Many students are often surprised to discover that “sex” is only a fraction of what I cover with them in my Sex-Ed classes. I spend a lot of time talking to teens about having a vision and setting goals for themselves. I also let them know that I expect greatness from them, which is something I encourage parents to do in The Sex Talk Every Parent Needs to Have DVD.
Last week I posted about a mom, after my own heart, who took my DVD and ran with it! I shared the first part of her testimonial of how she made the DVD work for her and her 13-year-old son. If you haven’t already, I strongly suggest that you read it here.
Today is Part 2 of this amazing mom’s mission to open up the lines of communication with her son.
1. Share My Expectations with My Son
I created a list of my expectations for my son. I made sure that for each one I used positive words, which presupposes positive actions. I read through the list with him and asked him if he had any concerns. I also offered an explanation for each expectation so he would know what I meant. He said he understood. These expectations are now posted on his bedroom door. The full quote from your DVD escapes me at the moment, but I remember something about “greatness being achieved when greatness is expected…” I may have it wrong at this moment, but that quote is what sparked the idea to write down and post my expectations of him.”
The quote the mom is referring to is,
It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him. –John Steinbeck
2. Address Son According to My Expectations of Him, using Verbal Affirmations
I had always used positive words when addressing him…such as “Scholar,” “Man of God,” or “Gentleman.” I use words that describe who God says he is, who I believe he is, and what I expect from him. I recently added “Protector” to the list. I remind him in a complimentary way, that he is a protector of women. As he is just entering the teen years and has not had sex, I am using your message of “Being a ‘Protector, not Predator’ of women,” to reinforce and teach him to value women and how he should conduct himself with them.
3. Create a Vision Board
I created a vision board kit for James that included step-by-step instructions and materials for creating vision boards. His vision boards cover 11 areas of his life, pictures of what he wants the future to look like, a written description of the future, action steps to see the future vision come to pass, and descriptions of things he’s already done to demonstrate he’s on track.
I treated this like a family project and worked with him. I helped him with dreaming, finding pictures in magazines/Internet, cutting and gluing. The first 45 minutes was grueling. He expressed feeling overwhelmed. I was patient and simply reiterated what and why we were doing the project. At minute 46, it clicked. He realized he only had to dream and not make the future happen right then. The project ended up being a lot of fun. He was so engaged and so excited about what he was going to do with his life. He took his time really thinking about what he wanted for his life. I was very proud of him.
His boards are hanging on the wall in his bedroom. I direct his attention to the boards from time to time when he needs to make a decision. I ask him if his decisions are in line with his vision for his life. I leave him room to consider the consequences/rewards of each decision and help him make a good choice. Like you said, it gives him a “Yes” so that he can say no when he needs to.
Taking a Page from This Mom’s “Talk”
When it comes to having “The Talk” with your child, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. In The Sex Talk Every Parent Needs to Have, I include several strategies that have proven effective with teens in my classes. This mom took some of my methods and adapted them to work for her son. And in turn, I believe she provides some great ideas that any parent can try with their child.
Most notable to me, was how both mom and son, set expectations for each other. Now both of them are on the same page, and it sets the stage for open and honest dialogue between the two of them. At the end of the day, that’s the kind of talk you want to have with your child.
Have you set clear expectations for your child when it comes to sex and relationships? Have you opened up the doors for your child to set expectations of you? If so, please share in the comment section below.