Unfortunately, today’s society scoffs at the notion that many of the following six ideas are even possible. I want to tell you that these ideas are absolutely possible and many people apply these to their lives and know they create great results. My desire is that you learn and then discuss this information with your children!
I will lay out my case over the next six weeks beginning the first week in August.
The Love and Logic website has many examples that make it easy to learn how to apply empathy while allowing natural consequences to happen. This concept really is that simple, however, it requires strong not wimpy parents! For example, take the drama out of supper time by having the understanding that we eat what is on the table because moms and dads are not short order cooks! If they don’t want what you serve, calmly say, “It will be in the fridge if you get hungry later.” If you have already set the rules, they understand that if they sneak sugary cereal they are in major trouble with much worse consequences! The natural consequence is that they get hungry. (I promise they won’t die, it is
actually good for us to miss an occasional meal because it gives our bodies a break) When you first begin, it will be hard. I promise it will be sooooo worth it. If you will allow natural consequences to occur it will only take a couple of times because they will learn that you are serious. If you cave then you will have bigger problems next time and they will quickly learn that you can be manipulated. They will respect you more if you do not allow that to happen. The consequences are minor when they are small; however, you and I know the consequences get much more serious as they get older. That is what you need to understand now so you can teach them to have a plan to make good choices.
As with anything, there are no absolutes in the majority of situations! There are some really great reasons to help your children avoid serious relationships until they are more mature. I have created a list of pros and cons of ways to keep relationships casual in the teens and early 20’s.
One of the most impressive statistics I have found concerning the success of marriages is in college education. On average, below are the chances a person will still be married in 20 years, based on education level:
Not everyone is able to go to college due to expense, lack of interest, or other circumstances. College isn’t the only answer. Trade schools would likely bring about the equivalent consequences. When you are aware of these great statistics, you, as a parent can be proactive in teaching those values to your children.
Hopefully, they understand that life is not all about fun and games. They should have learned this at home and from going through high school. Achieving goals requires hard word. Giving up some (not all) fun times to persevere by finishing tasks and accomplishing goals will help to keep them busy and on track. By teaching them good character traits, to be responsible at home (which is the best training ground) they have learned that they can do hard things through perseverance as they reach their goals. They feel good!
In fact, today many colleges have received a bad name in regards to students and especially parents believing college is full of professors trying to indoctrinate children. I had my first college class at the age of 46 years old. Even at that age, as a conservative, religious person, it took a strong set of values and morals to stand firm on my beliefs without being discouraged or feeling attacked and I am not an adolescent!
PLEASE, teach your children about safety nets!
When you teach your children about dangerous consequences of certain behaviors, hopefully they will want the good consequences for themselves. With that said, once they can see the benefit, then you can help guide them to make a plan, have some ground rules which will put some safety nets in place and thereby allow good results for their future life.
My point is that college is not always the answer as mentioned above. Like with anything, we have to have a strong enough character to be able to withstand the pressures that can occur. My advantage was that I wasn’t worried about being cool. (Truth is I have never been cool, even and especially in high school! And I like myself enough that I’m okay with that! JJ )
I am sure you could come up with your own list and I suggest you sit down with your adolescent and have this discussion. When you (the strong parent) help them see and understand the wonderful benefits they can have in their life by avoiding so many problems, then they can make great choices, thus avoiding dire consequences.
Help your children understand that they need to know what NOT to do!
Just as the amazing statistics about college benefit youth, so it is with the second parenting article. Sadly, I can imagine many adults will say that it is not realistic to expect youth not to have sex and if that is the case, then I believe the parents are the problem because the facts show otherwise! Strong not wimpy parents are certainly required on this one!
The facts absolutely show that when youth have a good and open relationship with their parents then the chances of not having premarital sexual relations is not only possible but likely. You will be impressed with the encouraging statistics which will likely help parents help their children to have a less problematic future.
I become extremely frustrated when I hear people say that is not possible. It is absolutely possible because it comes down to choices and you as strong parents will be helping your children understand the consequences so they take the steps necessary to avoid problems!
Coming up next week…Great (and scary) statistics about your adolescents and sexual activity.
Sneak peek at some important statistics…
* “Statistics show that a relationship started prior to the age of twenty-one will probably not be permanent.”
* “Statistics show that if young people begin having sex when they are sixteen years old, more than 44 percent of them will have had five or more sexual partners by the time they are in their twenties.” (I will show you why this is such a scary statistic for your child’s future!)
* After parental marriage, religious practice is probably the most significant factor related to reduced teen sexual activity.
Thanks for reading...looking forward to next week! Jane E.
1. R. E. Rector, K. A. Johnson, L.R. Noyes, and S. Martin, The Harmful Effects of Early Sexual Activity and Multiple Sexual Partner Among Women: A Book of Charts (Washington, D.C.: The Heritage Foundation, 2003).
3. P. F. Fagan, Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability