Need some parenting tips for talking about puberty and sex? Our expert parenting author, Dr. Madeline Levine, is sharing 5 tips from her new book, Teach Your Children Well. Let's see what she advises.
5 Parenting Tips for Parents of Middle School Children:
1. Start early. Sensitive conversations are less sensitive when you've had a history of them in your family. But it's never too late to start. Middle schoolers may find it easier to start talking about sexual activity once removed than about their own.
Portrayals in television shows, movies, or magazines give us great opportunities to bring up touch issues. A movie like Juno, about a pregnant teenage girl, would give you an easy opening for questions like "How did Juno decide what to do when she found out she was pregnant?" "How" questions are always more likely to be answered than "why" questions that just put kids on the defensive.
2. Figure out when your child is most receptive to discussion. Almost every important talk I had with my sons was in the evening around bedtime. Probably because everyone was relaxed. Don't ambush your child when he first comes home from school or when she has a big test the following day.
3. Don't be oblique. Preteens and young teens are confused enough about what is going on with their bodies and so questions like "Have you had any new feelings? are incomprehensible (and anxiety provoking) to them. Much better to be direct and say, "You're probably getting pretty close to having your first period. Let's make sure you're prepared." Often it's easier to ease into feelings after logistics are attended to.
4. Do not impute feelings to your teen. "You must be worried about when you're going to look like the other boys." This is probably the fastest way to shut down communication. The feeling part of these discussions has to come from your kid; otherwise he or she will feel misunderstood, controlled, and even judged.
5. Let your kid know you're available for conversation. "At some point you might want to talk about the changes in your body or about sex, If you do, I'm here to listen." Provide openings but don't push if you get no response. Most children will come to you..(To find out more go to page 103)
I appreciate the advice, Dr. Levine, has given us. If we want our tweens and teens to ask questions about puberty and sex, we have 5 wise parenting tips to follow.
Let's APPLAUD Madeline Levine, PhD for share these tips with us.
Pick up her book, Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success
Available at Amazon.com
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Jean Tracy, MSS
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