Prevent Teen Pregnancy!

Today, May 06, 2009, is the eighth annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. As the world-renowned DatingGenius (not to mention, the author of “How To Avoid Pregnancy” and “Don’t Try The Rhythm Method!”), I feel it’s my duty to inform you how to keep your kids out of the Teen Pregnancy zone.

Boredom -> Pregnancy

Teens are BORED. Teens have nothing to do with their time. GIVE your kids something to do, or they will FIND something to do. Enroll them in Karate or Piano Lessons or a Dance Company.

Make them play Football or Softball or SOMETHING! This way, they’re having fun, they’re spending their time learning things and achieving goals and hopefully, at the end of the day, they’ll be too tired from all that physical and mental exercise to have sex! 😀

Give Your Kids Money

There are lots of things that teenagers WOULD do IF they could afford it. Last I checked, going to the movies in NYC costs around $12 for each person, and that’s if you want to sit there without popcorn, soda, etc the entire time.

This is why you need to give your kids money. If teens have money, they’ll go DO THINGS. They’ll go to a restaurant to eat. They’ll go to museums and learn about King Tut. They’ll go skating in a roller rink instead of in the street. Besides… In case none of these distractions work, they’ll have money to spend on condoms.

If you think I’m kidding, make sure you consider these two things:

  1. Going to the movies costs money
  2. Girls are free

If you ask your daughter how much that guy paid her to get some, (not like she’d tell you to begin with, but) she’s going to say “NOTHING”. If you ask that same teenager how much he paid to see Terminator Salvation, he’s going to say $12. Get the picture?

Same thing for the arcade. Same thing for the batting cages. Same thing for that video game he wants that costs $60 and he could play in his house ad infinitum. Same thing for going snowboarding. Same thing for buying roller hockey equipment. EVERYTHING costs money, except for chicks.. so if you don’t want your son out there in the streets scrambling to get on, make sure he has some ducats so he can do something PRODUCTIVE with his time.

Don’t Be Such A Jerk

We all know you need to ‘put your foot down’ as a parent in order for your kids to respect/fear you, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to be so much of a JERK that your kids don’t want to talk to you when they have problems or issues. What you need is for them to see you as someone smarter and with more experience that can guide them if they can’t figure out something for themselves, or at least point them in what you think is the right direction.

What you DON’T want is for them to feel like telling you ANYTHING is going to get them punished, in which case you will experience a Media Blackout. You won’t find out ANYTHING about your son or daughter until the school, the cops or the clinic contacts you, and by then, it’s too late.

Make sure they know that you’re THE LAW, but also that you’re willing to hear them out and be fair about things. How many kids would have avoided teen pregnancy if they could have come to their parents honestly instead of getting their advice from other kids on the street? You have to be an ally. You need to be on their side of things, although you’re clearly in command. You need to be a General and not a Warden.

Be Nice To Your Kids

A lot of teens are out in the streets looking for affection they never got at home. While you’re so busy playing tough-guy and king-of-the-castle, your kids are spending time with people they actually LIKE and who act like they like THEM.

Figure out stuff you can do with your kids. Figure out ways to let them know they’re loved and build their self-esteem. Don’t send them out in the world looking for codependent relationships to “complete” themselves. Send them out the door knowing who they are and that they’re fantastic people and have a support system behind them and they’re not on their own in this world. Don’t have them running around trying to have kids so they have someone that will love them unconditionally. That’s YOUR job.

Handle your business before some teenager handles it for you.


Twitter: BillCammack
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  1. Great advice, Bill.
    Makes me think you`d make a good father, should you ever decide to change your priorities in life. 😉

    1. hahaha Thanks, Fishingrod. 🙂

      It’s not that. It’s just that I’ve seen a lot of parents try a lot of strongarm tactics that don’t work because they don’t have any clout with their kids. They hand out all these rules and orders and the kids fake it like they’re going to follow them then go out in the street and do whatever they like.

      It’s a better stance to be smarter and in control, but still COOL and TRUSTED. If you tell your kid “Don’t have sex, period”, that kid isn’t going to come to you with questions about condom use, because then they’d have to admit that they weren’t going to follow your orders.

      If you try to shield your kids from having sex by not telling them anything about it, they’re going to learn about it from their friends or the media anyway.. So the best deal is to be proactive and on the scene so maybe you can guide them away from problems or if they encounter some, they’ll come to YOU for sage and timely advice.

