This topic is something I have to reflect on: I have taught health so many years I almost can’t remember NOT talking about it. The questions I get, the suggestions I make, and the information that MOST PEOPLE NEED but don’t take or have the time to get their hands on. THAT is why I wrote this book. Top three questions? One–I could never do what you do. How do you start?
Two–How far is too far? (Sexually speaking) And Three–What is “it” like? (SEX)
I usually get “the look” when I tell them the book I am writing is How to keep your Virgin from Mergin’ too soon. They either laugh, say nothing, or ask another question, sometimes telling me what I should tell other people–what I should be sure to include in the book!
I couldn’t get to the actual beginning of the book until I took my own advice. I simply used the three steps and calmed down. The first step in this UNIVERSAL, VITAL, and PIVOTAL topic, is to process all that you can remember about YOU. You need to reflect on the past that only YOU had to go through. Reflection is powerful and can be difficult and emotional, but it is helpful and necessary in this “elimination of awkward”
My Father always said, “NEVER FORGET where the beginner began”
This applies more than ever when it comes to young love. Puberty happens and we forget what exactly is going on because we survived it. There is a time in everyone’s life when they did not have the experience of kissing or having a crush or a heartbreak relationship. There is actually a time when you did not know jealousy, distrust, or cruel words. Imagine that. THAT is where the beginner began.
Every year I would look at my 6th graders and, although I was mildly annoyed by them, I knew that for the most part they were still innocent, honest, and full of energy. Their energy drove me crazy, their honesty sometimes ticked me off, and their innocence was going to be short-lived. Welcome to middle school health class. The “S E X” or Human Growth and Development unit was usually after Spring break and before the end of the year. By that time, the wheels were off, the hormones were in full bloom, and 6th grade boys were eager to have their questions answered.
I decided to go OLD School with a lesson one day. Instead of having them click on a link or watch something on a screen, I laid out a whole table full of tri-fold brochures. (Yes. I actually had a stack of them from early days) There were all kinds of them. Some had very colorful and eye-catching titles: STD’s and YOU, Dating Tips, Contraception, “Am I Ready For Sex?” Herpes, Chlamydia…You get the idea. I told them they had to pick one title that they would read first. They could not touch them, only pick one and write down the title of the one that most interested them.
I still laugh when I think of the boys who raced to their chairs after making a selection. What did they write? “I am Ready For Sex!” Yes. The brochure reads “Am I Ready for Sex?” No surprise that a 6th grader would mix the first two words, RIGHT? The joys of innocence. How soon we forget where the beginner began. Days like that made me want to get going on this parenting idea.
TRUTH is VITAL. You already have experience and stories your child has never heard (and may never ask.) If you took the time to reminisce, you could easily come up with something your child might be interested in listening to. ** I recommend getting ideas from the
Your personal expression and the way you let them know what you want them to know is pure gold. Teens might not act like it, but they love getting to know their parents. They think you were born old, so when they hear about YOU as an innocent YOUNG person, they become almost mesmerized. You will relive your own memories when you tell them a story of YOU.
Remember when you tell the story, pay attention to their needs. YOU are the magic in their life. They don’t want to ask because they don’t want you to know that they don’t know. YOU don’t want to ask because you don’t want them to think you know what they don’t know. It’s confusing and AwkWARd for both of you, but stories lead to questions and that becomes a completely natural conversation that both of you will relax into. TRY IT!