Teaching young people about dating and sex

teaching young people about dating and sex

No wonder so few young people are doing what God wants for them and from them regarding sexual purity and their dating relationships. Remnants of the old rules of chivalry remain to haunt and sometimes confuse budding relationships. Young people often look to parents for some road maps. Sexuality education in schools is only one small part of the answer when it comes to teaching young people about sex and relationships.

And even if your kids headed the advice of the world, I can promise them great sex is not necessarily an indicator of a great marriage — sex is only one component of a marriage.

Teach your kids to avoid situations while dating that will make it easier to give into temptation and have sex.

Encourage them to have their dates in public. Discourage them from being alone in apartments and bedrooms with anyone they are dating. Encourage them to do things with other people. Teach them to do whatever they need to do in order to be tempted less when with their significant other.

In the heat of the moment is not always the best time to try and make moral decisions. Sticking to a decision you have already made is easier than making a godly decision for the first time in the midst of the temptation.

They also need to communicate very clearly and very early in a relationship their intentions regarding sex before marriage. Clothes stay on at all times, etc. Teach your sons and daughters to recognize the signs they are getting tempted to the point where they may shortly give in and to extricate themselves immediately.

Every person is different. Teach your kids how to recognize when the temptation is ramping up and walk away from the activity or situation before they are really tempted to sin. They should never depend on the other person in the relationship to know when things are getting to be too tempting and stop things for them.

Reassure them they are not the only one in the world obeying God. Satan will make sure your child feels like the only person in the world who is waiting until marriage to have sex.

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  • Dating, Sexuality & Safety
  • Top Tips for Teaching Christian Teens About Dating, Purity, Sex and God

Find people they can look up to who waited until marriage to have sex. Word of warning — pick someone who is already married. James has some great resources. Warn them about the engagement trap. Too many Christian young people resist the temptation to disobey God right up until they become engaged.

Warn your kids to be aware of the trap — they have been godly this long — they can last a few more weeks or months. Prepare your kids really well for making godly choices in their sex lives.

Sex mis-education: How can we better teach young people about sex and relationships?

She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. We began to study Harvard students who complained of emptiness and despondency. There was a gap between their social conscience and the morality of their personal lives. The new sexual permissiveness was leading to empty relationships and feelings of self-contempt.

Many of these students were preoccupied with the passing of time and with death. They yearned for meaning, for a moral framework. When some of them moved away from moral relativism to a system of clear values typically embracing a drug-free lifestyle and strict sexual code they reported that their relationships with the opposite sex improved, as did their relations with peers in general, their relationship with their parents, and their academic performance.

Because sex has profound personal and social consequences, ethical sexuality6 acting with respect for oneself and others must be considered part of good character.

teaching young people about dating and sex

Sex education must therefore be character education. It must, as Boston educator Kevin Ryan points out, teach students that learning to bring self-discipline to their sexuality is a means of developing their character and preparing themselves for a deep, loving relationship as an adult. A sexually toxic environment For both schools and families, the task of teaching sexual self-control is made much more difficult by the fact that young people today are growing up in a world that pushes sex at them constantly.

A mother of an 8th-grader picked up a copy of Teen People magazine for the first time and was "amazed. No culture in human history has ever done this to its children. Be clear about what kids need in order to avoid premature sex To exercise sexual wisdom in today's world, young people need three things: Point out the positive trends We can take heart from the fact and should certainly point out to our children that despite all the pressures, growing numbers of young people are not getting sexually involved.

Moreover, only one-third of 3 students say they are "currently sexually active. Help kids understand why some young people get sexually involved Kids are less likely to be pulled into sexual activity themselves if they have insight into why some of their peers do get sexually involved. As parents and educators, we can help young people step back from the scene and understand the many factors that can lead to sexual activity.

Human beings are sexual creatures; we are sexually interested in and attracted to others. Sexual desire doesn't compel anyone to have sex, but in the absence of inhibiting counterinfluences it can easily lead to sexual activity. No good reason not to. Pressure from a partner a boyfriend or girlfriend they wanted to keep is the reason teens most often cite for their initial decision to have sex.

