The final lesson plan is all about identifying myths about sex, relationships, and desirability that are perpetuated in the media. It includes one of my favourite activities, based on one of my favourite classic tabletop games. Five bonus points if you can guess which one!
It’s not unusual for youth at this age to have their first crushes. Your tween might have one, or they might not. Or they might have one and not want to tell you about it. Which is fine. You don’t have to push. Just the simple fact of you asking the question lets them know that you are open to talking about it
This conversation is all about your family’s values around modesty. There’s no right or wrong answer here. You get to set the dress code that works in your home. Some families are fine with total nudity around the house. Other families choose to keep their bodies covered virtually all the time.
It’s such a simple question, but learning to identify feelings and where those feelings come from can really help kids express themselves and their needs now, and as they grow up.
Every day in April, I’ll be posting a video about one of the questions in my guide, (Over) 100 Questions To Ask Your Kids About Sexuality. The guide is free and if you don’t have it, you can get it by clicking here. A comprehensive approach to teaching kids about sexuality includes conversations about not having sex. So today’s question is for your teens: “Why do you think some people choose to remain abstinent?”
In an earlier video I mentioned that by age 17, about two-thirds of youth have had a partnered sexual experience. Which means that by age 17, about a third of youth have never had sex with a partner. Also, not all teens try partnered sex stay remain sexually active throughout adolescence. Conclusion: there are a whole lot of teens out there who aren't having sex. I have another video on that topic and you can check it out here.
There are a lot of reasons teens choose abstinence. They may not feel ready for a sexual relationship. Or they try sex and realize that it’s not what they want at this point in their life.
Some teens want to wait until they reach a specific life milestone - prom, high school graduation, college, marriage, etc - before they have sex. Some teens have deeply held spiritual or religious beliefs that prohibit having sex.
There are teens are asexual, meaning they don’t have any desire for sex.
There are also teens who are abstinent because of circumstance. They may have an injury or an illness that makes sex difficult. They may be on medication that affects their sexual desire, or sexual functioning. Some teens would love to have sex in theory, but they don’t have a sexual partner in their life at the moment. There are teens are extremely busy with school, work, extracurricular activities and/or family responsibilities and they don’t have time for sex.
It’s okay to be abstinent Sometimes it seems like the whole world wants sex, needs sex, is having sex. But we aren’t. Abstinence normal and valid whether it’s a choice or by circumstance. We can remind teens that abstinence is that not only is abstinence common amongst teens, a lot of people have periods throughout their lives when they don't have much or any sex.
It's also valuable for teens who are or have been sexually active to know that they aren’t locked into that choice. Sex isn’t chips. Once you start, you can stop...for any reason, at any time. These conversations can help youth understand that different people have different sexual (and non-sexual) experiences. Your teen doesn’t have to make choices about their sexuality based on trying to be “normal” or what doing “everyone else” is doing. There’s no such thing as normal when it comes to sex. There’s just what works or what's happening for each person..and for many teens, what's happening is abstinence.
As I mentioned in the first post of this series, it’s useful to revisit the topic how babies are made several times throughout childhood and adolescence because it lets us add a few new details about this relatively complicated biological process each time we talk to our kids.
Children being able to name their genitals properly is foundational sexual knowledge. It’s information that kids can use when they're young, and then build on as they move through their childhood and adolescence.
there’s a lot to say about STIs. It’s far easier and effective for us to put STIs on our kids’ radars early so that we have the option of discussing it over time, rather than slamming them with one massive safer sex lecture.
Learning to express anger, sadness, upset with others in appropriate ways is a really important foundational relationship skill. For children, it’s something that will serve them in their relationships with friends, family and their community. Later on, it’s a skill they can bring into any romantic or sexual relationships they might have.
When it comes to having sex, adults often give teens the advice “wait until you’re ready”. But what does “ready” mean? So today's question is one you can ask the wonderful teenage kids in your life: "What do you think are good reasons to have sex?
As adults, we sometimes worry about what the young folk are getting up to online. Concerns about our kids’ safety and well-being never go away entirely, but learning where your kid is hanging out online and what goes on in those digital spaces can help soothe a bit of our parental anxiety
There are a few great reasons to start a conversation with your little person about babies and where they come from sooner rather than later!