Lately, in our community we have had a lot of debate and anger regarding Teens and Sexuality. I understand this is an uncomfortable subject, but it’s also a very important one that, as parents, we are responsible for discussing with our young people. If, as a parent, you are unable to have this conversation with your child, then find someone you approve of, to help you with it.
Our teens are growing up in such a different time, technologically. Online pornography depicts women as objects, only to satisfy the male. How many teens have taken a look at those sites? I know we would like to imagine that our teens have not, but the ease of access and lack of controls, suggest that they likely have, even if we don’t realize it.
It’s hard to censor what our young people see and experience at all times and next to impossible to control all access to these materials. Although I make every effort to prevent it, as much as I possibly can, I also know what it’s like to be a curious teen. Because of this, I have taken the approach of talking to my kids openly about sex and what they have might have seen. I am doing the best I can to keep the doors of communication open regarding this area, because I would rather they came and asked me, versus believing the warped view of what they saw.
It’s an uncomfortable subject, but an important one.
Young women need to know they have a right to tell someone when something they are doing does not feel good emotionally or physically with an expectation it will immediately stop. Are we giving them the tools to do this? Are we talking to our young women and teaching them that, although it’s scary or embarrassing, they need to find their voice?
More importantly, we need to teach our young women that, if something feels uncomfortable and you are not able to verbalize it to your partner, you’re probably not ready to move to that state.
Recently I had a discussion with my son regarding his responsibility in a sexual situation. Again, it’s uncomfortable to have this discussion but, it’s an important enough that I forgo my discomfort. I want to begin laying groundwork about what he will likely experience. I explained to my son that it’s not just stopping if a girl says “no” because sometimes girls can be nervous or scared and not say a word, but might actually want you to stop. I explained that he has to make sure she is enjoying what is happening too and if she does not look comfortable or happy, he needs to stop. Checking in with your partner is very important.
I know these are hard subjects to broach with your teens, but it’s our responsibility to teach them just as we might teach them to cook, do laundry, or balance a checking account.