Talking to Parents

Illustration of a teen and parent talking on a couch

Tips for talking to your parents about birth control

If you’re under 18 in Dallas, Texas you will need your parent’s consent to get birth control. If you’re on your parent’s insurance, you may also be wondering how to go about having the conversation about birth control with them. Don’t worry, we’ve got some tips!
Illustration of a young teen woman and a mom on the computer, around some birth control options.
Start with education You could start the conversation by discussing what you’ve learned about sexual health in school or from other reliable sources.
Express your motivation Clearly express and emphasize what your goal is, such as you want to learn more so you can make healthy and informed decisions.
Be calm, respectful and open Try to stay calm, and show the respect you would want your parents to show you even if your beliefs and values are different.
Previous slide
Next slide
Ask for their opinion and thoughts Engage your parent in the conversation by asking for their thoughts and opinions. This can make them feel respected and valued.
Acknowledge their concerns If your parent has concerns, don’t dismiss them. Acknowledge their worries and address them openly.
Prepare ahead of time Do some research beforehand and know what you want to say and ask. Having a few key points or questions can help guide the conversation and keep it focused.

Where might you have the conversation?

Choosing the right setting for the conversation about birth control can be just as important as what you say. It is important that you and your parent feel comfortable, and different locations can offer privacy or familiarity to help facilitate an open and honest conversation.

Here’s some places to try…
  • At home
  • During a car ride
  • During a walk or hike
  • At a coffee shop or casual restaurant
  • In a park
Illustration of a teen and parent talking over breakfast.

Talking to a few different parent types…

The Open-Minded Parent

It’s best to do your research before talking to them. Show that you appreciate them being open to this, and suggest going to talk to a doctor for more information. They want to know what’s up and may even accompany you to the doctors.
When talking to them you could say…
Previous slide
Next slide

The Cautious Parent

This parent may be hesitant to discuss birth control, but they recognize the importance of their teen’s health and future, and seek comprehensive information about birth control options. Share with them what you’ve researched, highlight the benefits, and the resources that is available in terms of who to go to for help and more info.
When talking to them you could say…
Previous slide
Next slide

The Strict Parent

This parent might hold conservative views and disapproval of birth control. It’s important to remain calm and respectful of their opinion. Sometimes it can help to point out the benefits of birth control besides preventing pregnancy, and suggest bringing a doctor into the conversation.
When talking to them you could say…
Previous slide
Next slide

Asking a parent’s consent for birth control

When you’re ready to seek your parent’s consent for using birth control, start by summarizing the discussion to show you both understand how the other feels. Repeat what you know about the pros and cons of using birth control to show you’ve done your research and are prepared for the responsibilities that come with using birth control. 
Previous slide
Next slide
Then, respectfully make a clear and direct request, such as, “Considering everything we’ve talked about and the research I’ve done, would you be comfortable giving your consent for me to start using birth control?” Or, “Would you be willing to continue the conversation with a doctor?”

After asking, give them time to respond and process, without pressing for an immediate answer. Be ready to accept their response, understanding that they may need more time or may have additional concerns, regardless of whether their immediate answer is a ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ or ‘I need more time to think about it.’

Illustration of a teen and parent talking on a couch

Alternatives to talking to your parent

We know it can be hard to approach a parent or guardian sometimes. Here are some other ideas to stay safe if talking to your parent is not an option.

Other birth control methods
There are methods you can get without parental consent. You can buy condoms, spermicide cream, or emergency contraception (often known as Plan B) at your local drugstore like Walgreens or CVS without parental permission.

Seek other sources of information If your parent continues to be uncomfortable discussing this, you can also seek information from other reliable sources. This might include a healthcare provider, school counselor, or other trusted adult such as another family member or friend.
Professional help If appropriate, suggest involving a healthcare provider or counselor in the discussion. They can provide accurate information and possibly help you and your parent feel more comfortable about this conversation.