Every word that came out of your mouth was the truth. The truth shall set me free now thanks to you.
~High School Student
Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth—that’s what teenagers want, but find so hard to get from adults.
If you don’t believe me, check out the following excerpts from two students’ letters:
“In my personal opinion, your lesson was one of the realest, no the realest lesson I’ve had in my four years of high school. I’ve had a few lessons like the one you brought to us, but yours was the entire truth.”
“The truth is scary but I’m glad you were caring enough to say it. Thank you for what you are doing.”
WOW! Who would ever think teenagers would not only recognize and acknowledge that what I’m telling them is the truth, but also thank me for giving them that TRUTH?
Why is this generation of youth so hungry for TRUTH?
Because they have seen what is happening all around them as a result of sex, and they have come to the realization that there HAS to be a BETTER way to live meaningful lives!
Why is it that adults so seldom share TRUTH with teens when talking to them about sex?
In many cases, parents aren’t giving their childrenn the truth because they don’t know the truth! When I conduct parenting workshops, the few parents who attend are always blown away when they hear the stats/facts on STDs. Among other things, they aren’t aware that
- there are more than 25 STDs today
- certain STDs are spread by skin-to-skin contact
- the leading cause of throat cancer is HPV, an STD contracted through oral sex.
As a result, parents are giving their children advice based on outdated information, which often results in a cavalier attitude about sex.
Parents must understand their children need information that will help them face the real world. A world that is vastly different from the world the parents grew up in a generation ago. The consequences of engaging in sexual activity for teens today are far more severe than they were for their parents.
If your child has ever needed to hear the truth, it is now!
How should your child hear the truth?
In the words of a student:
“Thank you so much for doing what you do. Do Not Stop Speaking, because if you don’t tell us the truth, who will? Never think you are wasting your time.”
“If you don’t tell us the truth, who will?” That question breaks my heart! It is sad that many students have to rely on a guest speaker to give them the truth about sex instead of being confident they will get the truth from their parents!
If you are a parent and have no clue how to approach this topic with your child, I beg you to do whatever it takes to be your child’s primary source of information on this topic.
Following are a few tips:
- Get educated by reading books and attending every parenting workshop on this topic that is offered. You can’t teach what you don’t know!
- Start early and talk often.
- Don’t allow the physical act of sex to dominate the conversation. Talk about relationships as well!
- Stress the rewards of abstaining but also explain the risks of having sex.
- Provide clear messages about your values and the value of abstinence.
If you don’t educate your child about sex, someone else will.
Between interaction with the culture, media and their peers, this year your teenagers will be exposed to one hundred thousand messages about sex. How many of these will come from you? ~Dennis Rainey, President of FamilyLife
If you are a parent and have found a successful way to talk to your child about sex, I encourage you to share your approach below so that other parents can learn from you.