It’s been about year since the shocking statistics on teen sex were all over the news. But after the wailing and gnashing, the to-hell-in-a-hand basket moaning, and the calls from this sector for more sex education while another sector rails that that is what got us into this mess — then what? After a year to fall into complacency, these latest stats have become the new normal — until another half a decade goes by and we are shocked by even worse statistics.
Here is the statistic I want to see. I want to know how many teens are having sex while their parents watch. I’m going to bet that the percentage is pretty low.
So, I am going to draw the conclusion from these statistics that parents are not watching their kids.
Sometimes when teen pregnancy and/or abortion rates come under discussion, one will hear the observation that teen pregnancy and/or abortion is not really the issue: teen sex is the problem. And one hears and reads all kinds of reasons for this — peer pressure, media pressure, low expectations, low self-esteem, lack of parental communication of higher standards, raging hormones — the list is endless. But even teen sex is not really the issue, because teen sex is a function of lack of supervision.
Supervision means watching over, as in eyes on, not as in overlooking. It means having the object of supervision in your line of sight. It means keeping said object of supervision in sight. I hate to belabor the obvious — another word that has to do with sight (“to SEE the way”), but it is time someone said to parents that the reason your youngsters are having sex is because you are failing to supervise — to watch — them.
Now I will grant that there are few kids who sneak out of the windows at night or skip out of the school building to which a dutiful parent has entrusted them — but I will bet that most of the sexually active kids really did not have to go all that much trouble to create the occasion for fornication.
So if you do not want your kid to be counted in the latest — or the next — batch of shocking statistics, the answer is really simple. Supervise your kid. Eyes on. If your eyes can’t be on, then you make certain that the eyes of another adult are.
Oh, to be sure, educate and give them solid spiritual training and tell them your expectations — I mean research does show that all these statistically result in a higher age of onset of sexual activity — but nothing, I guarantee nothing, will discourage teen sexual activity like the eyes of an adult on the kids.