• Blandina Malinzi

Risky behaviors youths should avoid!

We all remember what’s it’s like to go through puberty and push further through adolescence. During this time emotions run high as change begins and how you are with people.

During this time there is a lot of peer pressure for adolescents, for example most students start engaging in sexual activities because some of their friends are having sex, which puts them at risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases. Drinking alcohol or using drugs before intercourse.

Risky behaviors can affect the adolescent’s performance in school and can have huge implication later in their lives. (Photo courtesy of pixabay)

Risky behaviors can impact the lives of youths and those around them, it is therefore, important for parents, educators and guardians to become fully aware of the prevalence, factors, and sustainable solutions for high risk behaviors in adolescents. As researchers suggest that teens tend to maintain a close relationship with their family during adolescents (, 2012).

As teens grow, their capacity for reasoning has increased self-discipline and independence transitions too, which is only natural.

Some of the most common known adolescents’ risky behaviors include, sexual activity, substance abuse, cigarette smoking, preventable injury and violence, including self- harm.

The above challenges are due to children’s’ inability to discuss with their parents especially to their mothers about sex. In Africa sex education is also considered a taboo, and to talk about with your parents or elders. Therefore, out of fear of speaking about sex with their parents, adolescents end up talking to their friends, and thus receiving bad advice and misinformation.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay)

Another case is that most parents and their children don’t know the risks associated with early engagement in sexual activities by young adolescents including the many possible infections that come along with it.

Even though STI’s can be treated, they are other symptoms and complications from such infections as herpes and HIV/AIDS, it’s important for parents and their children to do research and go for regular checkups and seek advice and therapy.

We work closely with our community and schools to educate and raise awareness among adolescents and educating parents on Sexual and Reproductive Health related issues.

We use 3D animation as a tool to educate and raise awareness in different areas where girls in local communities are affected. The 3D animation, Harakati za Lucy is an edutainment methodology for our project, which seeks to harness the power of modern technology too not only, entertain but also to convey educational messages.

(Image courtesy of Tai studio)

We discuss various topics on Sexual Reproductive Health from Early Marriage, Equality, and Early pregnancies.

In order for this approach to successfully work, parents need to educate themselves first and be willing to be open with their children about sex education.

They should also find out what he or she already knows and also learn about what their schoolmates or friends are doing, meet even their parents and get to know them on a regular basis. Parents should create positive atmosphere and relation such that when sex topics come up, their children are open, free and don’t feel scared. Make them feel that they can come talk to you about anything at anytime.

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