Wednesday, March 18, 2015

#NoTeenShame talks about "the talk" via SheKnows

I am part of a group called #NoTeenShame.

#NoTeenShame is a movement led by 7 young mothers (Natasha, Jasmin, Gloria, Consuela, Lisette, Christina, and Marylouise) to improve strategic messaging campaigns and conversation around young parenting to a non-stigmatizing and non-shaming approach, while highlighting the importance of comprehensive sexuality education. 

We believe that preventing unintended teenage pregnancy is possible WITHOUT shaming and or stigmatizing teen parents. For some reason folks tend to believe that because we believe in a shame and stigma free approach and the importance of supporting teen parents that we "encourage" teen pregnancy

We all sat down and discussed how parents can have "the talk" with their children in ways that are free of shame and stigma and full of accurate information and honesty. 

What teen moms want you to know about 'the talk'

SheKnows: What should parents focus on when talking to their children about sex and relationships?

#NoTeenShame: First, parents need to realize that a big part of "the talk" is not actually verbal. Parents need to be establishing a safe and comfortable relationship with their children prior to ever talking about sex with them. "The talk" is an ongoing conversation so establishing safe and healthy environments often is necessary. Your kids need to know and feel that they can come to you with questions. Focus on answering questions asked as close to family and cultural values while not leaving out the medically accurate responses young people need. Instead of saying, "Don't be a teen parent because it's terrible and will ruin your life," give them answers to the direct and indirect questions they are asking.

SK: Do you feel that sex education and conversations about teenage pregnancy prevention need to go hand in hand? In other words, does society have to talk about teenage pregnancy and parenting in order to talk about sex education? 

#NTS: Teenage pregnancy prevention is part of the sex education conversation, but the ways in which teenage pregnancy and parenting are discussed needs to be in a shame- and stigma-free way. Teenage parents are humans and families and should be treated as such, not as purely cautionary tales to use in an effort to scare your children about sex and relationships. Sex education is a lot of things, however, it is about preventing STIs, HIV and unintended pregnancies in addition to discussing sexuality, healthy relationships and explorations of what readiness means to you.

Read the full interview over on