Parents, beware. Attitudes towards sex have dramatically changed in the last decade. What your teen thinks is normal, acceptable or safe can shock even the most liberal among us.
Here are some of the most common perceptions teens have about dating and sex. By knowing this, you can arm yourself with the right parenting skills to guide your teens and arm them with the right values to make the smartest decision possible. They’re too old for us to tell them what to do…but we still have the power to influence how they think.
Teen dating fact # 1: The Internet is the new dating scene
When we were young, all our parents had to do to stop us from dating was to make darned sure that we wouldn’t get out of the house. Now, even when your teen is inside your home, he or she can still ‘hook up’ with other people through the Interne (Facebook, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, dating sites).
Fortunately, you too can use technology to keep tabs on your teen. The best defense is to locate the computer in a family area, like the living room, so you can monitor Intrnet use and limit the time spent on social networking sites.
Teen dating fact # 2: Your teen is meeting total strangers
It’s difficult to keep track of a teen’s friends, especially since he probably bloats his Facebook page with every friend invite, no matter how casual the acquaintance. There are also many teens who will randomly invite a friend of a friend just because he or she ‘looks hot.’ (And, of course, that person will accept the invitation.
With this set-up it’s practically impossible to monitor your teens’ friends. The only thing you can do is to teach your child about the dangers of talking to strangers, and to give guidelines for posting photos (no skimpy clothes or sexy poses, which could attract unwanted attention).
Teen dating fact # 3: Girls are more liberal
Now, it’s perfectly okay for girls ask boys out too. They make the moves, get aggressive and send the flirty notes. Sometimes, they drive and pick up the tab! So parents have to modify the ‘Big Sex Talk’ too, and talk to girls about the risk of rejection, and tell your boys it’s okay to say ‘no’ when a girl pressures him to get sexually active with her.
Teen dating fact # 4: Curfew is not a guarantee
Parents think setting a curfew can help curb the risk of premarital sex. That’s not true! Many of them don’t do the deed at night. Researchers have found that teens are more likely to have sex after school hours— between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m., when many parents are still at work.
Since you can’t be home all the time, the best parenting tip is to closely monitor or guide your child’s activities during that time. Sign him or her up for an after-school sports program or some other fun recreational activity. And shake things up: show up unexpectedly sometimes, or call just to say hello.
Teen dating fact # 5: Oral sex is ‘just like kissing’
Kids associate sex with penetration, so oral sex is no big deal because ‘they’re not actually doing it.’ Parents need to talk to them about how oral sex can still transmit STD’s and still drastically changes a relationship.
Photo from livestrong.com