In this lesson you are going to learn how to talk your teen about dating and sex.
In it you will discover:
- How to have an authentic dialogue with your teenager
- The importance of having a different “talk” with your child
- The impact porn is having on our youth and their perspective of sex
- A step-by-step guide that outlines a sample talk you can have with your teen
- Why it is important that you take an honest look at your relationship with sex
- How to guide your child to create healthy and balanced relationships
- An overview of sex and dating from a male and female perspective
- Why parents need to address their own fears of talking about sex
- & Much more
Before you start this lesson I want you to take a moment and think about how you first discovered sex and how your parents (if they did) spoke to you about dating and sex. Did they have the “talk” with you? Did you feel awkward or uncomfortable? Is there anything you wish they had told you? What could your parents have done differently to make things go smoother?
With over 50% of marriages ending in divorce, this clearly shows that we’re not doing a good job of teaching children how to approach dating and relationships. For most of history, dating and sex has always been a bit taboo. Looking back in time you will see a lot of “arranged” marriages so of course there is no dating there. Up until the 60’s, most of society subscribed to the idea that we should only have sex once we’re married.
When it comes to relationships, humans are still babies at the whole idea. For the most part it has been used as a mechanism for survival. In many cultures and religions, sex and relationships are used as a form of control. There is so much shame and stigma around the whole idea and it’s fairly recently that we’re (Western society) taking a closer look at what a relationship really is and how to go about creating a healthy one.
Once the sexual revolution kicked in then the lines started to blur. People began to have sex a lot more and dating started to become more commonplace. However, to this day dating and relationships is one of the biggest challenges we face. We just don’t know how to do it. Search the web and you will see millions of pages and experts saying that they know the way to “find a man” or “get laid”. So what the hell is going on out there?
Before I go into sharing how you can broach the subject of dating and sex with your teenager, I think its important I lay the foundation of my philosophy on what dating is; how to create a strong relationship, and how sex ties into it.
As the Neutral Parenting Formula focuses on the “how”, this is especially important when dealing with dating and sex. Everyone’s wants and needs are different depending on the stage of life they’re in. Generally speaking, women and men go through their sexual peak at different ages:
- Boys from 14 – 28
- Woman from 30 – 42
The reason why it’s important to acknowledge this is because boys do not think straight when they are consumed with sexual energy and they don’t know how to handle it in a positive manner. Boys are nuts at their sexual peak and therefore don’t treat a woman the way she should be because all they can think about is sex. Girls do not become fully sexual until they’re older so there is often disconnect between teenage boys and girls regarding sex.
Most parents tend to shy away from the subject for the following reasons:
If you have a daughter, then you know that all boys’ care about is sex. And since your girls are the ones who can come home with hurt feelings or pregnant, it’s scary for most parents. It’s still scary if you have a boy but most parents don’t freak out as much over the boy (for the above stated reason).
I also want to put it out there that I feel society has relationships and sex completely backwards. Sex and relationships are a sacred experience between two beings where it’s the ultimate bond and the two people involved literally become one person. It is the unification between two kindred souls where they begin to share in each other’s energy. I’m not going to get into a spiritual or philosophical soapbox on this because that would be an entirely different course. However, I do want to state this because it sets the tone for the rest of this segment.
The Impact of Porn
Unfortunately, most teenagers are learning about sex via porn. They can get on the web and find anything they want. It does not matter that you block out certain sites, they can still access it and they will. Just accept this fact. Now, the reason why I bring this up is because if you don’t start to open some lines of communication about relationships and sex, their entire point of reference is going to be based on porn. Since most porn is very extreme and hardcore, it’s going to completely destroy the sacredness of what sex and relationships is really about. When teenagers watch porn (especially boys), it distorts how they perceive the opposite sex. Most porn is about men dominating woman and treating them like a piece of meat and sadly, this is how our young men go out into the world and perceive the opposite sex.
At a very fundamental and core basis, all relationships are the same thing: a mirror. Just like your teenager reflects who you are and is a school of sorts, so does your lover or significant other. It’s just the dynamics that are different. The way things unfold and how you go about learning communication, conflict resolution, the ego, feelings, strength and courage all unfold differently. However, the concept is the same in that you enter into a relationship with someone where they reflect back to you who you are so that you can see yourself more clearly.
In my opinion, when anyone enters into a relationship with the opposite sex, what they’re really doing is entering a union with another soul that will be a reflection of them so that they can learn more about themselves. When you find a great “partner” they also act as a cheerleader, mentor, friend and support group helping you learn more about yourself. That is what a healthy relationship is.
An unhealthy relationship is when the other person “needs you” and is using the relationship to compensate for some shortcoming in their life. Many people enter into toxic relationships because they themselves are toxic (mentally and spiritually) and of course the other person reflects this back to them. The “reflection” component stays the same. It’s just a matter of where you’re at in your life. Two people can come together and celebrate each other, or they can use each other to deal with toxic issues.
Because most parents have seen the toxic elements of relationships and have lived it themselves, they:
1. Do not know how to teach their teenager how to create a healthy relationship.
2. Fear that their teenager will create the same outcome.
And of course, all parents dread the pregnancy and STD factor as well. Passing your fear onto your teen is not going to help the situation. If you want to end the cycle of poor parenting and help your child succeed in creating healthy relationships, you need to get honest with yourself and take a close look at how you’ve been creating your relationships:
- Have you been using another person to fulfill your own shortcomings?
- Do you feel like you “need” someone to complete you?
- Do you subconsciously enjoy arguments and conflict?
- Do you feel sad or lost if you are alone?
- Do you have a hard time resolving conflict in a healthy way?
- Do you use a relationship to establish value for yourself as a person?
- Do you use a relationship to distract yourself from doing things that would make you a better person?
These are just some of the ways people create unhealthy relationships. Many individuals enter into them with some shortcoming in themselves and then begin a toxic cycle that eventually ends in divorce and many hurt feelings.
