group, the less time they will spend as couples.
Three of four girls and over half of boys report that girls who have sex do so because their boyfriends want them to.1 Help them make a plan to get out of situations before they are in them. Make a plan on how to walk away from someone who may be pressuring them to have sex. Make another on how to stop when they are feeling sexually charged. Let's face it, our teens have hormones, and they are hard to deal with, so give them the words to use.
Talk with your teen early and often about sex, contraception, your morals and values. The primary reason that teenage girls who have never had intercourse give for abstaining from sex is that having sex would be against their religious or moral values.
Teens are influenced by what you do more than by what you say. If you demonstrate responsibility in your own relationships, they will be more likely to do the same in their own.
Make their future attractive by teaching your teen to dream. Tell them they have the capability to be whatever they want to be... the sky is the limit! Send away for college catalogs by the time they are 15, send away for some from France, Hawaii, etc. Do everything to make their future look brighter than being a mommy or daddy at the age of 17.
Whether they're having sex or not, they need to be prepared, they need to know how to avoid pregnancy. Parents rate high among many teens as trustworthy and preferred information sources on birth control. One in two teens say they "trust" their parents most for reliable and complete information about birth control, only 12 percent say a friend.
Use those good old fashioned rules and curfews. Your teen may be telling you that you are the only parent that does, or you may be the only parent that does, so be it. The best way to show you love your teen is to establish the limits and enforce them.
Teen Pregnancy FAQ:
Related Parenting Quiz: Are you raising a healthy teen?