Desire to express love. Many young people think sex is simply a natural way to express the love they feel for each other. Desire to be normal. Says a high school health teacher: The same study found that steady dating, which typically increases the time a couple spends alone, significantly increased the likelihood of sexual intercourse. Many young people, especially girls, turn to sex to try to meet the need for intimacy. Says a girl who got pregnant at I had always been sort of an outcast, and I didn't want to be called a nerd.

The search for identity. Says Cheryl Jones, an adolescent therapist: Then they turn 15 or 16, and they think, 'I don't want to be just what my parents want me to be. A change in environment. For some young people, sexual activity starts when they enter a new environment such as college, where there is the potential to live much more freely. Fourteen-year-old Courtney complained that her parents "let me go over to my boyfriend's house when they know his parents aren't home.

Says a high school boy who lives with his divorced father: A lot of my dad's girlfriends spend the night. Nothing better to do. In the South Bronx, New York, where the teen pregnancy rate is nearly twice the national norm, a community agency sponsored an essay contest for adolescents on the question, "How Can the Problem of Teenage Pregnancy Be Solved?

Sex education that doesn't send a clear abstinence message. Says a high school boy in Los Angeles: One in four girls and one in six boys is sexually abused by age Sexually abused youth, often because of their low self-worth, are more likely to become sexually active often with older partners.

Drugs and alcohol impair moral judgment and weaken inhibitions. Teens who say they have used drugs or been drunk in the past month, for example, are much more likely to have had sex than teens who have never been drunk or used drugs. A highly sexualized environment. A sexually stimulating media culture sends the unrelenting message that sex is the center of the universe. Add to this, the sexualized peer environment created by young people themselves, including increasingly provocative dress.

Top Tips for Teaching Christian Teens About Dating, Purity, Sex and God – Parenting Like Hannah

Talk about what counts as "sex" Given the fact that many young people are having oral and even anal sex and still think they're "virgins," we want to be sure to talk about what counts as "sex.

Oral sex is definitely a sexual act. That's why they call it oral sex. It's usually something boys ask girls to perform on them. No boy who truly cares about or respects a girl would ever ask her to do this.

All of the sexually transmitted diseases can be passed on through oral sex. Doctors, for example, report seeing more and more teens with oral herpes. If you engage in oral sex, especially if you're a girl, you are in danger of experiencing the same emotional hurts low self-esteem, feeling used, feeling degraded that can follow uncommitted sexual intercourse. If you're a boy and are getting girls to do this, even if they seem willing, you are abusing the girl would you want somebody doing this to your sister?

If you engage in this behavior, you're not treating your body with reverence for the sacred gift that it is. Most parents and educators will also want to give guidance about "how far is too far. If you're strict with yourself, you won't find yourself struggling with the temptation to go a little bit farther the next time. Teach kids non-sexual ways to be intimate Since many kids are looking for love when they get involved in sex, both parents and schools need to talk to them about what real intimacy is and how to achieve it.

True human intimacy means knowing another person their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams and being known by them. We have to learn how to attain this kind of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy. If we don't learn this, we'll be handicapped in our adult relationships in our marriages and our relationships with our children. We can teach young people and have them practice it at school and at home the skills of intimacy, such as the art of asking questions that draw out the inside of another person and create meaningful and enjoyable conversation.

What are two things you really enjoy doing? What are two things you're good at? Who is someone you admire? What's one of your greatest achievements in life so far? What is a way you've helped another person? A way another person has helped you in your life? What's one way you've changed as a person? What was a disappointment that was tough to deal with when it happened but helped you become a stronger or wiser person?

How do you make decisions about important things? What do you worry about? What is something you have strong beliefs about? What is something in your life that you're grateful for? What are two of your most important goals in life?

