Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tackling the Issues of Teenagers at Parties; PARENTLINE

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Tackling the Issues of Teenagers at Parties; PARENTLINE

Article excerpt

WITH the festive season approaching, national charity Parentline Plus has issued tips on how to handle teenagers and parties.

While this may be an exciting time for teenagers, it can be a very different story for anxious parents who worry about what their children might get up to.

Parentline Plus runs a website for parents of teens - www.gotateenager.org.uk - and a confidential, 24-hour Parentline, and is keen to show how important it is to talk to teens about risks they face, from unprotected sex to getting into a car while the driver is under the influence.

Christmas and the New Year are key times to discuss these issues as figures show conception rates in the under-18s peak during December and January.

A North East spokeswoman for Parentline Plus said: "As the parent of a teenager, you can't be with them 24 hours a day, but there are things you can do to help keep them safe."

The charity knows that the Christmas and New Year period can be a time when festive spirit, combined with alcohol, can change people's behaviour.

When asked why they had sex for the first time, 20% of men and 13% of women aged 15 to 19 said alcohol was the main reason.

Research also shows that 40% of sexually active 13 to 14-yearolds were drunk or under the influence of drugs when they first had sex, and they are much more likely to regret it. The spokes-woman added: "If the lines of communication around sex are opened up early age, it is easier to talk about sex and relationships and to give easy-to-understand messages on contraception and the importance of safe sex."

Evidence suggests that when teenagers talk to their parents about sex, they are more likely to delay sexual activity, have fewer partners and use contraception.

Parentline Plus tips for the Christmas and New Year party season include: Before your teen heads out, talk about not getting too drunk. Suggest they alternate between an alcoholic drink and water. …

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