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!
In our house, love is shouting out sexual misinformation over microwave burritos.
Our culture doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to prioritizing sexual consent. And that is, at least in part, because our culture doesn’t prioritize sexual pleasure.
These posts are based on 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. To watch the video version of this post, click here. Best practices or "etiquette" around when we should share other people's photos online is a relatively new social consideration. For many of raising kids today, the Internet wasn't even a thing when we were young, so we didn't have to deal with any of this growing up.
When I was in high school, I posted photos on my locker door. The potential audience reach was anyone who happened to wander down the drama room hallway. But when our kids post photos on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and other social media platforms, when youth share photos of other people, it's possible for those images to wind up anywhere.
One thing we can do in our conversations about online behaviour is to encourage our teens to think about the effect sharing information and images might have on others. I call it “online empathy”. When someone posts a photo online, we can share that photo anywhere, with virtually anyone. But should we?How might sharing the photo affect the other person, particularly if that photo is embarrassing or upsetting for them? How might it affect our relationship with that person? And regardless of whether we know the person or not, how might sharing their photo reflect on us and our character?
Exploring these questions is a chance for your to help your teens reflect on their own values in terms of how they want to treat others, and to think about how they want to live those values through their online behaviour.
Gender and sexual diversity is part of the human experience. If your child identifies as lesbian, gay, trans, non-binary, bisexual, pansexual or someone other than a heterosexual cisgender person, this is a chance to open up a conversation about their what their daily life is like.
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.
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.
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?
A couple weeks ago we talked about how we can support our teens if they're dealing with an unintended pregnancy, and last week we looked at pregnancy options. This week I’ll round things out with a few parenting tips that may help your teen significantly reduce their risk of pregnancy in the first place.
If your teen is having the type of sex where a penis meets a vagina - even if they're using birth control - pregnancy is a possibility. An unintended pregnancy doesn't mean you and your kid aren't great people or a strong family. It does mean you have a big challenge in front of you. Find out how you can help your teen face it head on!