On the other hand, a positive relationship is when two healthy individuals come together and compliment each other. The key point here is that each individual must be complete on his or her own. They both need to be at a good place with their own life so that when they get together, it adds more to what already is.
However, most people use another person to try and make up for some shortcoming in their own life. They feel lonely, lost, and have some sort of issue and enter into a relationship hoping that they can avoid facing those issues. In many instances, one person will actually try and use the other person to make up for something they did not get from their mother or father. This is why so many submissive and insecure women tend to date dominant men.
When this happens, everything goes downhill and the bickering starts. Sure, the honeymoon might last for a short while, but eventually IT all comes out. Then the blame game, fighting, arguing and so on. Unfortunately, many people have had kids at this point, and the single parenting and the vicious cycle society is in where children learn their ways from their parents begins.
Do you see how important this topic is? Teenagers are learning about relationships from their parents. Many kids are so used to most parents being single that it’s the norm. Hardly anyone takes getting into a relationship seriously. Even worse, for most men it is about getting laid and “being a man”. And for women, they use the “man I got” as some sort of symbol that they are loved and desired. It’s sad that individuals view a relationship as something they need to do and “check off their to do list”; that they’re not complete or valued unless they have a significant other.
People are so afraid of being alone that they will focus all of their energy and time in finding someone else to help them cope with the fact that they feel lonely and are not secure with who they are.
Until men realize that they’re not a man because of how many woman they have been with, and a woman can truly love herself without having to have a man, the relationship drama society accepts will be here for some time.
If we’re not well equipped to teach our teenagers, how will we evolve from this point?
Are you struggling with having the “talk” with your teenager about dating and sex? Why? Is it because you’re not informed enough on the subject to hold an intelligent conversation with them? Do you feel awkward or embarrassed? Either way, what kind of message do you think it sends to your teenager if you can’t talk to them about this? As a teen life coach, I’m amazed at how many parents want to hand off sex and dating talks to someone else because they don’t want to deal with it.
For many of you, talking to your kids about such subjects is awkward, especially if you have issues that you’re still facing. However, the alternative of ignoring it or letting the schools do it for you is a lot worse. The truth is, for you to be able to have a healthy conversation with your teenager about this means that you have to have a healthy relationship and perspective about sex and relationships. If you have your own issues that need to be faced, now is a good time to do it so that you don’t pass these issues onto your kids.
In having the “talk” with your teenager about sex and dating, it’s likely going to bring up many of your own traumatic experiences. Very few people have had 100% healthy experiences when it comes to sex and relationships. Because of this, it has caused a lot suffering in the world and makes it a dreadful experience for parents to have to talk about. And of course it should given that we have few positive experiences to draw upon when speaking with our children.
- What’s your relationship with sex and dating?
- How do you view sex? Is it pleasurable for you? Or is it something that you try to not think about because you have not had an enjoyable experience?
- What did your parents teach you about sex? Did they make you feel awkward and confused?
- How do you perceive the opposite sex? Do you have any anger or resentment towards them? Do you feel manipulated, used, or misled?
- Do you have any fears or doubts about sex or relationships? Do you stay away from them because of this?
- If you’re married, do you have a healthy relationship with your spouse? Is the relationship still thriving? Are you able to communicate effectively and express your love in front of your children?
- Does sex bring up some hidden emotions that you haven’t looked at?
- Do you feel inadequate?
- Are you insecure or timid about sex? Do you try and overcompensate to “pretend” you are much stronger then you really are?
- How do you want your son or daughter to view sex? Do you want them to have to experience the same challenges you have?
By looking at these questions, it’s easy to see why parents are really scared of talking with their children about sex. Sure it may be awkward and uncomfortable. But what really stings most parents is that they have to look back at their own relationship with sex and dating. They must revisit some painful experiences that they’ve gone through that they would rather sweep under the rug and ignore.
Do you see how this is your school and your teenager is reflecting you to yourself? By having to teach this to your child, you have to take a closer look at your relationship with sex and dating.
If you’re insecure or feel weird talking about sex to your teen then this is your opportunity to truly mature because if you don’t talk to them honestly about sex, who will? Most times that you see teenagers who have issues with sex, nine out of ten times it’s due to the fact that they didn’t have a relationship with their parents where they could talk about these things.
You need to talk to your teen, but if you have issues with sex or a lack of knowledge, now is the time to face the issues and educate yourself so that you can properly educate your child about the world of sex and relationships. Remember, when I talk about sex here, it’s not just about two bodies coming together resulting in penetration. I’m also talking about how your child will perceive the opposite sex and how they will treat them.
The two biggest issues I believe you need to address when dealing with sex is:
1. Perception – How your child will perceive physical sex as well as the opposite sex will play a vital role in how their life unfolds. If parents have a closed mind about sex, their kids will have no choice but to learn about it via porn, movies, TV and their favorite media icons. Now that is scary!
2. Safety – STD’s and pregnancy. If parents have a closed mind when it comes to sex, they actually raise the chances of their teen having issues such as an STD or pregnancy because they wont be informed about what to do.
1. Perception of Sex
It’s so sad that right now boys only want girls for “fucking”. I remember growing up all we (guys) would talk about is fucking girls. It had nothing to do with creating a relationship with them or treating them with respect. It was just about using them as a piece of meat so we could be sexually gratified. Even worse, boys use girls as trophies to be conquered. They value themselves by how many girls they have slept with. If you’re a dad then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t you think it’s time we teach our boys a healthier way to view woman? If you’re a mom, aren’t you tired of men seeing woman in this way and don’t you think this is a great opportunity to teach your boy about how to treat women?
Because there has been an ongoing power struggle between men and woman, girls have had to use the “sex” card to get what they want in life. Whether it’s feeling loved, validated, appreciated or moving ahead in the world, sadly, many girls are using their sexual lure to get what they want.
The damage this causes is that they begin to rely on this as their only source of value. Look at all the women who spend so much time on their make-up, hair, clothes, and the way they look. It’s because women feel disempowered so they overcompensate by using their looks. And sadly, because women get so much attention from men, they begin to view this as a way of feeling good about themselves.
