- Although this may seem like a scary conversation, it’s important not to panic. If your child is asking you about birth control, it is a good sign they trust and value what you have to say.
- Don’t feel like you have to know all of the answers right away. It’s okay if you don’t know how to answer their question.
- Below are some conversation guidelines that may help:
- Acknowledge that you have heard the question, “Thanks for asking me” or “That’s a good question”
- Do not respond angrily, with accusations, or with judgement. Remember, if your child is asking you about birth control, it means they value what you have to say.
- Depending on your child’s age, they may want to learn more about something they overheard and want to learn more and consider using birth control. If you need clarity, ask question like:
“Why do you ask?”
“What have you heard about birth control?”
“Did you hear or learn something recently?”
- Do not judge or shame whatever your child does or does not know about birth control. Use this time to understand where they are coming from and how you can best answer their question.
- Respond to their question with an age-appropriate response such as:
“Birth control is something people use to prevent themselves from becoming pregnant before they are ready.”
- You don’t have to know everything about birth control. In fact, it’s okay if don’t and admit that to your child. This can encourage your child to continue learning about birth control by finding an expert together. Try:
“You know I don’t know a whole lot about it though. Why don’t we look at a good resource online together” or “I don’t know a lot about birth control myself. Let’s schedule an appointment to talk to a doctor together.”
- Thank them again for coming to you and let them know you would like to have more conversations together like this one.
- The facts about birth control can and should be discussed alongside family values. It does not have to be one or the other. Make this a two-way conversation.
- Follow through. If you told your child you would like to research or visit a doctor together, actually make it happen. Do not put it off or think they will just forget about it. You want to position yourself as the trusted and reliable source of information.