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Why I Will Give My Middle Schooler Condoms

My son likes to ride his bicycle and, as all parents should, I have equipped him with the proper safety guards to do so. He has a helmet and he knows that he is not allowed to get on his bike until it is securely in place. I’ve pounded this into his head (no pun intended) from the day we brought home his first ride on toy.

We also, as a family, wear our seat belts in the car. In fact, I don’t even turn the key in the ignition until my seat belt is fastened, the kids are secured in their car seats, and any passenger, adult or otherwise, does the same. On the off chance that in a rush I forget to do this, and it has happened, my 5-year-old is so conditioned to appreciate this safety measure, he will cry out that someone is not buckled before I even have the chance to back down our driveway.

One of the hardest things I’ve had to accept as a parent is that I cannot protect my children at all times. I can’t walk ahead of him as he rides his bicycle in our neighborhood, kicking stray rocks from his path that may cause him to tumble from his bike. He has fallen and likely will again in the future, but I can protect him by making him wear a helmet.

I can’t stop inattentive drivers from pulling out in front of us or swerving into our lane of traffic, but I can purchase a car seat and ensure that in the event of an accident he is as secure as possible.

There are other things I can’t control too. My child possesses free will, you see, and this means I can’t decide when he will make the decision to have sex. I hope that he waits. I hope that his first time is in college with a girl that he cares about, but I have to accept the fact that he might be in high school. He might even be in middle school.

I plan to give my child condoms at an early age. I don’t think that the decision by the Massachusetts’ school committee in Springfield to distribute condoms to 12-year-olds is outrageous. In fact, I can’t understand why you wouldn’t want your child to have access to proper protection.

My son wears a helmet, but that does not cause him to go outside and hurl himself head first to the ground because his head is protected. When traveling we are all buckled into our seats, but I don’t drive recklessly because we have safety restraints. My son will have condoms available to him later in life and I do not believe that access to them will be a catalyst in his decision to become sexually active.

What I do know is that children that don’t wear helmets are more likely to suffer serious injury or die in the event of an accident. The same is true for those who don’t fasten their seat belts. To me, condoms are no different. They keep my child safe from disease or an unwanted pregnancy with a partner.

I want my child to be as safe as possible and that includes teaching him about and providing him with the means to practice safe sex.

Photo credit: iStock Photos

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