Hope + Healing Tonight!I have 17 points I'm talking to parents about at tonight's True Love Waits Parent Seminar.
1. Be a Role Model. Kids will follow where we lead. Consider your life. Are you living with integrity? Are you only having sex within the bounds of marriage? Saying, “Do what I say not what I do” never works. Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we are immune to sexual stimuli, temptation, or any other struggles the Bible discusses. Parents cannot shield their adolescences’ eyes and ears forever. As they grow, kids will have to make their own decisions. Help them make godly decisions from the start, by modeling these decisions yourself.
2. Find Healing. Do you have pain from your past that you haven’t dealt with? Your teens will be able to tell. Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Take your mistakes to God. Bring them to him in prayer. Attend a post-abortion Bible Study.
3. Share Your Story. You don’t have to go into all the details to share your successes and your failures. Teens appreciate transparency and honesty.
4. Talk about what love is. Love is not sex. Going “all the way” with someone doesn’t prove your love. (No matter what they show on television.) True love is shown through life-long commitment and by valuing the other person. Remind teens that they are the one responsible for setting sexual limits on a relationship.
5. Remind kids it CAN happen to them. Having sex, even so called "protected" sex, can lead to pregnancy. It can happen even to kids from a good family. The only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is to not have sex. Also, you can get an STD from physical contact alone. If any part of the other person touches any part of you … you can get an STD.
6. Emphasize that even “good girls” get pregnant. Likewise, being a “good guy” isn’t enough to stop you from getting your girlfriend pregnant. Having a good report card, being a good person, having an important parent, or being conscientious will not protect you from pregnancy. According to teenpregnancy.org, 1 in 3 young women get pregnant at least once before they turn 20—good girls included.
7. Let your son or daughter know that most teens wished they had waited. Sex before marriage can lead to pregnancy and STDs, but there is also emotional baggage. According to teenpregnancy.org, 60% of teens “wished they had waited longer” to have sex.
8. Encourage your teen to plan his/her actions BEFORE the situation arises. Do: set boundaries. Do not: get into situations that will cause him/her to compromise decisions. Help your teen make good plans for his/her future and stick to goals.
9. Talk about media’s wrong messages. The media (television, radio, movies, music videos, magazines, the Internet) are chock full of material sending wrong messages. Just because we see everyone in Hollywood having sex and having babies, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Babies are a responsibility, not a fashion accessory.
10. Encourage secondary purity. Teens can say “no” even if they’ve said "yes" before. Today your daughter or son can make the right choice and choose abstinence.
11. Realize parents can only do so much … but make sure it’s done! As a parent, you cannot be around your child 24/7. Yet, we can do our best to prepare our teens. Don’t wait.
12. Be available. If kids see that you’re not available to take a walk or sit down for a board game, they will view you as unavailable to communicate about the important stuff, too. Tune into stories about cute outfits and video games. It’s often these talks that lead into other, more serious issues.
13. Open up a two-way conversation, not a one-way lecture. Parents can do this by turning the above topics into questions such as: What are your boundaries? Do you think sex proves you love someone? What do you think of media messages? Talk in non-threatening ways, walking side by side, riding in the car. Not having eye contact helps teens open up.
14. Interview your teen’s date. Ask him/her about morals and boundaries. Tell him/her your expectations. Be a presence. Build a relationship.
15. Become your child’s ally. An ally understands the battle. Parents need to know even more about their children’s world than they do. Read magazines, listen to music, and watch shows targeted to adolescents. Get a Facebook account. Volunteer for carpool. Invite all the teens over to your house.
16. Use the media to prove your point. Sit down and watch shows and commercials with your teen and point out why these things break God’s heart. Ask questions like, “Is this reality? Do people on TV look and act like people in real life? What is the difference?” Remind teens that media is a false reality created by actors, producers, directors, advertisers and others who are trying to get across their views, and beliefs.
17. Seek God … often. “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15b (NIV). Listen to His still, small voice.
Books for parents and kids to read together:
· Preparing You Son for Every Man’s Battle: Honest Conversations About Sexual Integrity, Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker (WaterBrook)
· Every Young Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge (Waterbrook)
· Preparing For Adolescence, Dr. James Dobson (Regal Books)
· So You’re About to Be a Teenager: Godly Advice for Preteens on Friends, Love, Sex, Faith, and Other Life Issues, Dennis and Barbara Rainey, with Samuel and Rebecca Rainey (Thomas Nelson Books)
· Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty, Dannah Gresh (Moody Publishers)
Books for parents:
· Parenting Today’s Adolescent: Helping Your Child Avoid the Traps of the Preteen and Teen Years, Dennis and Barbara Rainey (Thomas Nelson Books)
· “Mom, I Hate My Life!” Sharon A Hersh (WaterBrook Press)
· Gentle Passages: Guiding Your Daughter into Womanhood, Robin Jones Gunn (Multnomah)
· Talking to Your Kids About Sex, Mark Laaser (WaterBrook Press)