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Talking About Sex With Your Pre-Teens and Teens

I want to continue the conversation that began last Thursday with The Worst Sex Talk EVER! and continued with On Parenting: A Question For Bloggers, Readers and Commenters, one step further. Over the weekend I had the opportunity to speak to a former coworker of mine, Andrew Ross. He is a dynamic individual who in his spare time conducts workshops for young teens, ages 11-19, about financial literacy, male and female etiquette, leadership styles and skills, and HIV and AIDS awareness 101. He's an individual who in his own words came from nothing, overcoming street gangs, violence, prison and even a near death experience to become a mentor and motivational speaker. His story is a truly an amazing and inspired one.

Andrew provided me with the following short list of tactics to engage your youngster/teen in conversations about sex, abuse and anything else for that matter. According to Andrew, "Your child wants you to talk with him about sex. And you HAVE to have that talk." It is critical to get everyone comfortable with one another so that the conversations can be had, understood and accepted NOW and not later in hindsight as an adult.

  1. If your child is on MySpace or Facebook become their friend (no matter how much neither of you might not want this to happen). These sites will give you clear insight into their friendships, influences and thinking.
  2. Listen to the music they're listening to. Yes, as parents we'd all like to believe that the music choices in our homes and on our iPod playlists are the only ones our kids are listening to, but this isn't true. Music makes the world go round. Best believe it has the power to influence your child. Especially music today. I'm talking pop, rock and hip hop.
  3. Set up designated one-on-one time for just you and your child. This can happen once (or twice) a week or month, or however much your schedules allow. Father-Son Day, Dad & Daughter Day, Mother-Daughter Day, etc. No different than you would if you were someone's mentor or Big Brother/Big Sister. Eventually, they'll look forward to it and begin opening up more.
For more information regarding putting successful strategies into practice with your preteens and teens please, email Andrew directly.

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