What is your concept of God, if you believe there is a God? When do you feel closest to God? Offer a vision Young persons are thinking human beings, and they need a way to think about sex that will ground them and make their decisions solid. It's clearly not enough just to encourage them to "wait. To get to college?

To turn a certain age? Until they feel "ready"? Or until they're in a mature, committed relationship where sex makes sense because it expresses and deepens that genuine commitment?

Historically, of course, we've called such a commitment marriage. In schools, saving sex for the committed relationship of marriage is increasingly being presented to students as a decision that has many benefits for them, the children they may bring into the world whose chances of school and life success are dramatically better with two parentsand society as a whole.

To be effective, however, a "save sex for marriage" message can't be delivered in soapbox fashion with preachy moralizing. It has to be offered as a vision with persuasive power, expressed in rational terms that appeal to young people's intelligence. Different teachers and parents will choose different ways of articulating this vision.

Here is one approach: Sex is so special it deserves a special home. It's most meaningful, most fulfilling, when it's part of something bigger a continuing, loving relationship between two human beings. When you're married, your sexual intimacy expresses your total commitment to each other.

You're saying with your body, "I give myself to you, completely. Then it's not part of the complete giving of yourself. Even if you're engaged, you can always get disengaged. Half of the couples who are engaged have been engaged before.

From this perspective, you join your bodies when you join your lives. The ultimate intimacy belongs within the ultimate commitment. Of course, saving sex for marriage, by itself, doesn't guarantee a successful marriage; that requires hard work and sacrificial love from both spouses.

But marriage is the best place for sex because it's the most serious, total, and public commitment between two people that human society has ever been able to devise. Here's a second approach, a little more philosophical but one that adolescents can still get their minds around: We're all made in such a way that certain choices or ways of acting "work" and make us happy, and others don't. There's a law that governs human nature and human relationships, just as there's a law that governs physical nature.

Toss a ball up, and it comes down. Treat people badly, and you lose their respect and eventually your self-respect. What are the natural consequences of having sex? If you have sex with someone, you're very likely to create an attachment, a bond.

If you have sex, you may also create a new human life, even if you're trying to avoid that. Both of these consequences an emotional attachment and a new life can be the source of great happiness in a relationship where two people have made a real commitment to stay together. But if that kind of secure commitment doesn't exist, then a child brought into the world won't have two parents to love and raise that child. And if a binding commitment doesn't exist, the emotional attachment created by sex will, in most cases, be broken causing emotional pain.

And if a secure commitment doesn't exist, then a child brought into the world won't have two parents to love and raise him or her. A child born out of wedlock who grows up without a father, for example, is more likely to have problems in school, problems in peer relationships, and problems later in life.

And here's a third approach that brings religion into the picture. If you have religious faith as a parent, you'll want to integrate that into the moral upbringing of your child. Even public school teachers can objectively describe religious world views in the spirit of teaching about religion, something that the Supreme Court's decision which banned school-sponsored prayer actually urged schools to do as part of their responsibility to educate students about their cultural heritage.

A teacher can introduce a religious vision of sexuality by saying, for example, "A public school can't constitutionally promote religion, but it has an obligation, as a matter of fairness, to include religious perspectives along with other views. Rabbinic teaching for at least 2, years has consistently opposed premarital sex. Judaism enshrines sexual intercourse as a sanctified element in the most intimate and meaningful relationship between two human beings: Rabbi Isaac Frank The promise of two people to belong always to each other makes it possible for lovemaking to mean total giving and total receiving.

It's the totality of married life that makes sexual intercourse meaningful. It is a sign of God's love and mercy. It is permitted only to those couples who have joined themselves in a lawful marriage.

Muzammil Siddiqi, Islamic teacher 7. Talk about the emotional dangers of uncommitted sex What are the various emotional dangers of uncommitted sex that we should be aware of as adults and help young people name and understand? Worry about pregnancy and disease. Becky, 13, first had sex with her year-old boyfriend. She knew her parents and other family members would be hurt if they found out.

