Your 14-year-old daughter has been acting weird for several days. After some time she finally tells you: “My boyfriend wants me to go on the pill but I don’t know if I want to. What should I do?”

Learn to read between the lines. Your daughter’s concerns may not be about taking the pill itself, but about something else. Maybe she is feeling under pressure to have sex, or maybe her boyfriend wants her to go on the pill because he doesn’t want to use condoms.

Try to broaden the conversation. Even if she doesn’t want to discuss this further with you, your daughter will at least think about whether there are other concerns she has about her boyfriend’s request (for example, doing something she doesn’t want to do).

It’s also illegal for children under 16 to have sexual intercourse so you might want to discuss this with her too.

Pill is not the only contraceptive and it may not work for your daughter. While talking with her, encourage her to think about other options.

“Why do you think he wants you to go on the pill? If you are both thinking about sex, you both need to feel ready – if one of you is a bit unsure maybe it’s best to wait?”

“If you decide that you want to start having sex, the pill can be a good way to prevent pregnancy. To make sure that you keep yourself safe from infection, you also have to use a condom. You need to feel comfortable discussing these things with your partner. You might decide to wait until you are older and that’s okay, it’s your decision.”

“The pill can be an effective way to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, but it should be used with condoms, not instead of them, because it doesn’t prevent STIs. Thinking about contraception and protection before beginning a sexual relationship is a really good thing.”

“Only you can decide if you are ready for that step. If you’re not 100% sure, then it is okay to say “no” as it might mean that you’re not ready.”