Adolescent boys and girls are shy and afraid to seek information concerning sexual reproductive health. Furthermore, most parents do not feel comfortable to discuss issues concerning sexual reproductive health with their adolescent children. Is because the parents have inadequate knowledge on the subject matter or they are restricted to cultural and traditional norms?
The price that we pay due to the fact that we (parents and children) do not talk to each other is too high than its alternative. This is why I wonder why young people and their parents tend to opt for silence that eventually leads to a lot of sexual and reproductive health problems among young people? What is not considered is the fact that the aftermath impacts on both the child and the parents in one way or the other.
Unintended pregnancies are a usual feature in our society today. Some parents reach the point of disowning their own sons and daughters because they have impregnated someone or they have been impregnated. However, such scenarios could be easily avoided by dealing with what we think is shyness and be open and discuss the fundamental issues concerning adolescent sexual reproductive health.
Why should the life of a young and energetic person be in turmoil because he or she had no information while the parents, uncles and aunties had some information that could have helped to circumvent the situation?
Early and unintended pregnancies, STI infections, HIV and AIDS prevalence rate, obstetric fistula and many other SRH problems have increased because of several reasons and among the top is the fact that parents and their adolescent children are not open to each other. The reasons why we do not talk with our children or parents about SRH issues is that we are shy to talk.
Most young people are facing a lot of SRH problems and some are even losing their precious lives while their parents, uncles and aunts are capable of providing guidance and the necessary information on the subject matter. This reminds of an old adage in Chichewa that says mbewa yamanyazi inafera kuuna (a shy mouse died of starvation right in its hole while its fellow rodents had plenty to eat outside the hole).
The absence of parental guidance and counseling on issues of adolescent’s sexual and reproductive health has provided an opportunity for peer pressure and misconceptions to thrive in influencing the day today decision making of young people.