When she missed her period, she went into a panic. She even had thoughts of committing suicide. Finally, she confided in her grandmother, who took her to get a pregnancy test. To Becky's great relief, it was negative. With her grandmother's support, she decided she didn't want to go though that again and broke up with her boyfriend. For some, it's enough to cause them to stay away from further sexual involvement. Both guys and girls can suffer sharp regret following a sexual relationship, but girls are usually more vulnerable.

A girl who sees sex as a way to "show you care" may feel cheated and used when the boy doesn't show a greater romantic interest after the sexual experience. Says a year-old girl: Since that first night, he expects sex on every date. I'd like to end this relationship and date others, but after being so intimate, it's awfully tough. Here's one who did: A year ago I started dating a girl two years younger.

We fell head over heels in love. When I would go to her house, her folks would go to bed early so we could be alone. We started necking a little, and then all the time.

I started getting a little fresh, and she resisted, but she finally gave in for fear of losing me. Before we knew it, we had gone too far. We started feeling guilty about what we were doing, but we consoled ourselves that we were in love and that as soon as she was out of school, we'd be married.

Then one night we had a terrible argument, and although it had nothing to do with sex, I know it would never have happened if we had been behaving ourselves. Anyway, she hit me, and I hit her back. I have never forgiven myself for that. She went running home and told her mother everything that happened between us. You can imagine what happened after that. I was going to college at the time. I couldn't keep my mind on my studies. Finally, I knew I was flunking out, so I quit college and joined the Navy.

I saw her on the street just once before I left for basic training. She cried and told me she still felt the same about me, but it was too late then. I'd give anything in the world if she had stuck by her guns and I hadn't been so persistent. Any girl who thinks she has to put out to keep a guy is crazy. I would have stayed with her if she had only let me hold her hand.

But I was selfish. Guilt is a special form of regret a strong sense of having done something morally wrong.

Dating, Sexuality & Safety : iBelong!

A year-old boy in California said he stopped having sex with girls when he saw and felt guilty about the pain he was causing: They say they love you, but you don't love them.

Lucian Shulte, a Roman Catholic, says his parents taught him the importance of chastity, and he had always planned to wait until he was married to have sex.

teaching young people about dating and sex

But then one warm summer night, he found himself with a girl who was very willing and they had intercourse. It was over in a hurry and lacked any intimacy. In the movies, when people have sex, it's always romantic.

Physically, it felt good, but emotionally it felt really awkward. I was worried that our relationship was now going to be a lot more serious than it was before. It was like, "Now what is she going to expect from me? He promised himself, never again. Now, as a college student, he's still faithful to that decision. Lucian's story is an example of "renewed" or "emotional" virginity.

It shows that regardless of past mistakes, a young person can start over. We need to emphasize that point with our students and children: You can't change the past, but you can choose the future.

Many teens more thana year turn to abortion when they find themselves facing a pregnancy. As both sides of the abortion debate now acknowledge, abortion ends a developing life there's a beating heart at 18 days, measurable brain waves at 6 weeks.

Many women experience guilt and other emotional repercussions after abortion, sometimes right away, sometimes years later. Here, for example, is a column by a young mother, now in her early 30s, about the abortion she had when she was in college: It was my sophomore year. I came back from winter break sick as a dog. The doctor in the campus infirmary took a urine test and told me in a non-judgmental way that I was pregnant. He quietly wrote down the phone number and address of the local Planned Parenthood.

The "procedure" was surprisingly simple.

teaching young people about dating and sex

There was strong cramping, but I could handle that. If someone had asked me right then how I felt about what I had just done, I would have said, "Wow, this is great! I have my health back, I have my life back!

I am, at this moment, crying. How callous I was. Just a kid, really. There were, and are now, so many other alternatives. I am humbled by my two amazing living children. Most of all, I am humbled by my friend, Amy. She felt so strongly for her miscarried unborn child that she gave the child a name and a funeral.

I didn't give mine a second thought until I grew up. Abortion is not a quick fix. Our children need to know that.