Teen Parenting Advice - Discussing AIDS with Your Kids
There are few subjects in more need of teen parenting advice than the topic of AIDS. This devastating disease has been misunderstood for too long, and it should be discussed with your children so that they have a clear understanding of how it is contracted, what it means to be HIV positive-as opposed to full onset of AIDS-what the current treatments are, and most of all, that they can not get it by being friends with some one who has it.
The parenting guidelines for this discussion are simple: research as much as you can before the talk so that you are informed and current on the latest information and research. Also, ask your kids what they know this way you can address any fear they may have and provide intelligent answers to their concerns. As you find out how much they already know you will be able to better understand how they are dealing with it. Help them to understand that AIDS is a disease that is passed through blood, and not the air. They can not get it by hugging or playing with another person who has it. It is a misconception to tell your children that they will never get HIV. Instead of telling them they will never get it, educate them as to how to keep from contracting it. Talk about needle use, talk about how it is transmitted through blood by intercourse, seamen, and breast milk; and above all, do not let them think that it is a homosexual disease; that type of ignorance hurts us all.
Explain that the HIV virus is a precursor to AIDS, but that there are new medications every day that help expand life expectancy and help HIV positive people live very full lives-some have had the virus for years with no symptoms of AIDS. But you also need to tell them the truth, so far it is still terminal. This is just a very short segway into teen parenting advice and AIDS. I highly recommend www.talkingwithkids.org, which is a website in co operation with "the more you know" television commercials. They have an excellent article on talking to children of different developmental stages about the subject, including a paragraph on how to teach your child to deal with the misconceptions that their school friends may have.
When giving teen parenting advice you want to explain the facts to your kids about AIDS and the various developmental stages.