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This article was inspired by a Facebook Live interview where I talk to Katelyn D’Adamo, Director of Generation Life. Katelyn has been a Chastity Speaker for 5 years and Generation Life has been sending speakers to high schools for 20 years!
See and listen to the whole interview here
How to talk about sex to your tween:
Don’t just have one talk; have hundreds of talks!
Growing up, I would hear the expression, “did you have the talk” to your kid . . . or, “did your parents “have the talk” with you yet?
Katelyn D’Adamo, Director of Generation Life encourages parents to not just have one talk, but lots and lots of talks!
Katelyn D’Adamo, Director of Generation Life, also wants you the parent to know, your child wants to hear from YOU! Generation Life speakers go into classrooms and discuss Chastity and find this truth over and over again. The students want to hear from their parents. It might be awkward, but young children will appreciate that you had the courage to speak with them about this topic.
It’s important to focus on the positive. Tell your son and daughter that changes are and will be happening to his or her body and those changes are good. These changes are a part of God’s plan.
Be authentic! The truth will come out when you are real. There are real temptations and pressures out there; what do you want for your child and why? The truth is that we were made for TRUE LOVE, not the counterfeit.
Educate and Equip Yourself with Reliable Resources
Since we are encouraging you to have hundreds of talks, it would probably help to have some more ideas of what exactly to talk about!
Are you on Instagram? Follow Generation Life!
Follow Generation Life on Facebook at @genlife
Increased rates of anxiety and loneliness are linked to earlier engagement of sexual activity.
Social Media and the pornography industry make this topic even more challenging than ever before. The pornography industry is marketing all ages and succeeding. It’s important to be aware of this and tell our sons and daughters what pornography is and that it is, in fact, junk.
In Girls on the Edge, Dr. Leonard Sax shares stories of girls who look confident and strong on the outside but are fragile within. He shows why a growing proportion of teen and tween girls are confused about their sexual identity, misled by their own dreams, or obsessed with social media. Dr. Sax provides parents with tools to help girls become confident women, along with practical tips on helping your daughter choose a sport, nurturing her spirit through female-centered activities, and more.
In Boys Adrift, Dr. Leonard Sax delves into the scientific literature and draws on more than twenty years of clinical experience to explain why boys and young men are failing in school and disengaged at home. He shows how social, cultural, and biological factors have created an environment that is literally toxic to boys. He also presents practical solutions, sharing strategies which educators have found effective in re-engaging these boys at school, as well as handy tips for parents about everything from homework, to videogames, to medication.
In this book, you will learn:
- The four biggest questions every daughter has—and that you must answer
- Why it’s the quality, not the quantity, of your daughter’s friends that matters
- The essential, complementary roles that mothers and fathers play
- The dangers of social media—and how to help your daughter navigate them
- What every daughter needs to know about God
- Why depression is often a “sexually transmitted disease”
- How to launch your daughter into successful womanhood
Another great resource is The Dating Blueprint by Jason Evert
Jason Evert surveyed more than a thousand women and asked them questions such as:
How would you want a man to ask you out?
How do you not want to be asked on a date? This book reveals their surprising answers, plus:
How to know if she’s the right one ·
Where women don’t want to go on a first date
What word they want a man to say when he asks ·
When, where, and how he should ask
What she hopes the date will include
How a man can save his marriage before he’s married
Dating doesn’t need to become a relic of the past. It needs to be revived.
Helpful Apps for your Catholic Family
Almost twenty years ago, Covenant Eyes founder Ron DeHaas faced the same questions many people face today.
- “How can I teach my children to use the Internet with integrity?”
- “How do I guard my own heart and remain pure online?”
- “How do I serve as an example to my family and church?”
Realizing the threat that online technologies pose without proper monitoring, he invented Internet Accountability to equip people to protect themselves and their families from online dangers.
Screen Accountability provides more holistic insight into what you actually look at on your screens. If you see it, then we can capture it.
Also check out recommended filtering apps from Fight the New Drug
Fight the New Drug is a non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.
Talk about and put limits on screen time and social media
Okay, if you were hoping this article would give you specific words and phrases to start a conversation with your son or daughter – here we go:
Tell your sons to never, ever ask someone to “send them a pic”. Tell your daughters if someone asks her to “send me a pic” – send them a picture of your bare naked hand waving goodbye, because that is all the skin they deserve to see.
“Send me a pic” is a request girls are receiving as young as 7th grade.
Besides the fact that sending inappropriate pictures is unvirtuous, it’s also classified as child pornography and young people are getting charged for both sending it and being in possession of it.
And speaking of porn . . .
Talk about pornography. Use the word pornography. Discuss how that entertainment industry makes billions of dollars a year and uses that money to attract young people.
Devices, phones and anything that allows a person to go on the internet should be used in common areas. Phones should be turned in at a set time at night. Explain why – children and teens are staying up way to late on these devices and it’s effecting their development.
We as Catholics know that fasting is a good spiritual practice. Teach your children to fast from social media.
Pray for your child, but also pray with your child. Ask the Lord to strengthen him or her and fill them with virtue and self-control.
Compliment your children. Not just on good grades, but on how they look, the clothes they chose to wear, the way they did their hair, etc. Girls especially are seeking this from anywhere they can get it. Make sure they get plenty from you so that they desire it less from others.
Also remember, these journals will help your son and daughter grow in love with Our Lord and His mission for her (or him)!
Give your child a Be Yourself Journal today!