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Talking to Teens About Peer Pressure

 

Peer pressure is a bit inevitable, but there are things we can do to close the door on being pressured more than we do.

Making sure your kids know how to say "no" is an important life skill. One that they will need more and more as they get older. Adults play an important role in helping young people develop and practice this skill. These talking tips are sure to help! 

Help kids clarify their values by sharing your own and why you believe what you do. 

If you have values around what is right/wrong, healthy/unhealthy, or safe/unsafe behaviors be sure to share these with your children. It is important to also include why you feel that way. You won't always know if your values and beliefs were heard in the moment but often times they are reflected back later when it counts. 

Be real. Don't exaggerate to instill fear. The truth is often scary enough.

Often times adults exaggerate consequences. If a child knows of an example that contradicts what you are saying, it...

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The Truth about Fear Tactics

Do you remember...

The massive public health campaigns designed to combat smoking? They focused on all the dangers of smoking such as emphysema, heart disease, cancer, and other smoking related diseases that took years of use to cause. I know you've seen these ads and commercials and you may even have one that sticks in your mind.  Here is one I remember when I was a teen. 

These ad campaigns were designed to scare us into not smoking. Do you think they worked? 

NOPE!

It turns out that those campaigns had surprisingly little impact on behavior decisions. What eventually cut smoking rates were two main tactics: substantially raising the cost of cigarettes and placing strong limits on the places where people could smoke. Many bars and restaurants stopped allowing smoking and federal buildings and schools required butts be put out 20 feet away from doors. Of course, continuing to educate about the ill effects of tobacco is important, but if we had just...

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The TALK Kids Want to Have!

 

Few parents get excited about talking to their kids about sex.

What to say, how much to say and when to say it are just a few of the hesitations. Many parents believe their kids don’t want to discuss the subject with them or that they’ll just learn it from school, from friends, or the internet. The truth is though that kids do want to talk to parents and other trusted adults in their lives about sex and relationships and we might have been getting what conversations they want to have all wrong.  

According to a report from Harvard’s “Making Caring Common” project, 70% of kids surveyed wished they had gotten more information from their parents about managing the emotions of a relationship.

They want guidance on:

  • “how to have a more mature relationship,”
  • “how to deal with breakups,”
  • “how to avoid getting hurt,”
  • “how to compromise in a relationship,”
  • “how to deal with falling out of...
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Teens & Sexting

 

Rather than being shocked to find that kids are sexting, we should start talking about it from an early age. In this blog find tips on how to get this important conversation started. 

What exactly is sexting?

Sexting is sending or getting sexually explicit or suggestive images, messages, or video on a smartphone or through the Internet.

Sexting includes sending:

  • nude or nearly nude photos or selfies
  • videos that show nudity, sex acts, or simulated sex

How common is it and why is it a BIG deal?

Sexting among teens is on the rise. According to JAMA Pediatrics, almost 27 percent of teens are receiving sexts and almost 15 percent are sending them and 12% forward them without consent. 

Teens should understand that messages, pictures, or videos sent via the Internet or smartphones are never truly private or anonymous. In seconds they can be out there for all the world to see.

Even if the image, video, or text was only meant for one person, after it's sent or posted, it's out of...

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What to Do If You Find Something Disturbing on Your Teen's Phone

I often hear parents struggling with issues concerning their children using technology safely and appropriately. A parent might notice, for example, that their teenager spends a lot of time texting, or frequently insulting others or cursing. Another parent might discover pictures on their teen’s phone or social media of them in their underwear, flashing private parts, or in suggestive poses. Or a parent who shares a tablet with their teen notices that internet history includes searches related to sex or pornographic websites.

Countless parents encounter issues with their children's behavior on their devices and struggle with knowing how to approach things. Many are looking for answers and advice on how to broach certain subjects with their kids, especially if they were snooping or want to make sure they have an appropriate punishment that doesn't create more defiance or space between them. 

