Are Your Teen Daughter’s Decisions About Sex Smarter Than An 8th Grader? ￼
I just finished up a very grueling teaching schedule over the past six weeks or so, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of 8th grade girls to teach for three days before heading into Spring Break this past Friday.
They were like sponges and showered me with so much love each day.
They even told me I would be a great counselor and asked if they could pay me for a therapy session. [Ummm, thanks for the vote of confidence, but no thanks!]
Over the three days I was with them, they also flooded my inbox on Instagram to say thank you, share their stories or ask for advice.
Today I’m sharing one young lady’s message because I think her concerns are something a lot of girls struggle with, and I think it would be great for you to read the response I gave her in case your daughter could also benefit from the advice.
Out of the Mouths of Babes
8th Grade Girl: Please come back to school!!! I could sit and listen to you talk all day long! The second I got in the car, all I talked about was you. You really made me feel much better! 💓
I never wanted to have sex before I was married and felt embarrassed when telling my friends, I’m waiting because they always say “So you’re one of those girls.” But now I don’t feel bad about it. Thank you for speaking with us! We love you 💓💓
Me: Awww!!! I’m so glad that you now feel confident in standing up for what you believe. You should never feel embarrassed about being true to yourself. When they say, “So you’re one of those girls,” just say, “Yes, I’m one of thosegirls that won’t have to stress out about being pregnant, getting an STD or being broken-hearted because a guy left me after sex. I’m one of those girls who cares more about reaching my goals than pleasing a boyfriend that I’ll probably break up with eventually anyway.”
Here’s something I heard in a movie that you should also remember: “Do now what others won’t do, so one day you’ll be able to do what they can’t do.” 👊🏼👊🏼
8th Grade Girl: I live with my grandparents, and I’ve never had the sex talk with anyone, so I was kinda clueless at the beginning. I didn’t even know that some STDs weren’t curable, nor did I know what oral sex was. Now I’m very clear about sex and the consequences you may face from having sex as a teen.
I also know what to look out for in boys. I get pressured easily and I was honestly scared I would be pressured into doing something because I’m not really good at speaking up about things. But I know that I’m worth more than just my body and if anyone tries to pressure me into anything, then all they want is sex and then they will probably leave. I don’t need to prove anything to guys by having sex with them. They should love me for who I am and not what I am. I feel a lot better about myself!
Me: This is what is most important…that you love yourself. Anybody else’s love should be extra. It will be nice to have, but you don’t need it in order to know you have value because you love yourself!
What An 8th Grader Can Teach You
Following are the things the young lady who messaged me faced that you don’t want your daughter to repeat:
1. She was embarrassed about wanting to wait until marriage to have sex.
Teen girls tell me this often.
As a matter of fact, I interviewed a couple for my 7 Secrets Revealed Masterclass who waited until marriage to have sex.
When I asked them to tell me what they would tell their teen selves, the wife said she would tell herself to be bold about her standards and to never be embarrassed about the fact she was abstaining.
She never wanted her sexually active friends to think she was judging their choices or that she was a “goody too shoes.”
She also said that when she compares the wonderful life she is now enjoying to the lives her friends are living, she wishes she had been bolder about why she was making her choices in order to possibly influence their choices so they could have avoided negative consequences.
Unfortunately, so much pressure is placed on teen girls by the culture to go along with what they think everyone else is doing, that it takes a strong young lady to be unapologetically HERSELF!
So, even if your daughter is not having sex, I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s embarrassed to tell others. Share with her what I told the young lady above.
2. No adult had spoken with her about sex, so she was clueless about things she should have known about.
When I ask students in my class how many have talked with their parents about sex, typically no more than 50% will raise their hand. That’s a problem!
Parents have told me they didn’t think they needed to have a talk with their daughter because she was a “good girl” and they knew she wouldn’t risk her future by having sex.
Even though the young lady who sent the message on Instagram was committed to abstinence, she was also ignorant of the consequences of sex.
Who knows whether she would have had a weak moment at some point in the future and broken her commitment without knowing what was at risk?
Regardless of whether your daughter has told you she intends to abstain, and you believe she is strong enough to withstand temptations, she still needs to be educated about sex by the person who cares about her the most—a parent.
If you don’t feel qualified to speak with her, check out the resources on my website.
3. She was afraid she would comply with doing more sexually than she felt comfortable because she’s not good at speaking up for herself.
I’m glad this young lady realized that her inability to speak up for herself put her at risk of possibly going further than she wanted to go.
One of the most common questions I get from teen girls is, “How can I say NO without hurting the guy’s feelings?”
I always respond, “Why are you concerned about their feelings when they aren’t concerned about your future?”
But I get it!
When the cultural norm is for girls/women to be “people pleasers,” it can be tough for a teen girl to turn down advances from a guy she adores, especially if she must continue to see him every day at school.
That’s why it’s imperative for you to teach your daughter the importance of putting herself first when it comes to jeopardizing her future just to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.
Also, I think it would be a great idea if the two of you would roleplay different scenarios, she may find herself in when she’s on a date.
It will not only help your daughter make decisions with her head first and not her heart, but it will also help you strengthen communication between each other.
Like one mom who subscribes to my blog can attest. I was elated to receive this message from her recently, “Every email you send, I share with [my daughter] and it helps to create great dialogue between us.”
I hope you’ve been doing the same thing with your daughter.
If not, it’s not too late to start!
P.S. Teen girls being pressured to have sex is nothing new. But, there used to be a time when girls were more embarrassed about someone finding out they had sex than finding out they were abstaining. Which is why it’s so important to have open dialogue with your daughter about the benefits of waiting to have sex, the consequences that can come with her decision if she chooses not to. And why considering her own BEST interests is always the right choice.
P.P.S. Please share this post with any parents of teen girls you know so they can ensure their daughters glean wisdom from the transparency of this 8th grader as well.