While speaking to the incoming class at a university recently in Georgia, the students (average age was 18 years old) shared the following statements their parents made to the about sex. Under each statement is the most logical response they had for that parent:
“Don’t Get Pregnant”
RESPONSE: You know Mom if you hadn’t told me that, I was going to give it a try tonight. I thought, “Why not see how difficult going through pregnancy, raising a child, and trying to go through college could be.”
“Don’t Make Me a Grandparent”
RESPONSE: Then you shouldn’t have had me. Sooner or later in life, I want to have a family. Maybe not in the next 3-4 years, but sooner or later.
“Do the RIGHT THING”
RESPONSE: Well, Dad, it does feel RIGHT when we are doing it.
Imagine the look on Dad’s face at that moment.
In most households, the teenagers would get in serious trouble for responding with such sassy answers. But you have to admit, the teen replies really aren’t any more ridiculous than the parents’ statements. And while the parents above were clearly well-intentioned, when any parent gives advice—or makes edicts—that sets up teens to talk back or think disrespectfully. The result? An unpleasant communication breakdown—or angry silence.
Of course we are all human and need to laugh at ourselves, so please feel free to share statements you’ve heard parents make and/or you have caught yourself saying to your kids to help prevent someone else from getting boxed into a ridiculous corner.