Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk, and Talk Some More

By Tracey Heslip

Tracey (standing) with (l-r) Rachel (14), Jackie (in red) (17), and Kayleena (19)

Tracey (standing) with (l-r) Rachel (14), Jackie (in red) (17), and Kayleena (19)

I have three teenage girls and yes, my husband’s hair is grey. People tease him about having a shot gun by the front door.

When the girls were very young, I started reading about the teen years. Jim would say, “They’re only toddlers now, what are you reading about stuff like that for?”  I felt that I needed to prepare for the teen years very early on. I really prayed about how I wanted to approach the very trying, peer pressure years.

First, I wanted very open communication with my girls; I wanted them to feel like they could come and talk to me about anything and everything. Secondly, I wanted them to be very educated. I didn’t just want to tell them no, I wanted them to know why I was telling them no.

It’s not enough to let the public school system or your child’s peers educate them; it’s our job to set standards. Decide early on how and when you are going to talk to your children. You don’t have to give them everything at age 10, but give them enough so that when they’re sitting on the bus and the kid next to them is telling them everything, they feel comfortable enough to come and tell you. That way, you can answer questions or tell them what you want to tell them. If you think you just can’t do that—it’s too “awkward,” think of how awkward it would be if your child comes to you pregnant, or you get a phone call from a parent saying that your child is drunk.

It’s our responsibility, as parents, to educate and protect our children. Educate yourself first; find out what kids these days are up against. There are tons of books out there to help you. My girls have participated in peer study groups offered through the Pregnancy Resource Center. Most of the studies are Bible based and have girls from all walks of life and religious backgrounds. This has assured them that it’s not just mom and dad telling them things,  there are others in their peer group who have the same goals and morals.

Some of the studies are done with books by Lisa Bevere, an inspirational speaker and author who tells girls they don’t need a boyfriend to identify them and that they are beautiful just the way they are. 

A topic often discussed at our house is courtship verses dating. We have taught our girls that dating is for the purpose of marriage. If you can’t see yourself being married to the person, or them being the father of your children, you have no reason to be with them. It used to be that a boy had to ask permission from the girl’s family before “going out,” and that they went out in groups. We, as a society, and parents, have gotten away from traditions and formalities. Now, the guy pulls in the driveway and honks the horn, or they hook up at functions without the parent’s knowledge. I am not going to be a mother that says my kids would never do that. I know that they have free will. However, I have the peace of mind that I have given them ALL the facts.

Please, please, PLEASE, talk to your children. Start young with age-appropriate information. Build a foundation that will follow through to the teen years and into adulthood. I can guarantee that you will never look back and say, “I wish I had never talked to them about that.”

Note: This blog has been edited from the author’s original submission.

Dateable: Are You? Are They? By Justin Lookadoo & Hayley DiMarco 

How to Talk to Your Child About Sex: It’s Best to Start Early, but It’s Never Too Late—A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents by Linda & Richard Eyre

Kiss the Girls and Made Them Cry by Lisa Bevere 

Fight Like a Girl by Lisa Bevere

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2 responses to this post.

  1. […] Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk, and Talk Some More – Memorial Mommy BlogOct 24, 2011 … By Tracey Heslip. Tracey (standing) with (l-r) Rachel (14), Jackie (in red) (17), and Kayleena (19). I have three teenage girls and yes, my … […]

    Reply

  2. Great article, Tracey. Thank you for reminding us to keep talking.

    Reply

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