I’ve always been confused on what I want with my body. I’ve grown up around family who tells me, “You’re going to have sex. You’re going to drink and go to parties,” as if I couldn’t avoid doing it. The problem is I listened. I started drinking, and it became a problem. It’s something I always regretted.
I’m still a virgin, and thanks to your lesson, I realized that’s one thing I can truly still take control of. I finally feel like I can control something.
You really helped me wake up to [realize] what I’ve been doing to myself. I really appreciate what you’ve done for me. Please come back to help other girls like me.
There are a couple of things the young lady wrote in the above letter that I think you may be able to learn from in order to help your daughter make good choices.
1. She listened to what her family told her and acted accordingly. Therein lays the problem.
This young lady’s family sent her a clear message: They didn’t believe in her ability to make good choices and believed she lacked the self-control necessary to avoid sex and alcohol. And what does that message say to a girl about her true value when her own family believes she is destined to engage in unhealthy behavior?
I’m sure this young lady’s family didn’t realize how their words and low expectations would impact her choices. But, the bottom line is, as a parent you can’t expect your daughter to make healthy choices when you don’t even believe it’s possible. And she needs you to believe it’s possible.
2. She was excited to feel like she could be in control of something.
So often we hear that teenagers are lazy and irresponsible, and it’s sometimes hard to imagine they really do want to be in control of their choices and not have their choices control them. Believe it or not, it bothers teens when they feel out of control, as another young lady writes below.
Wow, this class has really opened my eyes. I honestly don’t wanna have sex any more. It’s like when you’re doing it, you don’t think about all of these consequences. I wake up and ask myself every day, ‘Why did you have sex with him?’ and I can’t even answer it…I am going to try to stay abstinent. I refuse to tell my mom. I never want her to find out. I hate myself for not being able to control this stuff.
Deep down, I think everyone wants to be able to control the direction their lives take. Yes, even teenagers. When you’re trying to get your teen to make good choices, you’ll have more success if you can tap into her need to be in control of her life than you will if you only talk to her about the potential consequences of her choices.
What can You Learn from this Letter?
Your daughter needs to know what your expectations are regarding love, sex, relationships and drinking. Let her know you believe in her and you know she’s more than capable of making choices that will set her up for success. Talk to your daughter about how good she will feel when she controls her choices instead of giving her choices the power to control her life.
She’ll listen. I promise.