The 2011 Center for Disease Control reveals that nearly half of all high school students reported having had sex. One in three claimed to have sex during the last three months and half of the 19 million new cases of STD are among these same young people. You’ve long since had the talk about the birds and the bees (that started back near the end of elementary school), but this more direct in your face talk about what is and isn’t acceptable needs to be reviewed, discussed and monitored.
This is the third installment of my series Six Conversations to Have with Your Teen Starting High School. As discussed in my previous post on the subject, Teen Friend Talk: Your SUCCESSFUL Option, you first must be very involved and greatly educated on who your teenager is spending time with, hanging out with, texting with and talking with, in both friends and “boy” and “girl” friends.
Second, you need to monitor those conversations closely and be aware when they escalate. Teens don’t wake up one day and decide to have sex. They start obsessive texting to their new found “love.” They start doodling love notes, shunning other friends and talking and spending time together. The texting starts turning more provocative, and the notes become secretive. They start meeting in public places, innocently, probably with your approval, then their conversations turn to fantasy or sexting in more private places. From this point they start scheming “alone time” together. A few alone time opportunities later, boom they have sex. Understanding the sliding slippery slopes of sin will help you identify the pattern and intervene. To do so requires GREAT parental involvement. It is a predictable pattern.
Third, have open dialog and expectations of your approval process and involvement. Now I know for some of you, you are falling out of your chair. Yes, I am asking that you have “We have to meet and interview the boy” requirements before they even can “officially” go out or call themselves a couple. For suggestions on how to accomplish this, I reviewed and recommended, “Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date” by Dennis Rainey, in a previous post.
Fourth, draw clear line of do’s and don’t. “Nothing more than kissing, and no clothing is to be removed. Do we understand my expectations? No exceptions.” Communicate those expectations to both your teen and her boyfriend. Love is patient. Do you want to marry someone who has compromised in the past?
Next, follow-up and ask accountability questions. Hold your teen and her boyfriend accountable. Don’t just take their word for it. Drop in unannounced on dates, pull a day’s worth of texting records on their phone, ask another teen friend if your teen was or was not where they should have been.
Finally, perhaps the best advice I ever got from a parent of grown daughters… don’t provide unsupervised alone time for your teen. This tip made seem the hardest, but teen sex doesn’t happen with you there. It happens with tons of regularly schedule “alone times.” As a single parent, or even any parent, don’t facilitate this option. If you do have to leave your teen alone provide other means of monitoring.
Sex is a great gift from God that is to be opened in an excellent place called marriage. Just as you wouldn’t give your teen your car keys without a day of driver’s education, don’t send your teen to high school without the guard rails they need and a clear road map of life. Purity offers their best future option!
How and how often do you talk about sex with your teen? What rules, monitoring, or restrictions do you place on your teenager to prevent sex?
Fred Campos is father to three and primary custodian to his daughter Caitlyn from a previous relationship. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
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