Healthy Relationships and Balanced Sexuality in Teens by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth, www.lilystruth.com

by Susan A. Haid

Contemporary culture, the media, and society-at-large is full of conflicting messages for our teenagers, frequently delivering an exploitative, degrading and superficial model of sex and sexuality.   Now, more than at any other time in history, is when we need to support our kids in cultivating healthy relationships and balanced sexuality.  We need to be having conversations, on an ongoing basis, that aren’t about sex necessarily, these important discussions are about standards, boundaries, self-respect and self-worth.

How do we begin these talks?  Frankly, these conversations and messages to our children need to start when they are very young. Remember, the baseline conversation is not about sex, it is about self-respect and self-worth. This is also not a conversation about moral beliefs. Why? Because this is not about controlling or repressing our children’s nature desires, sexuality and self-expression.  This is about supporting our children in making choices that are firmly rooted in self-worth. We must help our kids understand what sexual and sensual feelings are, help them understand that these feelings and desires are natural and beautiful, and help them understand how to express them in a healthy way that honors them and leads to balanced, joyful and respectful relationships.

The foundation we can give our kids, that will evolve into healthy choices during the teen years and beyond, can be built upon the following principles:

1) Teach kids to respect and honor themselves, their thoughts, their feelings, their beliefs. Remove all fear-based teachings completely.   Teach kids to trust the authority within themselves rather than putting their power into an outside source.  When we teach a child to make choices that constantly please others, that please God, or that gives their power away to another person, this confuses them and disconnects them from doing what is best for themselves.  These traditional teachings prevent kids from making clear, conscious choices that honor their own being first.

2) Teach kids to take responsibility for their choices.  Their locus of control should be placed where it belongs to be effective, which is within themselves. Kids must learn to make choices and trust themselves in this process.  If they feel their life is controlled by an outside source alone, they will never take full responsibility for their choices and actions.

3) Teach kids to seek out relationships that are mutually honoring, compassionate and respectful. No games or manipulations allowed.  Safe, supportive, respectful relationships are the rule at all times.  If a child is in touch with their self-worth, this will happen naturally.  As parents, it is mandatory that we teach this by example.

4) Teach kids to get comfortable in their empowerment and their sovereignty: teach them to let go of dishonoring relationships and seek out relationships of a higher order.  Let kids know it is OK to terminate a relationship immediately that is dishonoring, disrespectful, unloving or unsafe.

5) Model these concepts yourself.   Accept only loving, honoring relationships in your own life. Create a safe space in your own life, in your own home, that has its roots in mutual honor and respect.   This is the rule to live by.

More than ever before, it is mandatory that we as parents guide our children and teens using a relationship model that goes beyond traditional rhetoric that attempts to control or repress developing sexuality in kids and teens. The truth is that these old modalities twist and damage our children’s sexual energy, leading to the development of dysfunctional sexual expression that kids carry throughout adulthood.  These old methods, based in morality teachings or fear/control-based beliefs, simply don’t work, and they do more damage than good.   The truth is that these old teachings result in extensive damage to a child’s developing sexuality.

The result is that the pendulum swings the other way; we then witness an eruption of dysfunctional, exploitative, and degrading sexual energies pervading our society.  This twisting of energies is seen not only in sexual expression alone, it is seen as acts of violence, oppression, manipulation and degradation of every kind.  This distortion has infected every institution and every governing body.  It is time we connected the dots here and cleaned this up, starting with our own families.  We are the only ones who can do it, you see.

It is time that we give our children new tools to live by, and we must choose them for ourselves first.

For more information about empowering your children, visit www.lilystruth.com for tools to help raise healthy, happy, successful kids.  Lily’s Truth was designed as a tool to support parents in raising amazing children.  Check it out!

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. DennisVega
    Sep 30, 2009 @ 17:07:16

    Your site was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

    Reply

  2. RobD
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 20:16:03

    Hey, I found your blog while searching on Google your post looks very interesting for me. I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    Reply

  3. healthy sexuality
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 03:00:35

    This is a very helpful guide to parents and I really applaud this article for the wonderful tips that it gives. Thank you!

    Reply

  4. Bill Bartmann
    Oct 09, 2009 @ 15:42:08

    Your site was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

    Reply

  5. Frank Scurley
    Oct 15, 2009 @ 22:39:30

    I dont know If I said it already but …Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    …..Frank Scurley

    Reply

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