It’s not easy being a parent today. Your teens are inundated with so many competing voices that influence their decision-making. I certainly empathize with the countless number of parents that have reached out to me over the years, seeking advice on how to talk with their teens about sex. Sometimes it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. So I thought it would be great to hear directly from teens.
I believe the following letters will speak for themselves…
I thought I was in love with this boy until your class. My mother has always told me these things, but she yelled so I didn’t listen. I really want to thank you. Now I will be a virgin until I’m married.
2. Remaining Silent:
My mother has never attempted to talk to me about sex. Like me, many teens have not had the sex talk with their parents. Having you come in and talk to them is a great thing. Because of you Ms. Jackie, I no longer feel left out because I’m not having sex. After you came and spoke to my class, I feel proud of being a virgin and I will not let sex get in the way of reaching my goals.
Check out a previous post on this topic, When Silence is NOT Golden
Your presentation was so informative to me. It really changed my perspective on sex. I used to think that since so many teens were doing it, it’s not that big of a deal. I really hope that when I have a daughter, I will be able to teach her this information so she can save sex until marriage. I know my mother didn’t do that, she just told me not to do it or else I’d be in trouble.
4. Being Too Strict:
I grew up with very strict parents who drilled into my head, all the things I couldn’t do and all the ways I should act. This control led to nothing but rebelliousness and hate for authority. Once I reached high school, I realized that there was so much more to the world than the box my parents kept me in. From there I started drinking, doing drugs, and even having sex…After hearing you speak, I’ve started to rethink a lot of my choices and have begun to restructure my life. Thank you so much for coming and possibly saving my life.
5. Having Low Expectations:
I’ve always believed that I wanted to be abstinent and my mom never believed me. So, as a result, I felt like I wouldn’t ever have enough self-respect to remain abstinent. But, after listening to you, I feel confident that I will remain abstinent and I am proud of my decision.
I wish more parents understood how much influence they have regarding their children’s sexual decisions. A 2012 survey conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy revealed the following:
Nearly nine in 10 teens (87%) say that it would be much easier for teens to delay sexual activity and avoid teen pregnancy if they were able to have more open, honest conversations about these topcs with their parents.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you hanging! I will be back in the future to share with you what teens tell me parents can/should do to help decrease their likelihood of having sex.
What are some other “What Not to Do’s” that you may have learned with your own teen(s) through trial and error that you would like to share?