It's important we teach teens how to navigate the challenges...

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Myths that STOP Parents from Talking About Sex

 

Parents often want to know when is the best time to start talking to their kids about "it". However, it is far too easy to hesitate and wait when there are so many myths and facts that get mixed up and make us fearful to get this important conversation started.  Should you wait till your child has questions, for school to do it, or for puberty to happen?  

I wanted to address some of the most common concerns that I have heard over the years doing talks that could stop you from having conversations with your kids. Here are the top 10.  

1. Won't talking about sex make kids want to grow up faster?

One hesitation or belief I have heard is that talking about sex makes kids seem older. That they become women or men after "THE Talk" or that it makes them less innocent in some way.  This is simply not true. If anything, talking about sexuality early will help keep your child's innocence by protecting them from sexual abuse or exploitation...

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Talking to Kids About Consent

 

With the rise of the Me Too movement and allegations of sexual misconduct against many high-profile figures flooding our current events many parents are wondering how to talk to their kids about consent. It is not as tough of a conversation as you may believe.  Here is a quick guide to help you feel confident and get started talking today.

Starting Early With Younger Kids

Helping kids understand consent (permission) early and understand their bodies belong to them makes it much easier to discuss sexual consent as they get older. The behaviors and mindset you help your child create have the power to be carried with them into adulthood.   Here are some important lessons to pass on to your kiddos. You've got this parents! 

Begin with teaching children that their bodies belong to them and that a person needs to ask permission before touching their body. This includes hugs, kisses, holding hands, tickling, doctor visits,...

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Explaining Periods to Your Son

Explaining a Girl's Period to Your Son

If you have a son you may be wondering what to tell him about girls and their puberty changes. It is important to talk to your boys about what girls experience as they will always have females in their lives. From their mother, sisters, friends, cousins, colleagues and maybe even a daughter someday. It's important to raise empathetic and kind boys that respect women. In order to do that fully, boys need to understand girls better which includes both their physical and emotional differences. 

Contrary to popular belief, the earlier you start talking about puberty the easier it can be. There are many opportunities for talking about periods with boys. Your son may be in the bathroom with you and see you changing a pad or tampon. He may ask what you are doing or why there is blood down there. Maybe you are watching TV as a family and a commercial for feminine hygiene products comes on and you could ask him if he knows about the...

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Movie Review - Eighth Grade

The film "Eight Grade" shows adolescents as it is for many pre-teens, directed by YouTube star Bo Burnham, about going through adolescence.  In this extremely realistic drama (not your typical Hollywood movie), a socially awkward teen girl navigates the painful territory between middle school and high school. 

This movie while edgy has a brave and hopeful main character and delivers messages about self-love and setting boundaries. There's so much here for parents and their teens to unpack, from mean-girl behavior and too much/inappropriate screen use to the importance of being careful around older teens (particularly for girls) and saying no to unwanted sexual advances. Ultimately, it also promotes open communication between teens and their parents, as well as courage, since Kayla learns to love and speak up for herself. It is rated "R", but most reviews say it is appropriate for 14 and up. Read on to see if it is right for your family to watch...

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Utilize & Create Teachable Moments

What is a teachable moment?

A teachable moment is an opportunity that you find to say something brief about sexuality (or any topic really) that might affirm a value important to you, or provide accurate information, or express the way you feel about a situation. Look for organic and real opportunities to talk about sexuality, relationships, gender, and more. TV and movies are loaded with them. The news and social media is another easy source of plentiful material.  Is there a neighbor or a family member getting a divorce or that is pregnant?  A friend from school that was adopted or has same-sex parents?  Look for things in your child's everyday environment to bring the subject up.  If that doesn't work, create your own teachable moments.  Buy a book, movie, or watch a YouTube video that can help you broach the topic.  

Here are some ideas for great everyday moments that could help you spark a conversation: 

  • Pets - If you have an animal...
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