When your son or daughter was a toddler, did you childproof your home? Perhaps you covered electrical outlets, hid sharp objects, and barricaded stairways-all in an effort to keep your child safe. If only it were that easy to keep your teenager safe! Now you have greater worries, such as: ‘Is my son accessing pornography? ’ Is my daughter ‘sexting’ –sending lewd photos of herself via cell phone? ’ And the dreaded question ‘Is my teenager sexually active? Some parents try to maintain 24-hour surveillance over their teens by hovering over them and monitoring their every move. Later, many of them discover that such ‘helicopter parenting’ only drove their teen underground. Their son or daughter became adept at hiding the very conduct the parents were trying to prevent. Clearly, control is not the answer, so how can you help your teens make wise moral decisions? A basic measure is to have ongoing discussions with your children and start when they are young.
Then, when they enter adolescence, keep talking. As a parent, you should be your teenager’s primary source of reliable information. Teens appreciate sex information when it comes from their parent than from their friends As they grow, children need to know more about sex than the facts of life. They should also have their perceptive powers trained to distinguish both right and wrong. In short, they held beliefs about sex-along with conduct that confirms to those beliefs. How can you inculcate good values in your teenager?
Start by considering your own values. For example, you may strongly believe that fornication-sex between unmarried individuals – is wrong. Likely, your children know your position on the matter. But more is needed, some youth may outwardly agree with their parents’ beliefs about sex. They feel too uncertain to form their own opinions. When they stumble into an unexpected situation and face an immediate dilemma about ‘how far to go; they find themselves mixed up and in real trouble. This is precisely why values are essential.
How can you help your teen acquire them? Make your values clear. Do you believe that sex should be reserved for marriage? Then tell your teen, clearing and often. Do you know that in homed wher parents have given their teen children clear messages that indicate that they disapprove of teens having intercourse; these teens are more likely to delay becoming involved in sexual intercourse. Of course, as mentioned earlier, simply stating your values does not guarantee that your son or daughter will hoose to live by them. However, solid family values will provide a foundation upon which children can build their own, because many youths do eventually adopt their parents’ values even if during the teen years the children seem to have put them in storage. Parent should try this out: use a news event to initiate a discussion and communicate your values. For example, if a sex crime is reported, you might say: “I am appalled at the way some men try to take advantage of women. Where do you think they get such ideas?
Another way parents can help their teens acquire values is for parents to teach the whole truth about sex. Make sure that your children get the whole truth about sex. Telling your teens only about the dangers may leave them with distorted view of the topic. Tell them that sex is beautiful and natural and that God gave it to humans for them to enjoy. But it has its proper place within marriage. It can give us happiness or suffering, depending on how we use it. Help your teen to evaluate the consequences.
To make good decisions in any aspect of life, teenagers need to know how to identify options and then weigh the pros and cons of each option. Do not think that their simply knowing what is right and what is wrong is enough, that is understands the benefits of those standards-and the consequences of violating them is vital. Those who engage in premarital sex sacrifice a degree of their character, integrity and self-respect. And that make them far less attractive to any potential mate who has those qualities.