Have you ever felt clueless? Like you didn’t know what to do, what should happen, how you fit in to the situation? It feels pretty powerless.
You and I both want our kids to feel more confident, more powerful, more in control – so that things don’t “just happen” to them – especially when it comes to sex and relationships.
Here’s the big mindset shift:
Instead of telling them what to avoid, tell them what to do and what to expect.
If you know what to expect, you’re not clueless. You know if this is the right situation or if you need to say Hell No, this isn’t how it’s supposed to be.
If you know what to do, you can take charge of a situation. You’re the leader, the upstander, the one in control. That feels really good.
Our kids desperately want to be proficient! Somehow, with sex, we get tongue tied and say less, when we actually need to say more. Paint the picture for them. They need to know what should happen…so we’re not being very helpful when we focus on what shouldn’t.
Let me give you a few examples:
Perhaps your rule is, “No one but you should touch your private parts, unless it’s with your consent, to help you with hygiene or an injury.” Good! Now…what should they do if that rule gets broken? Because it does get broken for 1:5 girls and 1:12 boys – and in major ways.
Maybe you have a rule, “Pornography is not for kids. Children’s hearts and minds aren’t ready for it.” Excellent! Now…what should they do when they do see online porn for the first time? (Because it’s not an if, it’s a when…)
You teach your adolescent, “No drugs, no alcohol. Not until you’re at least 18.” OK! Now, what should they do when they go to a party and their peers offer them drugs and alcohol? How do they defend that boundary or exit that situation? And if they do want to partake, what does the right situation look like?
You tell your teen, “No sexting. Sending nudes is never a good idea.” I agree 100%. Now, what should they do when they get the first request? What if the requests keep coming, even after they’ve said No? And what should they do if they receive a nude picture?
You’ve said, “Don’t have sex yet; wait til you’re older.” But if they decide they’re ready, what do they need to know about how it should be? They’ve seen porn – have you painted a different picture for them so they have a healthier idea to go by?
Making the shift from protection to preparation isn’t an easy one. It’s a letting go of control (or the illusion of it). If you’d like some models and language, check out the webinars and interviews available in our video library membership. There are over 80 videos on a wide range of topics, from sexual abuse prevention to playing doctor to virginity to porn. I promise you’ll find something helpful for your family.
In support of you,
P.S. The video library membership is perfect for those who are looking to learn, but, if you’re struggling with something right now, I’d love to give you something more targeted than a webinar. Jump on my calendar for a free 30 minute call.