Who is educating your kids about sex? Someone or even scarier, something (internet) is. Don’t think your kids are interested in sex? Even if that is true…someone or something is still “educating” them.
It could be conversations overheard on the playground, in the halls of school. It could be the internet, porn. When I was young, there were only about three or four options to see naked images that were also sexualized. For many of you reading this, you just thought of the three most mainstream magazines in your head. Go ahead, you can admit it. Playboy, Hustler, Playgirl and even the underwear ads in the local newspaper or catalogs.
Now kids are bombarded with sexual images – including 24/7 access online to explicity pornographic video footage.
So it begs the question – who is talking to your kids about sex? You want them to get the right kind of education and “how to” skill sets, but how do you prepare them? It can seem like a daunting conversation. While you are the best person to become their resource, how do engage in these conversations?
Here are some tips to help you prepare your teen:
- Start by being honest about what they are likely to see, giving good and bad examples. Instead of lecturing, focus on the opportunities they’re going to have for making exciting decisions (some easier than others).
- While this can be a serious conversation, you can make it engaging. Ask what dating advice they have received or have even “heard” through the grapevine. Share some of the crazy advice people shared when you were growing up. This is an enlightening way to discuss how well-intentioned friends can share very misguided suggestions.
- They need you to hear you share that they don’t need to try to impress their dating partner. They need you to hear that trying to impress other people is unhealthy, especially in building relationships (including sexual relationships). Instead, focus on LEARNING about your partners. Be curious, listen, and respect each other’s boundaries.
- Discuss that turning a date into a game is a bad decision. A game is about two competitors going against each other, trying to get what they want instead of trying to form a mutually amazing relationship.
“Remind your kids to be the same people they are on dates as they are with their friends and family.”
-Mike Domitrz, founder of The DATE SAFE Project
If you have any questions about our programs at The DATE SAFE Project or speaking engagements please contact Rita at 800-329-9390 or you can email her at Rita@datesafeproject.org