If you’re a woman, you know that as soon as you hit a certain age and guys look at you less; deep down your sense of self-worth starts to diminish. Think about that for a moment. You placed all your value of yourself on whether or not some stranger, who you didn’t even care about, looked at you.
Guys are retarded ok? They think with their penis. That’s nothing new. The challenge is that women have fallen for these ploys and have created an environment where they view sex as a way to feel loved and wanted. Rather than spending their time being an interesting person, many females spend it on how they look. But when the clock runs out, what then?
Do you see how talking with your children about sex at an early age is so crucial? It’s how they set up values and perceive themselves in the world. It’s not just about the physical act. From a male perspective we need to learn how to respect woman and stop trying to dominate them. From a female perspective, women need to learn how to create value for themselves and not just rely on their physical attributes.
Making It A Big Deal
I know that sex is a strange and taboo subject, but everyone is doing it and on the one hand it’s really not a big deal (and I am not saying this to devalue or take away from the fact of how special it really is). When parents make it a big deal and hide it from their children, it causes problems because you’re not giving them your perspective. Why are most parents so concerned when they see their kids having major issues around sex?
No matter what you wish, your baby boy or girl is not going to stay a baby and has likely began touching himself/herself between the ages of eight and twelve. Your best bet is to have an established line of communication with them so that you can have a positive impact on how they perceive sexuality and the opposite sex. If you’re shy, insecure, or have any issues in speaking about sex with them, now is your opportunity to mature and evolve.
2. Safety (STD’s & Pregnancy)
Of course the biggest fear for most parents are the health and safety implications of sex. Whether it’s an STD or pregnancy, no parent wants to have to face this. This is why its important that:
1. You don’t make a bid deal out of sex. The reason it’s important is that you remove the taboo flavor that is wrapped around sex and this diffuses the curiosity factor that most kids have about it. In fact, very few kids actually like sex the first time. They just think they want to do it because it’s so taboo. Once you (and society) remove the taboo definition associated with sex, you will see teen pregnancy and other issues drop.
Don’t believe me?
One of the main porn producers from Wicked Video told 20/20 (a news show on ABC) that their sales have dropped because porn was becoming more widely accepted. When porn was still taboo, it was at its peak, and business was booming. Now it’s everywhere and sex is becoming mainstream (even ABC which is owned by Disney is showing a lot more skin), so the obsession with sex is diminishing.
If you really want to set the stage so that your child waits until they are older to engage in sex, start talking about it sooner than later. Make it a “normal” topic so that they don’t obsess over it. All obsessions start when the mind thinks it can’t have something; it wants it more. In fact, just look at most sales pitches or dating strategies:
In sales, companies create the perception that their product or service is exclusive or hard to get. They do this because they know the mind will want it more.
In dating, mainly the female will play “hard to get” because they want the guy to want them more. If you don’t want your kid to obsess over having sex, then make it a normal topic around the house and start talking openly about it so they don’t obsess over it.
Having “The Talk”
In preparing to talk with your teenager about dating and sex, keep in mind that this conversation is ongoing and not just a one-day workshop. It’s better to learn on the go in a relevant format (something that they’re currently dealing with) and take it in phases. As your teenager gets older, they will be faced with different issues and challenges. Prepare yourself for the fact that you’re going to need to have a first talk to set the stage. The first talk should be left open-ended so that the talk can continue based on the challenges your teen is facing in any given moment. In a healthy relationship between parent and child, this conversation never ends since relationships play such a vital role in our human drama.
The most important aspect of your talk is your tone and body language. You want to project an open and confident energy so that they don’t feel weird and associate sex and dating as something “uncomfortable”. Most parents approach it from a fear-based manner and this is where a lot of the problems stem from. Your teenager is going to pick up on this more then anything else. And if they seem closed or shut down as if they don’t want to hear it, trust me, they hear it.
Boys vs. Girls
Because I feel there are different dynamics taking place in a relationship from a male and female point of view, I will separate the two. This way, depending on the sex of your teenager, you will be given a more relevant perspective. That being said, I still recommend that you read all the material here because many points are still valid regardless of your teens’ gender.
Before I go into the different points, there are some important factors that relate to both sexes:
How To Be Alone
Many of us have a hard time being alone. However, it’s important that your child learn at an early age how to be alone with themselves and not to “need” someone else to feel good about themselves. We tend to associate our value by the person we are dating and therefore believe that we must feel lonely if we’re “alone” and this is not true. Being alone is very important because it allows us the space to learn more about ourselves and explore life more fully. So teach your child the power of being alone and how to make the most of it.
Relationships are the fastest way to start learning how to effectively communicate. This is a great time to teach your child how important it is that they learn how to be in touch with their feelings and emotions so that they can communicate them to the other person. It’s important to teach your child how to really listen to what the other person is saying while holding on to his or her own position.
In relationships, many of us get so caught up in our own feelings and thoughts that we don’t create the space to hear what the other person is saying, and this is where a lot of conflict begins. By teaching your child at an early age how to listen and acknowledge the person they’re with, it will lay a foundation so that they can minimize the impact and confusion that conflict creates.
Sexting & Instant Messaging
Sexting is when a boy and girl text each other by using either provocative words or pictures and it’s the new way of flirting. However, it’s much more risqué than in person flirting. Why? People are insecure and shy in person because they fear rejection but with sexting they can hide behind their computer and cell phone and say what’s on their mind without the fear of in person rejection.
I find that sexting and sexual instant messaging is VERY telling for how people really think and feel. Many people freak out by what they’re seeing teenagers and young adults do on their phone or online but these thoughts were always there. It’s just that now they feel safe to reveal them because they can hide behind the technology device.
The first thing you can do is to help your teenager become more confident in speaking with people in person. This is tied to people’s fear of public speaking. So many of us are afraid of rejection that we will keep ourselves out of harms way by hiding behind our devices. The first thing to understand is what is really happening.
