People often ask me to what do I attribute the fact that teens are so receptive of my message.
Because most of my presentation can be applied to more than just their decisions about sex.
When I approach it from this angle, the teens are less likely to believe I’m just another adult trying to ruin their “fun” by demonizing sex.
And one of the analogies I make is comparing their decision-making to writing a book, which really resonates with students.
Here’s what I tell them:
“We’re all writing a book…it’s called ‘The Story of Our Lives.’ And someone will read your book one day…including your kids and grandkids. Because the life you will live as an adult is based on the choices you’re making right now.
Let’s say you write an essay for school and you go back years later and read things in that essay you don’t like. If you wrote it by hand, you could erase the portions that don’t sound so good.
Real life doesn’t work like that. Even when you change your behavior you can’t change your history…I want you to write the story you would want to be read about you. I don’t want you to have to go through the rest of your life lying about your story because you’re embarrassed about choices you’ve made.
I once read this post on social media: ‘When you write the story of your life, please don’t give anyone else the pen.’
If you don’t want to use drugs or drink alcohol, but you give in to pressure from your friends and do it, you’re giving them the pen to decide whether you get arrested as a teenager.
When you don’t want to have sex, but you allow others to pressure you to have sex (whether that’s your friends or your partners), you’re basically giving them the pen to determine whether you put yourself at risk of getting pregnant, contracting an STD or suffering emotional pain. Why would you give anyone else the power to determine how your story could read?”
Helping Girls Realize the Power of Their Pen
This book analogy helps my students realize many of the things your daughter and every teen girl should know:
They need to overcome the “disease to please.”
“When you said, ‘Don’t give others the pen to write your story,’ it really had me thinking about the things I did to please other people and not me. Thank you and keep doing what you are doing.”
They need to respect themselves and deserve respect from others.
“I came into this class not knowing how much I don’t respect myself. After this class, I’m changing. I will put limits on where I can go, and I will not let anyone have the pen to my life. This class changed my view on everything, and I will wait.”
They have the power and should never give that power away.
“You changed how I look at myself. I used to believe that guys have the say so of what happens, but I was wrong. You are writing your own book; don’t give the pen to someone else. I’m so happy I got to learn about this. Thank you so much!”
They deserve the best and should never settle for less.
“This class opened-up my eyes to so many new things. Thank you! I have learned what I want and what I deserve in life. Don’t settle for less and be the only person to be writing the book of my life. Thank you for everything, and I feel I will be so much better for it.”
They are NOT their choices and can always write a new chapter.
“Thank you so much for sharing people’s past so we know what is at risk for not just us but for our partner. There’s a lot I regret. I just wish someone told me sooner so I wouldn’t have so many regrets, but I appreciate you helping us move on to start a new chapter for our book.”
“After hearing you speak, I realized I let myself get used in exchange for things less valuable than what I’m giving. Well not anymore! I have values. I am not my choices. Only I define my worth, and I won’t let anyone write the story of my life other than ME! Thank you!”
How many of the above principles does your daughter not only know, but put into practice?
Which one(s) does she struggle with?
Because if she lacks confidence in even one of these areas, you have cause for concern Mom.
But thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the end of your daughter’s story.
You can help her write the story she would like to be read about herself.
One she’ll look forward to sharing with her kids and grandkids.
Just keep reminding her that she has the power to pen the “Story of Her Life” with the decisions she makes now as a teen and every day thereafter.
And while your daughter can never go back and erase her history, she can always write a new chapter.
It’s called “grace.”
And that is what will make for an awesome ending to her story.
P.S. If your daughter is struggling to write the kind of life story that she’d want to be read about herself, there’s a good chance she hasn’t confidently embraced those principles I mentioned. But the good news is this: Your daughter is still a teen and there’s still plenty of time for her to write new chapters. Never let her forget she holds the power to pen her own ending. Starting now…
P.P.S. Every teen girl needs to know they can pen their own powerful life stories. Please share this post and help spread the word. Thank you!