Talking with Teens
Parents too often feel embarrassed about talking with their teenage children about sex. Yet research shows that when asked about the most influential factor their own sexual decision-making, teenagers say that their parents are the most influential factor.
As a parent, you hold the key to helping your teen choose abstinence.
Studies show that parents can make a difference in regards to their child's sexual decisions. You are most effective when you use strong communication within the context of close family relationships to clearly define what you expect your children to do and not to do.
Even if you may have made different choices regarding sex, it does not mean that you should not share your wisdom with your teen. Be open. Tell them what happened to you. Let them know about the consequences that may have happened to someone you know – maybe even yourself – because of sex outside of marriage. Your words just might be the encouragement your teen needs to make the right choice.
Also, make sure that you educate yourself on the STI/STD epidemic that teenagers are facing. Find out what your teen is learning about sex through school, music, television, magazines, the Internet, books and peers.
Understand the youth culture. Know the scientific data. Make that heartfelt appeal to your teenager with the advice he or she needs.
Whatever you do, never make yourself “unreachable” as a parent. Especially if your child is ever in danger, the first person you want that teenager to turn to is you.
Make sure your teen knows that whatever the situation might be, you can be the one he or she turns to and depends on, because you are a "Parent in the Know."
Heritage wants to educate, equip, and empower parents so that parents can feel like they are truly “in the know.” Heritage believes that parents are the best people to talk to teens about sex, yet many parents feel ill-equipped to broach the topic with their adolescents. Heritage has written a helpful book for parents that outlines how to effectively speak to your teens (or groups of teens) about abstinence.
Sex, Lies and Hook-Ups: A Parent's Guide for Fighting Back
The book will help you help your teen: Develop Personal Identity, Set Boundaries, Resist Peer Pressure, Embrace Abstinence and Prepare for Marriage and Future Family. This book is the go-to manual for parents to begin frank discussions with their children about sex and protective boundaries. The authors are the developers of the proven-effective Heritage Keepers® Abstinence Education (Heritage Keepers®) program, used by educators to empower young people to avoid the risks associated with early sexual debut and multiple sexual partners.
Sex, Lies and Hook-Ups focuses on scientifically-identified "predictors" of teen sex that parents can address in the home. These predictors are foundational to the success of the Heritage Keepers® program. Because Heritage Keepers® has a positive effect on these predictors of teen sex, it subsequently has a positive effect on actual behavior – even a year after the program. To research the impact of Heritage Keepers®, students were surveyed before the program started. Some were enrolled in the program and others were not. Before Heritage Keepers®, the students in both groups scored the same. After the program, the scores of the program students improved significantly. Most importantly, a year later the Heritage Keepers® students reported initiating sex at a rate 1/3 that of the non-program students (a 67% lower rate). Extensive statistical analysis shows that the remarkable difference between the program and non-program students' behavior is almost entirely due to the Heritage Keepers® program. When teen behavior is so dramatically influenced by a program – even a year later, just think of the difference it will make when parents understand and address these predictors daily, in the home.
Teens say that of all the people in their lives they admire most, it is their parents. They look to them for advice and guidance. Sex, Lies and Hook-Ups provides parents with the skill-building tools they need to help their children successfully negotiate their teen years. The Sex, Lies and Hook-Ups Parent Series includes a book for parents, seven (7) videos, chapter by chapter worksheets, and a workbook for teens. This series provides valuable scientifically-derived information that enables parents to empower their teens to better understand themselves, avoid risk and reach their potential in life.
- Understanding the developing teen brain and body
- Positively influencing predictors of teen sex
- Developing sexual values – risks associated with safe sex and benefits of abstinence
- Effectively managing the biological impact of infatuation
- Addressing justifications for teen sex and practicing refusal skills with your teen
- Establishing sensible and protective dating standards with your teen
- Helping your teen avoid associated risks – drugs, alcohol and smoking
- Increasing your teen's knowledge of anatomy and reproduction
- Recognizing and preventing sexual abuse
- Helping your teen prepare for healthy relationships and a bright future
- Parents as partners in prevention