In this month’s articles from Boris Gindis’ Post Adoption Learning Center, I was shocked to read that in Bisbee, Arizona, prom “gift bags” will include condoms. Yes folks, that is plural. Not one, but two condoms in each gift bag, accompanying more typical gifts such as picture frames and mints. For the full article by Theresa Twogood, follow this link. Being a member of a church that believes in abstinence before marriage and fidelity after, I was sickened by this news.
Does this mean I have my head in the sand in the year 2008? No. I know there are kids out there experimenting with sex. However, reading the article brought back memories of a conversation I had with a very wise friend. We were discussing how some parents put their daughters on birth control to avoid unwanted pregnancies. At the time, my oldest daughter was only 5 years old so I was interested in my friend’s viewpoint since she already had a teen. She said “No way, no how. It’s the same as me saying, ‘I have raised you to be morally clean, but here…take this pill, because I really don’t trust you. I really don’t think you will be able to succeed at abstinence.’ You’re sending them a mixed message if you teach abstinence but give them birth control.”
I would have to agree with her and with the author of the article as well, who stated, “Don’t allow anyone, especially the local school board to tell you that giving these items ‘doesn’t promote or give permission to such activities’, just as any responsible and level-headed parent wouldn’t give their student a concealed handgun to carry on their person, for the night of the prom with the words, ‘don’t use it, but keep it close so that you will be safe.’ We all learned a long time ago that we can’t give a child something and then tell them to not use it. It doesn’t work and it leads to trouble every single time.”
So what is a parent to do? Perhaps instead of handing out condoms, we should have parents a bit more involved in their children’s lives. Finding out where they are going after the prom, who they will be with, and whose parents will be supervising could go alot further in saving the heartache of lost virginity on Prom night (Isn’t that also called a “one-night stand”?) than handing out condoms ever will. For that matter, make sure they come home by 1 or 2 a.m. Who says prom has to last all night? You don’t want the words “A Night to Remember” to be associated with years of heartache from one very bad decision.