Teenagers & Sex: Slow Down Your Son or Daughter

by Free Speech on May 11, 2009

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Lodi, Wisconsin-5/11/09

How did your parents talk to you about sex and intimate decision-making?  Do you remember those awkward conversations often referred to as “The Talk” (if your parents even had the “The Talk” with you at all)?  What if you could have a truly effective and meaningful conversation with your teen – AND know your teenager is actually listening?

As a parent, you know today’s teenagers are exposed to much more sexual imagery and pressures than you ever imagined at their age.  You know more teenagers are engaging in high-risk behaviors (such as oral sex) at alarming rates.  Even if your child has not participated in any sexual activity, his or her peers have – which means your teenager is hearing about sex from other teenagers (not a good source).

What do you say to your teenager to help him/her make safer choices and still have fun dating WITH a healthy approach to intimacy? As a parent, you know each child responds differently to these conversations and so every parent needs OPTIONS – realistic and powerful solutions.   Through a community education grant, Hope House of South Central Wisconsin was able to co-sponsor nationally renown expert and author, Mike Domitrz, to speak to students at Lodi High School so that they learn how to make much better and SAFER decisions when it comes to dating and intimacy.

What about you?  Being a parent, what can you do to engage your son or daughter on this important topic?  Here are 3 golden rules from Mike Domitrz’s DVD and book set for parents titled Help! My Teen is Dating.  Real Solutions to Tough Conversations (www.HelpMyTeenIsDating.com ):

1.    Watch What You Say.  Have you told your teenager, “If anyone ever touches you or hurts you, I am going to kill him/her”?  Why do parents make such scary statements to a child?  Because their parents said it to them.  Maybe you’re thinking, “I said that because I would want to kill the person.”  While your first reaction is normal, those words imply to your child you are going to be more focused on getting revenge than being there for your son or daughter who has just been violated.  The result of such scary statements is your teen will not tell you if someone hurts or sexually assaults him/her.  Your child will not even tell friends because he/she is likely to be afraid their friends might tell you.  In the end, your child goes without the support and counseling which is desperately needed (and of course, you want to provide).  “High school and college students around the country continually tell us the #1 reason they never went to their parents was because they were afraid of how their parents would react,” Domitrz shares in Help! My Teen is Dating DVD and book set.

2.    Meet the Parents.  Before having your child go on a date with another teenager, team up with their parents.  Have everyone get together at one house (both sets of parents and both teenagers going out on the date) showing a unified front of parents both caring about how both teenagers will treat each other with the greatest respect.

3.    Boys/Girls are (Not) Trouble!! If your teenager likes a boy or girl, they simply will not believe you that boys or girls are bad.  If they do actually believe you, you will end up raising a person who will not trust partners.  Thus, your child will be more likely to find themselves in very unhealthy and even dangerous relationships.  Remember you told them that boys/girls are trouble and so they learn to accept trouble as their only option.

Discover 3 quick approaches that can be adapted to each child’s personality to help insure they make much better decisions for themselves and in helping their friends at dances and parties at www.DateSafeProject.org.

Is your son or daughter currently in an abusive relationship or has he/she been sexually assaulted?  Help is available at Hope House’s 24-hour confidential helpline, 800-584-6790.

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