Megan's Advice to Teens: Wait To Have Sex
Megan's Story as told by Abstinence Educator Annetta Cooper
Have you ever wondered why? Why are teenagers having sex so early? Why are there so many teen pregnancies? Why aren’t parents doing more to teach their children about the dangers of early sexual activity?
I have wondered all those things. God has placed in my heart a passion to find out the answers to those questions and to seek real-life solutions for these everyday situations.
Our No Regrets program identifies the key points that teens need to hear reinforced, and presents those points in an interesting, compelling way.
When we enter a local Junior High or High School we talk about things like consequences and healthy relationships. We present skits to help teens think through complicated situations and learn techniques to refuse sexual advances.
We give an opportunity for questions in a non-threatening environment. There is even potential for individual follow up later on through a center visit or further abstinence counseling.
The most effective technique we have been able to utilize is storytelling - not the fairy tale, happily ever after kind, but the real life kind, told by a teen that has been there. I am excited to share with you the story of one person who decided to make a difference.
I met Megan in a parenting class that we teach at Pregnancy Resources called New Parent Basics. She and her boyfriend came regularly with her mother to learn about pre-natal care, pregnancy care and newborn care. Another young couple joined her every week along with a variety of other pregnant women.
One class period I mentioned that I had just come back from teaching middle school students about appropriate relationships and wished I had a pregnant teen that would be willing to share her story in person with them.
Megan responded right away. She told me that she wished she would have had someone her age to talk to her and tell her how much pregnancy would impact her life.
Megan has come with me now to two different middle schools and shared her story 5 different times. She talked about how she had to grow up fast, and wasn’t always able to go out with friends as she had in the past.
She told about how people looked down on her for being “16 and pregnant” and the disgusted looks she received from adults who saw her at work.
She shocked the teens with her stories about rape and psychiatric treatment and how many of her relationships were forever altered. Her dad, for example, told her she was a disgrace to the whole family and he would not allow his younger daughter to associate with her.
Megan was honest and told of how she and her boyfriend fought and how she felt controlled and “owned.” And she painted a very real picture of how hard it was to work and finish school, all the while taking care of her gradually changing body.
I know the students were forever impacted by Megan’s story. I know I was. She told me some things that I will never forget.
I will never underestimate the very real influence of drugs and alcohol on a teen as well as the very real and strong pressures that challenge a teen daily. It strengthens my resolve to continue telling teens how to have No Regrets.
Megan has regrets. She shared them openly. She wished she would have “waited to have a baby with someone [she] knew would stay because [she] wants a better life for [her] baby.” She also wished she “could have finished school before [she] got pregnant.” But, in Megan’s words:
“I have a lot more stress on me now, but I don’t look at my baby as regret. I look at her as a turning point and a lesson to try and prevent other teens from doing the same thing.”
Her advice to teens is “wait to have sex because each time you do, you lose a little more of yourself with each person. And, a lot of the time…you’ll regret even doing it, but it will be too late.”
Posted on Fri, March 9, 2012
by Annetta Cooper