Family

The Dark Secret in America That Threatens Kids

'Teen Vogue' and other glossy mags that push sex on our children are no friend to anyone — but it's even worse than that

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Here’s how you as a parent or caregiver can successfully do the same.

1.) Talk to your kids about sex. Take a deep breath and begin. Getting started is the hardest part, but it gets easier. Say something like, “I know it’s tough being a teen these days and I want you to know I’m on your side. Kids are having sex and many don’t know how serious an issue it is. Can we chat about it?” Then tell your teens the facts. If you need more, I wrote “Your Kids at Risk,” and I have plenty more information and advice in there.

2.) Be positive when you talk about sex. Most kids think parents don’t want them to have sex because it’s wrong or dirty. Tell them it’s so good that you need to help protect them. Don’t shame them.

3.) Give them the longer perspective. Tell your kids they may have 50+ years of sex ahead of them (rather stunning when put that way, isn’t it?). Tell them you want to make sure the bulk of those years are great for them. That’s why you need to help them put the brakes on in high school and college. They love it when they hear this.

4.) Talk to them about their feelings. Kids love it when you show them respect and tell them that sex deeply affects their feelings. They know this — but the culture treats sex like mindless recreation. When you tell them having sex will deeply affect their moods and relationships and make breaking up harder in the future, they’ll listen.

5.) Tell them that you, not their friends, have the right answers. Let your kids know they will hear all sorts of things about sex: that they can remain a virgin by having certain types of sex, that these activities are safe, that having sex is no big deal. You know better, so tell them the truth.

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Related: The Sex Talk You Can’t Skip

I know this is hard, but your kids are being talked to about sex everywhere they turn. So you need to join and lead the conversations so that they know the truth and that you’re on their side.

Our kids are living in a toxic culture. I promise these talks and information will save them a lot of heartache. It may save their lives, too.

Dr. Meg Meeker has practiced pediatrics and adolescent medicine for more than 30 years. She is the author of the new book, “Hero: Being the Strong Father Your Children Need” (Regnery Publishing, May 2017), as well as a number of digital parenting resources and online courses, including The 12 Principles of Raising Great Kids. [lz_pagination]

meet the author

Dr. Meg Meeker has practiced pediatrics and adolescent medicine for more than 30 years. She is the author of the book “Hero: Being the Strong Father Your Children Need” (Regnery Publishing), along with a number of digital parenting resources and online courses, including The 12 Principles of Raising Great Kids.

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