Now, as for dealing with the surface level issues of sexting and sexual instant messaging, the best you can do is help put this into perspective for your teenager so they don’t obsess over it too much. No matter what you say or do, they’re going to obsess over it to some extent because it is very exciting for them. Not only hormonally, but psychologically as well because they feel validated when they receive these types of messages.
- From a boy’s perspective, this is getting him very excited sexually.
- From a girls perspective, she is feeling more validated as a person because she is getting attention.
If you’re dealing with a boy, then you need to help him channel his sexual energy in a more constructive way so that it does not run his life. If you are dealing with a girl, you need to help her find other ways to feel validated so that she does not need this type of attention. All other approaches such as grounding them, taking their phone away and trying to “shut them down” will make things worse because they will obsess over it and want it more as soon as you say they can’t have it. So be neutral in your approach and try to divert their attention onto something more constructive.
Facing Insecurities & Rejection
There is no better opportunity than the dating and sex game for learning about individual issues. It highlights what issues individuals will be faced with and what they will need to learn to address any insecurity they may have. Now is the best time to teach your child that just because they like someone does not mean that the other person will like them back. When your child is faced with rejection, insecurities will come up.
You need to help your child understand that they’re in the process of learning and growing and that now is the best time for them to work on improving themselves. It will teach them that it’s important for them to focus on themselves rather than handing their power over to another person and letting that person decide what their value should be.
This is also a great time to help your child understand that there’s someone out there for everyone and that just because this person may not be interested in them, there are more “fish in the sea”. If they just focus on improving themselves in all aspects of their life they will have a better chance of finding the right person for them.
The Pleasures Of Sex
Acknowledging to your child that sex is pleasurable and normal will remove many stigmas and psychological traumas that are brought on by trying to deny that sex can be enjoyable and healthy. Parents fear the idea that their kids are going to have sex but by not acknowledging the magic and beauty of sex, you’re allowing the media and other outlets to shape your children’s view of it. Make sure you acknowledge the fact that sex is very enjoyable when two adults come together in a healthy and appropriate way.
What A Relationship Really Is
While most kids won’t get this right away, it’s still good to plant a seed in their mind to help them understand what a relationship is all about; an equal exchange of energy where both people come together to learn, grow, and share the beauty of life. You don’t want your teen to view a relationship as part of a “to do checklist” in fulfilling their life. You want to teach your teenager that a relationship takes a lot of work, is very challenging and will always present obstacles to deal with each other’s emotions and psychological make-up.
The Differences Between Each Sex
This is also a good time to point out the differences between the opposite sexes so that your child can start to learn how their counterparts think and feel about dating and sex. They need to know that the opposite sex has different wants and needs and that it’s important to be respectful of them even if they don’t agree with them. At the same time, it’s important that your child understands the value of the opposite sex so that they can learn and grow from them.
If you have a boy, you will want to make it clear that girls are not as interested in sex as they are and that they are much more emotional when it comes to sex.
If you have a girl, you will want to explain to them that some boys may want to have sex with them and that they need to learn to say no in a nice way, or set clear boundaries about what they are willing to do sexually if they are dating the boy.
They Will Be Different
If you’re speaking to your child about sex from a healthy perspective, you may also want to point out that they will likely be a little different from their friends and it’s okay to be so. Let them know it will make sense as they get older and that their friends may have not had the same opportunity they have in having parents who speak openly about this.
Keep It In Your Pants
I remember taking a sex-ed class and my high school science teacher saying, “Keep it in your pants”. This was the basis of his entire course on teaching us about sex. What is a boy supposed to do with that? Our hormones are raging and the only solution is to ignore them?
Parents need to stop pretending that their kids are not going to have sex at such an early age. It’s a fact that kids become sexually aware by the time they’re in elementary school. At what point do we acknowledge the elephant in the room? Up until now we’ve either waited for kids to contract an STD or become pregnant; and then we engage them. Why is our approach reactive rather then proactive? From all the statistics that clearly show that no communication is causing problems, at what point do we accept the fact that kids are going to have sex?
Talking To Your Boy
Men’s perception of women and sex is completely distorted. For most, we see woman as a way to get laid and feeling powerful. Men perceive having sex with a woman as fucking and if they get a hot girl, she’s a trophy they can show off to their friends. In most guy circles, this is all they talk about. It’s the foundation of our existence. It’s who we are.
On the other hand, for men who have a hard time connecting with woman, it’s a symbol of their inadequacy. For men, there is so much psychological drama rolled into dating and sex that it’s very important that you start to lay the foundation for your child now so they at least have a chance to avoid this path. No matter what, they will be faced with these issues. But if you can at least put some of these things into context for them, it will seep in slowly but surely and when it does, they can start to use the information to empower them.
Personally speaking, I can say that most men have very a sad and warped view toward the female species. The lying, manipulation and abuse I’ve seen runs rampant (including many of my past misguided behaviors). Looking back on the times I spent with my male friends, it shocks me at how much of our time was spent on talking about girls and getting laid. If someone had removed that topic from our conversation pool, we would have had very little else to talk about (If you’re a father then you know this sad truth).
If you have a son and want to teach him about dating and sex, here are some important talking points:
1. I Am Here For You
By letting your son know that you’re there for him to talk to, you can help establish an open dialogue about sex & relationships. The exchange will begin the process of laying down the foundation on the way he will view the opposite sex. It’s very important that you express to your child why you think dating and sex can be healthy and fun when done in a respectful way.
The fact that you’re open with your boy will teach him that this is not some “weird” subject for him to feel awkward and confused about. More so, he will feel like he can come to you to discuss any challenges he faces. Again, the first thing you need to do is establish an open and healthy foundation about the subject matter by letting him know you’re there for him.
2. How To Impress A Girl
Most guys feel as if they need to lie to girls and be something they’re not to impress them. Tell your boy to be himself and a girl will appreciate this because most of the other guys she comes across will be lying so his honesty will be a breath of fresh air. Plus it’s important for him to start learning that he has value and doesn’t need to try and be bigger or “more important” than what he actually is.
