Unwed mothers on the rise: parents please help!
How do we curb the numbers of unwed mothers—they could possibly be our children in the future? Read on for some pointers on sex talk and morality. Also featured in the article are young ladies recounting how they learnt about sex and teen pregnancy from their parents.
Reportedly in Sarawak alone, the numbers of unwed mothers are rising annually. The Sarawak General Hospital recorded 827 births by unwed mothers. Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, Women and Family Development Minister asked mothers to instill their young ones with religious and moral values.
She said: “Mothers are their children’s educators, inspirations and role models. With the right nurturing, mothers can shape their children’s future and character. The young need a good guidance to walk away from the wrong path of life”
She added: “Some of these mothers gave birth as early as 13, and studies show that pregnancy at an early age poses a health hazard to the mother and the baby.”
Watch: The courage of an unwed mother
Let’s talk about sex!
You can forbid teens to have sex but ultimately, the more restricted they are, the more they might act out. All children, when they are ready, need to be educated about sex, STDs and teen pregnancy. Your teens need to know that they are not exempt from getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant.
They may very well roll their eyes when you tell them the dangers and all the things that may go wrong if they become sexually active too early. But all you can do is try to enlighten them—instead of shying away from the subject. If they are practicing sex, they need to be having safe sex!
RELATED: 14-year-old had 4 abortions
Don’t rely on schools
Our kids are being exposed to sex even earlier than we were. I see little girls posing seductively and even pre-schoolers innocently asking their parents what a “blowjob” is.
They need to learn about sex from you first. This way, you can teach them the right thing, which is way better than a snippet of misinformation they may dig out from a shady source.
Young ladies speak up!
Young women recount how their parents gave them the sex talk and how effective it was for them. With the right kind of teaching, we can reduce the number of unwed mothers. It starts with educating our own children.
RELATED: How to talk to your kids about sex
Roshni Chugani, 22: My parents have always been the very old fashioned and conservative type. They never really spoke to me about sex, I guess they just figured I had this understanding that is was wrong to have sex before marriage.
However when I was 14 we started learning a lot about sex and safety in school and that’s how I learnt. Yet I think it would have been more effective if they spoke to me about sex, considering the world we live in today.
Mari Bunkova, 23: My father is very shy when it comes to the sex talk. My mom was the main person with who I talked about it. The first time we had the conversation, was when I was 15 years old. I could say that it was effective as she told me about all the different diseases and how to protect myself. And for a short while when I started having sex I was using two condoms.
RELATED: Next generation condom
Victoria Brown, 22: When I was in primary school, my mum gave me a book to that talked about a young woman’s body parts and sex. So I was able to learn about my body and what kind of body changes I can expect when I grew older. When I was in secondary school, my mum sent my younger brother and I to a sex education class to learn more about the risks of unprotected sex, contraception, STDs and STIs.
Turns out my friend’s parents had the same idea, because a few of my friends from school were also present at the talk. My mum took a more indirect approach to educating me about sex, but I am glad she did because that talk would have been extremely uncomfortable!
Watch: Kids and unlearning what porn teaches
Lynn Lee, 19: When I was around 11, I somehow got to know of the word “condom” and not knowing what it meant, I asked my mum what it was. To my surprise she was shocked and demanded to know how I knew the word. Later at home, however, she explained what it was to me and also described the process of sex. I remember being extremely disturbed at the thought of it because I never imagined such a process to be possible.
Our school gave us a sex education talk and introduced us to the ABC rules of sex. A being abstinence, B for being faithful and C to use a condom. I remember being deterred most when a video was played and the main character, a girl around my age, got pregnant after having unprotected sex.
Justina, 32, mother of a baby girl: I first came to know about sex when my mum sat me down to have ‘that talk’ when I was 10 – with a book at hand. That session mostly involved explaining about how guys and girls were different sexually, and how a baby is made.
But the things that made me to think twice about having sex freely are: 1. My mum scaring me by saying that once I get pregnant as a teen, my life would be over and I’d have to stop school, get married and be a housewife. For a young girl who was looking forward to go to uni, that was scary! 2. The video on childbirth and abortion that was showed during religious classes at school. This scared most of us in class that day, actually.
Watch: Cute illustrative way of teaching kids about the birds and the bees
Vanessa T, 37, mother of a 2-year-old girl: My parents didn’t talk to me about the birds and bees. I learnt about the male and female genitalia in Science class at school. How would I teach my daughter? I probably would talk to Emma about the birds and bees when she either gets her period or around the age of 11.
The scientific way would be best and then the consequences of having sex at an early age. Of course religion would play a big role as I would probably show examples of teen mothers, consequences drummed into her mind, the Silent Scream abortion video, lastly would give her advise on protection. My husband would just lock her up at home until she’s 30 or when he dies, which ever comes first.