Mother Knows Best
Mom deserves a lot more credit than we give her. Here are 10 things that she got right.
"Save yourself for marriage," Mom used to say. And even
in today's permissive society, it rings true. Sexually transmitted diseases can
cause pelvic pain, infertility, urinary problems, and neurological
complications. AIDS kills.
The condom failure rate is thought to be about 5%, but
unplanned pregnancy due to incorrect use of condoms may happen in up to
one-third of women. And due to the minute size of the HIV virus, which allows
it to slip through invisible holes in the rubber, condoms may not reliably
"Although mothers think their children don't listen to them
when it comes to sex, teens report accepting more information and attitudes
from their parents than from any other source," Mike Smith, PhD, tells
WebMD. "It's better to develop an open relationship so they'll feel free to
come to you with questions, rather than having just one big talk."
Smith, director of AIDS Education Research at Mercer University
School of Medicine in Macon, Ga., has other practical tips to keep the lines of
communication open while decreasing risky behavior. Get to know your teenager's
friends. Discourage steady dating and unsupervised time, but encourage group
outings. Don't let girls date older men, as this is the highest-risk situation
for teen pregnancy.
"Learn how to listen," Smith says. "Share your own
personal values -- don't preach."
Mom, you were right when it comes to our health and so much more. Thank you
for always having our best interests at heart, even though we gave you grief
over it. We owe our lives to you, and we love you on Mother's Day and