If you look at so many men in the world, you can see that this one point plays such a vital role. Many “boys” go out into the world trying to be something they’re not to impress the world and the women around them. They end up seeking money, power, prestige and fancy cars so that they can feel bigger than they actually are. We need to teach our boys that they have value right now and they don’t need to be something they’re not to attract the opposite sex.
3. How To Attract A Girl
If your boy is having issues attracting a girl he’s interested in, let him know that the best way for him to attract the girl he wants is to become an interesting person himself. He needs to start learning that girls are attracted to confident guys and what builds confidence is when he’s good at something and is an interesting person. Most awkward boys have not found out what they’re good at. Once they do it gives them confidence and this is the best way for them to attract a girl. This is a great way for you to start teaching him how to find his true self and be good at something.
4. Girls Are Lost & Confused
Your son needs to understand that the girls he is hanging out with are still figuring themselves out and they don’t know what they want. This means that he may come across a girl who likes him one day, and doesn’t like him the next day. If this happens, let him know that it’s not personal and that she is going through her own process of learning who she is and what she wants. It’s important to make this point clear so that he does not internalize everything and assume the madness he is experiencing is his fault.
5. Don’t Confuse Sexual Urges With Feelings
Boys this age have hormones that are bouncing off the wall and that means they tend to confuse their sexual urges with feelings and emotions. Tell your boy that he is going through his sexual peak and that means he will desire sex a whole lot more then most girls his age. Most importantly, he needs to understand the differences between his sexual urges and feelings. Many girls end up hurt and gain a distorted view of men because they feel “used”. If you’re a woman you’ve likely experienced occasions where a guy seemed to be “really” interested in you and once he got what he wanted (sex), the interest started to dissipate. Talk to your boy about this so that he will learn to discern between his sexual urges and real feelings.
6. Being In Love
Many boys go through a puppy love stage where they think they have found “the one” and this tends to bring on a whole set of emotional drama. Depending on the situation, your boy either:
A. Is so obsessed with the girl he’s with that he loses sight of himself and starts to slack off on his life and responsibilities.
B. Is so obsessed with a girl he can’t get that he wants to die and thinks it’s the end of the world.
Many boys get lost in this psychodrama, become infatuated and then their schoolwork and other responsibilities start to suffer. Either way, this is an important point in your boy’s life. This is where he will learn that the girls he will be dating are just for “now” and that he can learn so much about himself during the dating process.
Make it clear to him that while he may really like a girl a lot, he’s not in love because he doesn’t know what that is yet and that he’s in the process of exploring what love is. This can also be a great opportunity for you to start the process of exploring what love means. Once again, if your vision is distorted then you’re going to need to work on yourself as well.
While this might sound a little controversial for some (especially those who subscribe to the idea of high-school sweethearts), its important to keep in mind that regardless of how good a relationship may be at that age, both individuals are at the very cusp of learning more about who they are individually and what life and love are all about. This is why people in their middle ages tend to say that they feel life is just beginning for them. It’s because they are at the point where they are beginning to learn who they really are as individuals. It’s only when two strong individuals come together to create a relationship that they have any chance of creating a solid foundation in their union.
Since teenagers and young adults are still figuring out who they are, it’s almost impossible for them to truly create a strong relationship that will last. This doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy each other and “play with the idea of love”, but it would be healthier if your boy knew that he is in a process of exploration and not to create the illusion that he has found his “one”.
7. Be Respectful Of Girls Feelings
Girls his age are not as interested in sex as boys are (even though they might pretend to be to get attention) and he needs to understand that even though a girl might be open to having sex, he needs to be respectful of her feelings. It’s crucial that you help your boy learn that girls do not separate sex from their emotions even though some guys can. If he ends up having sex with a girl he needs to be respectful of the fact that she has feelings and is not just having sex with him for physical reasons (even though she might pretend that she can).
8. Respect Her Limits
Many boys are just hungry to have intercourse and tend to want to get to “home plate” so will be disrespectful of girl’s limits. While some girls might be ok with some form of sexual play and intimacy, it’s important that boys respect a girl’s limits if she is not ready to go “all the way”. In fact, you can also turn this into a positive for your boy by teaching him that what actually turns a girl on is when she feels safe and comfortable. The best way for him to be liked by the girl is to let her lead the process of intimacy by making her feel safe, respected, and comfortable. Of course this all needs to be done in an authentic way and not manipulative. Regardless of age, no female likes a pushy guy.
While it may be awkward to talk to your boy about masturbation, it’s very important that you do so. He needs to understand that there is no shame in it and he also needs to know how to clean up after himself so he’s not leaving a “mess” all over the place. More importantly, this is the best way of keeping your kid safe because he can masturbate instead of having sex so it lowers his chance of getting an STD or a girl pregnant. Make sure your boy knows it’s ok if he masturbates and that he can use his room or the bathroom for his own quiet time. It’s important that your son knows that it’s very normal for boys to do this, that everyone does, and that it’s actually healthy for him to do so in his own space.
Make sure he has them, knows how to use them, and knows where to get more.
11. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
In speaking to your boy about STD’s, make sure you don’t use fear as a way to keep him from having sex as this will not only give him a fear based perspective of sex, but he will see that you’re actually trying to detour him from having sex. Make sure he knows if he’s having sex and gets an STD, he can come to you and you won’t be angry or make him feel guilty. Guilt and shame are the reason most kids keep things to themselves and then small issues turn into big issues. Remember, this is about acknowledging that these things can happen and you want to keep the line of communication open.
Make sure your boy has and knows how to use condoms. Without fear just let him know that if he’s not careful, the girl he’s with can get pregnant and this will drastically change his life because he will now have to be responsible for it (once again, without fear).