  2. Normally when someone who doesn’t have kids, even psychologists and counselors, gives advice it has an entirely false ring to it due to their inexperience. The statements are too broad.
    Managing a kid on a day to day basis can be an extremely difficult, stressful, and definitely unappreciated job until they have their own. First and foremost it’s your duty to make sure your kid stays safe. Hence all the rules the strong arming etc from the get go. Early safety seldom allows for a “let’s sit and discuss” strategy. If my kid steps in front of a bus or more likely, is running up and down the aisles of a store where she might get cart-clocked I want her to react immediately to the next thing I say… which reminds me of the time I got in a shouting match with some nosey a** b*tch in Wal-Mart who needed to be minding her own damn business. That’s actually a funny story from a few angles especially the one where my ex-wife watched our “debate” from a distance for a few before walking up, strategically standing on the opposite side of this moron and then proceeded to tear her a new a-hole. It’s a tough job, every kid is different, and if I ever criticize another parent it’s gonna be trivial, about style, not intent… but I digress, ahem…

    Also parents don’t always catch how much their kids are changing and the need to shift tactics. This isn’t because parents are stupid so much as that there are frequently a whole lot of moving parts involved especially if you factor in that they have their own lives to manage. More than anything what we need is a reminder such as this, to step back take a look, and decide if what we are doing is still effective let alone counter productive. I don’t want to begin to get into how lessons for one kid may or not apply to another. Geez…

    What I liked best about this post is that it’s taken from direct observation or discussion, not generated in an office vacuum, and it has specific tactics. They may not always yield the parents’ desired result in regards teen sex, but I believe it’s more likely to than the usual. Now I just have to remember reading this 8 years from now… 😀

    1. Interesting comments, Steve. Thanks. 🙂

      I was just talking to a friend of mine yesterday about his kids and I told him something along the lines of what you said here. I can kind of empathize with his position, but I can’t really FEEL IT because everyone that I have a relationship to, I have *NO* responsibility for. If they act too stupid or they’re dragging me down, I can let them know what they’re doing and then if it’s still not working out, I can just let it go. It doesn’t feel good, but I can do it, and I have.

      There are some kids (and some adults, of course) that are just JERKS and there’s no way around that. No matter how nice you are to them or how strict, they’re still going to be JERKS.

      I was put in charge of a jerk one time, because I figured she’d respect me. What I found out was.. She respected me BECAUSE I wasn’t in charge of her. Once I was in charge, she made it her job to NOT do what I told her to do. Simple stuff. Nothing special. She just absolutely refused to comply. It was only for a couple of hours and I think I lasted less than ONE. I never accepted responsibility over a kid I didn’t have authority over ever again, and I never will.

      So I realize that there aren’t any general rules for interacting with kids, because they all have different personalities, and you just have to HOPE and PRAY that your kid’s cool and rational. I’d like to believe that selecting a genetically superior female helps, but I don’t think there are any clinical results supporting that! 😀

      My point, honestly, is that if your kids aren’t learning from YOU and asking YOU and talking to YOU and they aren’t comfortable coming to YOU with problems, they’re going to learn about life in the streets… or God Forbid, BET. If that happens, then you have nobody to blame but yourself, because you had the opportunity to build a relationship with this kid from day 01 and you didn’t do it.

      I just feel that there are too many parents trying to get respect they’ll never get, because they don’t deserve it and are trying to ride on the “I gave you life” props. Nobody cares about that. What’s done is done. Somebody laid down with somebody and a kid came out. Period. Get over it. Get your respect by being respectable and get to know your kids, especially your daughters, before someone else becomes the center of their universe. BELEEDAT!

  3. “Somebody laid down with somebody and a kid came out. Period. Get over it. Get your respect by being respectable and get to know your kids”
    Agreed! It doesn’t matter to the kid how or why they came into the world be it planned, accident, a result of violence or someone’s desperate quest for love. What matters is what you do with them after they’re here. And yeah, just as important as handing down the rules of the road, you have to show them how to live. You are leading, by example, another person towards adulthood not just keeping them submissive to your will until they can feed and shelter themselves. If you’re a dad with a daughter and you treat the women you have around you like they’re worthless then that’s the kind of “love” she’s gonna’ be looking for. At least until she starts getting her head squared away sometime in her 30’s. IF she’s smart. If you want your kid to appreciate the world beyond the provincial little town you live in you must do so yourself, etc, etc… Well maybe it’s not even about making them care about what you care about so much as that it’s ok to show you have a depth of feeling and connection with things that are important to you. Passion. Oh, and then there’s integrity. Granted there’s no way to get around the drama of the teen years but when you make a mistake, you need to own it. Don’t play that infallible B.S. if you want your kids to tell you stuff.

    1. Excellent points, Steve. 🙂

      Definitely, if a guy doesn’t naturally feel civil or friendly towards women, I think he should at least play it off in front of his daughter, because she is, in fact, a young woman. She’s going to pick up on his behaviors and belief system which could taint her future interactions with guys.

      I’m consistently less surprised that a lot of guys don’t get that, or maybe they just don’t give a damn.

  4. A dude like that isn’t going to see his own kids as any less of an object then the women he spends time with. Get me? Like that viewpoint would inform all of his relationships. So why would he give a flaming monkey poop what his kids thought? They’re not seeing that they’re part of the problem as they bad mouth or otherwise disrespect the adults they’re with for not being enough of this or that.

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