The Importance Of Teaching Teens That It Is Alright To Say No
This could well seem a strange thing to say but a lot of parents do not understand how essential it is to teach teenagers that dating and sex do not go hand in glove. Unfortunately many teens merely presume that sex is a normal part of dating and a quick look at magazines and television aimed at teens shows why this is so. Do not simply assume that your teenage children appreciate the difference between dating and sex and see that they get this message.
Try to teach your children the ins and outs of dating and sex from an early age and emphasize this message from time to time. Above all, help your children to learn that dating involves getting to know other people emotionally and not merely physically.
Teenagers will often have a 'one track mind' and you will need to hint at other things that they can do on a date rather than just focusing their minds on having sex. This may appear silly but you would be amazed at how often teenagers opt for sex as an option just out of boredom and cannot think of anything else to do. So, as peculiar as it may appear you really will need to suggest things that your teens can do on a date to have fun. If you can get them to keep busy enough then they will most probably have to say no less often.
A lot of parents instruct their teenage children on how to go about saying no to sex and come up with a lengthy list of excuses or retorts. The is fair enough but an excuse normally only works once and simply brushing off the idea with an excuse is simply putting the question off and leaving the door open for the idea to keep coming up time and again. The solution therefore is to teach your child to simply say no sternly and clearly and that, though they may feel like giving reasons, they do not need to do so and merely saying no should be enough.
If you find yourself in the situation in which your child has already experienced sex then you may believe that it is too late to teach them to say no. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Many teens think that once they have had sex with someone they cannot really refuse to do so a second time. The fact that they have experimented with sex however does not mean that this can simply be 'crossed off' their list of hurdles and you will need to let them know that they can refuse sex if they feel uncomfortable. You should also discuss with them the fact that engaging in sex should always be something of significance and special and that a lot of myth surrounds the so-called significance of their initial sexual experience.
While you are discussing the importance of building relationships on a lot more than just sex, it is also imperative to combine this with instructing your teenagers about safe sex practices. However much you might want to do so you are not always going to be able to prevent your teenagers from engaging in sex. You can however give yourself some peace of mind by attempting to see that your teenagers stay safe, even if they do not follow your advice to stand stand their ground and make wise choices.
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Boundaries with Teens: When to Say Yes, How to Say No
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