As noted above, your boy will be watching porn. There’s no way around it. No matter how much you try, he will come across it. Here is how you can approach the matter:
Step 1 – Do not make a big deal out of it so that you don’t add any taboo flavor around it. This will just make him more curious. Let him know that legally he needs to wait until he is 18 to start watching porn but if he comes across it that’s ok.
Step 2 – Let him know that porn can be mentally and psychologically addictive and that if he watches too much it will affect his mental well-being. This is also a good time to let him know that watching porn can desensitize him, which will make it a lot harder for him to be sexually aroused.
Step 3 – Teach him that as he gets older, sex will mean so much more than what’s being shown in porn and that most porn depicts sex in a negative way. Use this as an opportunity to let him know that sex can be a very sacred and intimate experience between two people and that porn does not reflect this.
An Example Talk
Here is an example of what a first talk could look like using the Neutral Parenting Formula. Please note this is not an entire talk nor is it exactly what you should tell your child, as it should come from your perspective and have your flavor:
“I know you may be having or will soon have sex and just wanted to bring this up with you because it’s a normal part of life and I don’t want you to feel weird or embarrassed about it. Having sex with a girl can be an amazing experience when two people truly care for each other. However, for most guys, sex is seen as just a way to get off or feel powerful and I want you to know that this is not a healthy approach for guys. I’m sure you mainly hear or see sex in movies, Girls Gone Wild, or on porn and just wanted you to know that there is another side to sex. Sex is two people connecting both energetically and physically. It’s not just about putting your dick inside her and fucking. It’s about your connection with her and getting closer with her.
Right now you are currently going through your sexual peak which means that you’re thinking about sex all the time. I know it can be a bit frustrating especially when it happens in public places. Just know that the raging hormones you have inside you will eventually pass as you get older and it wont consume you like it does now. Your best bet is to just masturbate so you don’t upset women with the fact that you’re always so horny.
Something you’ll need to learn is that women associate sex with their emotions. They’re not like guys where they can just have sex without emotions. They’re the exact opposite and if you really don’t have strong feelings for a girl other than just wanting to have sex with her, don’t be a jerk and try and come on to her just so you can get laid. If you do really like someone and want to have sex, here are some condoms and here is how you use them.
When you’re interested in a girl, don’t lie and try to impress her by pretending to be something you’re not. You’re an amazing person and as you get older you will continue to grow and gain more value. If you lie to try and impress a girl, you will only get yourself into trouble and girls can tell the difference.
When looking at girls, try not to see them as a piece of meat or someone you just want to “fuck”. This is very disrespectful and rude. I know that many of your guy friends will have this take on girls and just do the best you can to not follow them. I promise that when you get older you will be so happy that you did not go down that path. But if you do, try to remember this talk and move out of that type of thinking.
With the right person, sex is a beautiful and wonderful experience and although I would prefer you to wait until you are older before you start having sex, if you find the right girl now and want to do so responsibly, just remember that you need to wear a condom and that you do it in a safe place. Remember that you’re responsible for your choices and actions and will need to deal with anything that happens if you make any poor decisions. Please know that I’m here for you if you ever need anything. Do you have any questions?”
After the Talk
After that, let him be. Chances are he doesn’t even want to talk to you about this but if you’re able to help him see three very important points about it, it will sink in and it will enter his mind every so often as he goes through his process. Remember, this is not about controlling the situation. It’s about having the type of relationship with him so that what you say holds weight and he will take it into consideration on his own terms. By remaining neutral and fair, he will see that what you’re saying has some value and the older he gets, the more it will make sense.
A Personal Experience
I remember when I was eleven years old and I would hang out at my friend’s house. We would play downstairs and his dad had a collection of Playboy and Penthouse magazines. We started to look through them and within a few minutes, his mom caught us. However, she did not react, freak out, get mad, or say anything that would allude to the fact that we did something wrong. She calmly closed the magazine and diverted our attention to something else. Even back then, I remember thinking to myself, “Oh, this must not be a big deal” so I went about my day and didn’t think twice about having to see those magazines again. Nor did I feel any shame or guilt.
This is what I mean about being neutral and not making things a big deal. You remove the taboo flavor of the issue and this keeps your child from obsessing over it. Regardless if your teenager is 13 or 19, the concepts outlined here will work wonders for him.
Talking To Your Girl
Girls have it tough. They really do. Not only do they have to deal with guys pretending to be something they’re not and always wanting “something” from them, they also have to live in a male dominated world. They’ve had to use their sexuality as a means to try and gain back the power they lost over the centuries. In this section we will explore some of the major challenges girls face when dealing with dating and sex.
1. Sexual Power
When setting the stage with your daughter about her sexuality, the first thing you need to start with is letting her know about the power she has. Many women do not know how to use their sexual power in a positive and constructive way so they end up perverting it to get what they want in life. If you want to empower your daughter at an early age while helping her establish a positive and healthy foundation with sex, you need to help her understand that her sexuality is powerful and if used in the right way, can empower her and ensure that she will attract guys with more integrity. However, if she uses it in the wrong way it will diminish her sense of self-worth and she will be prone to attracting men with less integrity (like attracts like).
When speaking to her about this, let her know that over the course of history, men in power have disempowered woman by trying to control them and suppress their feminine energy. She needs to learn how to find her balance in using her sexuality in a constructive manner. Let her know that many boys are going to want to have sex with her and she needs to learn not to give in to their demands while at the same time remaining humble and joyful. This is where her true power will come from; in the balance.
When it comes to woman’s sexuality, they either:
- Use it to get what they want and move ahead in the world.
- Use it to feel loved and better about themselves (self-esteem).
When this happens, they shut down and build resentment toward men because through their beliefs and how they use their sexuality, attract the wrong men. This leads to a distorted view on sex, their life, and the world around them. Many women are angry and feel cheated because they do not know how to strike a balance with their sexual power. Teaching your daughter how to say no to men while still being humble and joyful will go a long way.
