Monday, November 16, 2009

Sue Scheff: Having the Sex Talk with your Teens

Part 4: In my continuing series with parenting expert and TODAY Show Contributor, Dr. Michele Borba, author of BIG BOOK of Parenting Solutions, she helps us to ease into that uncomfortable birds and the bees discussion.

Pay Attention to This!

Adolescent sexual activity began to level off around 2001 and for the longest time failed to budge, but suddenly there is the first increase (3 percent) since 1991 in the U.S. teen birth-rate. About one in thirteen teens becomes pregnant every year; 80% of those pregnancies are unintended. That’s despite $1.5 billion spent since 2000 on abstinence education. In fact, there is no reliable evidence that “abstinence only” programs work to curtail kids’ sexual activity. With the AIDS epidemic and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, the health stakes for kids are much higher – all the more reason to have repeated talk about the birds and the bees.

“So what are you waiting for? Don’t you think it’s better that your child gets this information from you than from her friends or media? This entry offers tips to help you discuss this crucial topic with your child. Ant the sooner the you begin, the better!” – Michele Borba


In this section of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, Dr. Borba offers 6 Strategies for Change. I will give you the headers and part of the discussion; however you will need to turn to page 395 to get complete answers. Again, this is a sneak peek and another reason this book belongs in your home library.

1. Get savvy about today’s kid culture. It’s a different world now in many ways, including how our teens view sex. It’s far more casual, and they are less likely to have close, personal, high-quality relationships with sex partners…. (continued on page 395)
2.Read up and get prepared! Today’s kids are for the most part more open and ask questions at far younger ages. So be ready…. (continued on page 396)
3.Talk about sex – and the earlier the better. The earlier you start those talks about the birds and the bees, the more comfortable you’ll be discussing the “heavier” topics that come later… (continued on page 396 with great in-depth tips).
4.Communicate you values. Your “sex talks” need to be far more than just a lesson about body parts. Be sure to communicate your family’s values about sexuality so that your child hears our views about intimacy, commitment, and love… (continued on page 397).
5.Monitor your child and her friends. Kids are most likely to have their first sexual encounter in your home or their partner’s home during the evening hours or when you’re away during the weekend…. (continued on page 397).
6.Stay connected. One of the best deterrents to early sexual activity appears to be the state of your relationship with your child. About 20 percent of both boys and girls whose parents reported a poor relationship with them during the tween years had sex by fifteen, almost double the number of kids who had good parental relationships… (continued on page 397).

For those that don't have time to read, this is the perfect book for you since it is not the type of book you sit down to read. As parenting questions come up, you can go straight to the index and find the page number. Immediately you will see the pages divided by boxes, quick tips and advice and easy to read and understand resources. Did I mention she also gives you proven research and statistics?

Next sneak peek: Gifted Children (page 508) – don’t miss it!

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