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Teenagers & Young Adults

At this point in the child's life the parent can be a sounding board for developing their own sexual values.  There isn't a whole lot of teaching mainly because by now teenagers aren't listening to your direct advice.  That doesn't mean they don't know what you would say, they do from years of past conversations.  All the parent needs to do is take advantage of the opportunities that arise.  

Main Goals
1. Ask Questions and be a Learner.
2. Answer Honestly.
3. Perpetuate Future Open Conversations.
Ask Questions and be a Learner

All you need to do is be there for moments where teaching can happen.  Most of this "teaching" comes through casual conversations not formal ones.  Casual conversations happen when there is an external prompt and the parent simple addresses it.

Examples of Opportunities:

  • Something questionable comes up in the parents social media feed.  

  • Anything you have seen recently that has tried to sell sex; magazine, billboard, commercial, movie trailer, books, news, t.v. shows, etc.

  • Pointing out fashion styles and trends; clothing, make up, etc. 

  • Mannerism or individuals behaviors; "What so you think that persons intentions are?"

  • Sex scenes in movies or t.v. shows.

Pretty much anytime parents see a true or false thing about the body, sex, and intimacy is a good time to have a quick casual conversation about it. This will reinforce principles parents have taught and keep the communication open between parent and child about this topic. 

Here is an example scenario of things parents could say to start these casual conversations.

Scenario-

Someone posts a provocative picture and it comes up in the parents social media feed.  "That is so sad" (said with no sarcasm and genuine sadness).  This is so vague that the teenager will likely ask the parent "What?". This is what we call a 'tell me more' question.  Then the door is open for the parent to say why the external prompt about the body, sex, or intimacy is true or in this case false.  "It is sad that this person feels like they need to get attention in this way." Parents should always be specific about their answer. This can allow them to reinforce a very specific truth about the body, sex, and intimacy. 

In the video linked above we break downtime process of how parents can help their teen develop sexual values in 4 easy steps. We have included a free guide for parents that outlines what questions to ask and how to progress through these conversations in a way that will actually get the teenager to open up.

 

 

A few big questions a lot of parents have are: “How do I know where my kid/teen is at with their sexual values?” and “What can I do to help them develop those?”  

 

There comes a point when a parents methods of teaching their child has to change.  Kids reach this age as a teenager where they don’t really want to listen to parents any more.  

 

Instead of assuming the teen will always listen, because we all know no one is that perfect, seek to LISTEN TO  THEM.  Help them feel heard instead of teaching them.  This is the best thing parents can do to “teach” them in their teenage years.  

 

If you're a parent that has a teenager, listen to where they are at and let them work out their sexual values in front of you.  Your influence will show up in their values just by you being there having conversations with them.  

Perpetuate Future Open Conversations
How to Successfully Talk to Teens

When it comes to sex there is a reason some people’s conversations with their TEENS make a difference. It can be hard to start talking to your kids about sex when they are young, let alone when they are a teenager.  With a  few tips you can make conversations that seem hopelessly unproductive to conversations that actually convert! 

 

Conversations that convert take 5 key things: 

 

  1. Ask tell me more questions.

 

A tell me more question allows the parent to turn the conversation over to their teenager and allows the teenager to be more engaged.  When there is engagement, and the conversation is not just a lecture both parties can learn a lot about where things stand and what direction they are heading.  Engagement enables learning. 

 

 

2. Talk beliefs not histories. 

 

When you address values or beliefs, like what is healthy sex and what is not, conversations can be more productive.  It is easy to become defensive when the talk is about histories. Everyone has done something they may regret. This may be the case for this topic, sex and intimacy, as well.  When parents talk about how they did it or what they have or have not done this immediately turns parents against their teen.  This can be a trigger for a teenage mind to think back and remember the one thing they can use against their parent. Don’t them off to listening to your values by bringing up your personal or their personal history.  These conversations cannot be a you-verse-me to make progress. Conversations should not be about convincing each other. They should be about UNDERSTANDING to each other.  

 

3. Don’t require eye contact.

 

Less eye contact can make the conversation feel less formal.  Teens will feel less on the hot-seat and be more likely to give you real valuable answers rather than vague deflecting comments.  

 

4. Make it about the topic not them.

 

Talk about what their friends or people at their school are doing or what is going on in the media or around the world. When parents make it about the teenager, the defenses come up! Keep a teen open and communicating by talking about others.  Parents will be able to see where their teen is at in these conversations with out asking direct personal questions. 

 

5. Establish equal ground.

 

If you want your teenager to talk to you, meet them where they are.  Talking down to them as an authoritative figure will get you no where fast.  Talk to them like you would a friend or a peer.  This level of respect will go both ways and the lines of communication will be opened! 

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