2. Boys Want One Thing
As previously mentioned, boys are at their sexual peak in their teen years and girls are not. So not only are boys immature and still figuring themselves out, but they also have to deal with the crazy hormones that are running through them. This is why boys end up hurting girls because they lie to get what they want. It’s important to put this into perspective for your daughter so that she doesn’t end up hating men as she gets older. Let her know that boys don’t know any better and because their sexual energy is at a different place than hers, she’s going to need to learn how to discern when boys are saying something to try and have sex with her.
Since this is something she’s going to have to deal with her entire life, it’s vital that you help her create a healthy and compassionate perspective about it so she won’t feel used or misguided.
3. Toads & Princes
A female’s ability to discern between guys who are trying to use her versus the “good ones” will be of utmost importance to your daughter. Many women like to play the blame game and while it’s true, guys can be jerks, it’s your job as the female to be able to discern between the two. By helping your daughter to understand the difference between nice guys and those who are disrespectful, you will help her become more empowered. Teach her how to discern between genuine guys and immature ones.
As you talk to your daughter about the differences between good guys and “assholes”, it’s important that you help her put this into perspective and let her know that these “assholes” do not know any better. If you can teach her to feel some compassion for them because they are lost and confused, this will help her grow leaps and bounds by not judging those who just do not know any better. Let her know that these guys have not discovered their true strength yet so they use sex as a way to try and dominate and feel more secure about themselves. In reality, they are very insecure so teach her to feel compassion, not anger.
5. Attention and Compliments
If your daughter is physically blessed and beautiful, she will also need to learn how to accept compliments graciously and not:
A. Become stuck up and full of herself.
B. Be rude to guys because she gets so much attention.
By letting her know that she can accept the compliment, say thank you, and then go about her business, you will help toward the process of her empowerment and sensitivity.
6. Wearing Clothes For Attention
Because so many girls use their sexuality as a way to get attention and feel validated, many girls dress provocatively. Parents tend to struggle with this issue when dealing with their teenage girl and do so because they’re not focusing their energy on the root cause, which is “validation”. If you don’t want your girl to dress like a slut, she needs to feel good about herself and get the attention she seeks in healthy and constructive ways. Once she does, you will see that naturally she will not need to wear those clothes.
7. Losing The Attention
If your daughter is physically blessed, it’s also important for her to know that while she may get a lot of attention now, as she gets older her physical attributes will begin to diminish. She needs to understand that the type of attention she gets from men is not sincere and she should not rely on this attention for her feeling of self-worth. Otherwise when she gets older and her looks begin to fade it will hit her like a ton of bricks because she relied on this attention for her sense of value. It’s important that you help her establish a sense of self-worth that is based on who she is and not what she looks like.
8. Feelings vs. Thinking
This is also a great time for you to help your daughter become in touch with her feelings and let her know that boys do not see the world in the same way she does. Girls are much more emotional and associate dating and sex with feelings while guys are more physically driven. Because many girls want to fit in and keep their set of friends, some try to pretend that they can be intimate without the feelings and it’s just not true. Nor should it be.
It’s important that your daughter not feel weird or insecure because she has feelings. At the same time, this is the beginning of her process of finding a balance with her feelings so that she does not become over-emotional. Let her know that women are very sensitive, have lots of feelings and that it’s healthy for her to have them but to try and not let them get the best of her. She needs to find the balance between her emotions and rational thinking.
9. Body Image
Because of all the fashion magazines, TV, media and so on, girls are bombarded with images of what they should look like and you need to help your daughter put this into perspective. She needs to have a handle on the fact that her body is a reflection of the way she feels about herself on the inside and there is no make-up, magic bra, diet trick, shoes, dress, or anything else that will help her “look good”. She needs to “feel good” about herself and her body is an outer reflection of the way she feels on the inside.
The best way for a girl to feel good about herself is to find her way in life mentally, physically, and spiritually. She needs to become an “interesting” person and have more to offer than her physical attributes. Here are the important ingredients to help your daughter have a healthy body image:
- Physically Fit – Help her find one thing (yoga, pilates, swimming, etc…) that helps her burn energy and stay physically fit.
- Mentally Fit – Help her find something that she’s good at so she can spend her time exploring herself through a hobby or project.
- Spiritually Fit – Help her explore what it means “for her” to be alive and what makes her feel good about life.
- Looks Fit – It’s ok for your daughter to put some time into her looks. It’s actually crucial for her identity. But there’s a difference between obsessing over it because she’s trying to overcompensate for areas she lacks in and putting her look together so she can feel comfortable in her own skin.
10. Sex Is Great
In helping your daughter to develop a healthy relationship with sex, it’s good for her to know that sex can feel fantastic with the right person and she shouldn’t feel any shame around this. It’s also good for her to be ok with the fact that she may have a few sexual partners before she finds ‘the one’ and that is ok. It’s healthy for a girl to explore her sexuality with other men as long as it’s with someone who respects them rather than someone who uses them.
I know it’s hard to imagine your “little girl” having multiple partners. But it really is healthy for women to do so. It gives them valuable insight about who they are and what they want. If you create an environment where she feels weird for dating multiple men, she could rebel. Create a safe and neutral environment for her to explore her sexuality without the sense of guilt or judgment.
11. Feeling Validated
In talking to your daughter, let her know that it’s not who she’s with that validates her as a woman. She needs to feel secure with herself and not seek outside sources for validation. Many girls associate the “cool guy” or “attention from guys” with their feeling of validation. If you don’t want her to go down this path you need to teach her other healthy ways of feeling validated. Teach her that at the end of the day, only she can validate herself.
12. Finding The Right Guy
Every woman in the world is trying to find the “right guy”. Just search the web and browse the dating sites and you see so many women going through so much pain and suffering because they can’t find their perfect match. Why are woman having such a hard time?
Answer: Like attracts like.
If you want to help your daughter find the right guy she needs to learn that the best way to do so is by making herself a better person so she can attract someone of similar quality. Many women think they’re going to find Mr. Perfect but they themselves have so many issues: insecurities, poor habits, low self-esteem, not very interesting, self-limiting beliefs, and so on. “He” does exist but you’re not attracting him into your life because you’re not living in the same way he does. As soon as your daughter learns that “like attracts like”, she’ll see that once she gets her own life together and at the “same place” as what she wants in a man, it will increase her probability of finding a good guy.
