Parenting teens in today’s culture is NOT for the faint at heart.
Which is why I always want to make sure the content I send you every week addresses your struggles, challenges, or needs because I know your time is precious.
And I don’t want to waste it by sending you content that doesn’t help make parenting your daughter even a little bit easier.
The best way for me to do that is if you tell me what those struggles, challenges or needs are. (Hint, hint)
Whenever I get a question from one person, I know that could be on the minds of other parents as well.
Recently a mom, who does not subscribe to my blog, posted a question on my Facebook page and I thought you could benefit from the answer I gave her:
Mom: My son is eleven and a rising 6th grader. He seems to be on the cusp of puberty as it relates to his body changing and has mentioned having a crush during this school year.
What should we be discussing about “having sex or understanding what it is” right now?
I love reading your posts daily and don’t want to be late to the party, thinking we aren’t there yet, or he isn’t ready.
This Message Applies to Your Teen Too!
Even though her question was about her 11-year-old son, my answer applies to your teen daughter or son as well.
This was my response:
Before you have a conversation about sex, I would focus the conversation on love and healthy relationships. And I do not just mean romantic love, but love in general. What does love do?
How does love treat others?
When it comes to influencing your son’s relationship choices, just as much will be caught as is taught. So, make sure healthy relationships are being modeled. How your son sees your husband treat you will have a significant impact on how he will treat the young ladies he dates.
I also know he has a little sister, so remind him how important it is for him to be an example to her about the type of behavior she will accept from anyone she dates. And challenge him to not do anything with any young lady he dates that he wouldn’t want someone to do with his sister.
I would let him know that what he’s feeling is normal, but I would also have conversations with him about how temporary relationships typically are in middle and high school.
In fact, this is what I tell students in my classes:
Most teenagers are dating their future ex. They will, typically, either get married or break up. And as a teenager, the chances are MUCH, MUCH greater that they will break up than marry. If you recognize that one day the other person will become your ex, that should impact what you choose to do in that relationship. Why would you do anything in a temporary relationship that could come with a permanent consequence?
Use the media to start conversations about what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior related to relationships/sex. Make sure you focus on the good examples just as much as you focus on the bad examples.
My strategy is always to teach toward something (dreams/goals) instead of away from something (negative consequences). I have found it to be much more effective.
If you make sure your son has dreams and goals for his future, the sex conversation, though necessary at some point, will not need to be at the forefront because he’ll realize that nothing is worth him risking his future dreams and goals.
Of course, I would definitely read my book, The Truth About Sex: Real Stories from Teen Guys Like You, WITH him by the time he’s 13 at the latest. [I would make the same recommendation for you with my book, 7 Secrets Guys Will Never Tell You: A Teen Girl’s Guide on Love, Sex, and Relationships.]
I know how handsome your son is, so you’re going to have to prepare him for those girls who may be the aggressor. He’ll need to be taught refusal skills just as much as you teach them to your daughter. Role play scenarios with him to help him figure out in advance how he would handle them.
I applaud you for asking the question now and “not wanting to be late to the party.”
Don’t be Late to the Party!
I genuinely believe parenting teens, especially in this day and time, is one of the toughest jobs there is.
And it’s not the teens themselves, but the culture they live in that makes it all the more challenging for parents to guide their kids towards realizing their dreams and goals while navigating the countless landmines waiting to blow up their future.
As much as I am called to empower teens like your daughter, I am also on a mission to equip parents like you to help your child make positive choices now that will set her up for success as an adult.
So don’t be late to the party!
Start implementing the tips shared in today’s post with your daughter today and let me know how it’s going.
P.S. Today’s culture will have your daughter believing that having sex as a teen is a rite of passage and no big deal. But she needs to know the truth and that should come from you. Sex is a temporary act that could permanently hinder your daughter from realizing her dreams and goals. And that is a big deal! So don’t wait. Start having these conversations with your daughter TODAY. And for additional resources on this topic, go here to check out my books for teen girls and teen guys.
P.P.S. Please share what your specific areas of struggle and needs are so I can continue to provide content that will help make parenting your teen(s) a little easier. Simply contact me via my website www.jackiebrewton.com and make sure you subscribe to my blog. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
P.P.P.S. And don’t forget to share this post on social media.