13. Don’t Take Things Personal
Because girls have so many feelings to sort through and are very emotional, you need to teach your daughter not to take things personally. She needs to learn that things happen that have nothing to do with her. She needs to learn that many boys act the way they do because that’s who they are and it has nothing to do with her.
14. It’s Not The End Of The World
Because teenagers have a small frame of reference, when things don’t go there way in a relationship it can seem like the end of the world. And from their perspective, it is. If a relationship goes sour and your teen is acting like it’s the end of the world, for the first couple of days just go with it. Let her feel her feelings. Acknowledge them and say something like, “It hurts doesn’t it?”. When you provide the space for her to feel her emotions, she will let them out. Once they’re all out she can listen to reason. At the same time (without invalidating her), you need to teach her that there is more to life then a boy.
An Example Talk
“I wanted to take this time to talk to you about dating and sex because it is going to be a big part of your life not only now, but as you get older. It’s important that you understand how powerful women’s sexual energy is and that sex is not just about the physical aspects. There is a lot more going on mentally and energetically between the two people that come together.
You need to know that right now boys are going to want to have sex with you and because many of them do not know how to act with integrity, some will lie to you so that they can have sex by pretending to be more interested in you than they really are.
Know that boys are going through their sexual peak right now and that means they think about sex a lot more than girls your age. Girls do not begin their sexual peak until their early thirties so you will experience something similar when you get older.
Be aware that as you begin your dating process, it’s going to be your responsibility to be able to tell the difference between guys who are sincere and guys who are jerks.
Unfortunately, our world is filled with more jerks then good guys. However, do not let those guys get you down because there are many great guys out there. You just need to learn to tell the difference and not give into some of these guys’ tricks, as they can be very clever in getting what they want, which is sex.
If you come across a lot of guys who are mean or jerks, it’s because they’re still learning more about who they are and don’t know any better. Don’t take it personally like you have done something wrong. They don’t know how to communicate or act with integrity and this is why it’s important for you to start learning the difference between the good guys and not so good guys.
You also need to be aware of the fact that guys are going to be giving you a lot of attention because they are attracted to you. You need to learn now to not misinterpret this attention as your value. You are a special person because of who you are, not because guys want to have sex with you.
During this stage of your life you’re going to be faced with a lot of emotions. Girls have lots of feelings and are very sensitive. It’s great to be emotional and sensitive, but you also need to learn how to balance your emotions with rational thinking so that you do not become overemotional. When you find your balance between your emotions and critical thinking you will become a very powerful woman.
With the right person, sex is a beautiful and wonderful experience and although I would prefer you to wait until you are older before you start having sex, if you find the right guy now and want to do so responsibly, just remember that he needs to wear a condom and that you do it in a safe place. Remember that you’re responsible for your choices and actions and will need to deal with anything that happens if you make any poor decisions. Please know that I’m here for you if you ever need anything. Do you have any questions?”
Lead By Example
Now it’s time that you become honest with yourself:
Dads – Do you only see women as something to sexually gratify you? Do you pretend to be something you’re not to impress them? Are you insensitive to their feelings and put your own wants and needs ahead of theirs? Or are you shy and insecure and still trying to figure your way around this subject?
Moms – Are you angry with men because you haven’t learned to find your balance? Do you use sex as a way to feel validated or get what you want? Do you obsess over having a man so that you feel complete? Or are you shy and insecure and still trying to figure your way around this subject.
Please be honest with yourself about how you use your sexuality and how you perceive the opposite sex. Do you really want to pass this on to your teenager? Are you willing to be honest with yourself and do the work that is necessary to heal your own issues?
While it would be nearly impossible to teach and communicate all the details and nuances of dating, sex, and relationships in this course, my goal was to at least cover some of the major points that seem to be causing so much drama in our world.
It’s also important that you understand that even if you do a perfect job of communicating all this to your child, they’re still going to have many challenges because it’s impossible to remove them. However, by giving them this information you will be lowering the probability factor of them getting extremely hurt or affected by this stage of their life.
I would also like to point out that your teenager might not be interested in talking to you about this. They will probably feel weird and grossed out because they’re talking to their parents about sex and dating. Rest assured that although you may be talking and they might be looking the other way pretending to not hear you, THEY HEAR YOU! The reason it’s so important for you to talk to your teenager about this from a healthy, neutral, and positive perspective is that when they do begin to go through challenges, the things you’ve said will pop up and make sense to them. This is where your relationship with them will grow because once they connect the dots via their personal experience; they will see that what you shared with them makes sense.
By giving them the information and then the space to put it to the “test”, they will see that what you’re saying holds weight and has value. And because you didn’t approach them with fear or judgment, they will respect you and what you’re saying a whole lot more. Remember, your teenager doesn’t have the ability to hold an adult conversation. So just give them the information, stay neutral, let them play with it, and as soon as it hits them that what you’re saying makes sense, they’ll come to you to start a dialog. This is where your relationship can begin to blossom.
- How different do you think your life would have been had your parents taught you these concepts about dating and sex? Do you think it would have changed your life? If so, how? Spend the next few moments thinking about this and then write down what comes to mind.
- Where are you currently at when it comes to dating and sex? Are you able to have healthy relationships? Do you still have a hard time relating with the opposite sex? Are you angry or frustrated with the opposite sex? Write down what comes to mind for you.
- What do you want to teach your teenager about sex and relationships? In an ideal world, what perspective would you like them to have? Write down exactly what you wish to teach them about relationships and sex.
Need Help With Your Teen?
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Want more tips?
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Hurt Feelings – How to talk to your teen if they have hurt feelings
Lying – How to address your teen when you catch them lying
Money – How to talk to your teen about being responsible with money
Out of Control – How to talk to your teen when they are out of control
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