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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The ZEN of Parenting by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth

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by Susan A. Haid

The world is full of spiritual ideals, and for this, I am grateful. There is nothing I love more than delving into the bigger picture of who we are and why we are here. Exploring consciousness is such a marvelous journey, but at the end of the day, I also embrace the most practical, applicable elements of my discoveries and new understandings. What I laugh about is how often I hear the same spiritual truths over and over again, yet each time I have a deeper appreciation of their eternal meaning. As I continue to grow and evolve, as we all do, I get a clearer and more beautiful picture of life and its inherent wisdom.
Applying wisdom to parenting is certainly experimental is some ways yet not entirely so. And you certainly don’t need to have years and years of parenting experience under your belt to parent with ease and with joy. You also don’t need to have years of spiritual seeking behind you to parent with wisdom. I have three children. As every parent knows, every day is a new adventure, a new experience and a new challenge. What I am learning to do is come to the parenting process with a clean canvas in every moment. I have learned with practice to get out of my head. The thinking mind has its own set of beliefs and its controls. This is fine to a point.
Now, I am not proposing unconscious parenting devoid of logic or reason. What I am proposing instead is very conscious parenting; this type of parenting requires us to let go of all our preconceived ideas and controls imposed by our thinking mind. When we sit in the space of inner stillness, the place of no judgment or control, we actually open the door to higher understanding. We give ourselves the room to perceive events from a place that is truly a superior form of intelligence…the type of expansive intelligence that might be called intuitive. We then use our thinking mind to apply this innate and pure wisdom to our life circumstances.
So many people believe that wisdom must be earned but I can tell you otherwise. Step outside of your thinking mind from time to time and give yourself the gift of “no thought.” Simply allow yourself to be in this place of seeming nothingness, which is actually a pool of unlimited potentials. Play with this exercise as you parent your children. As you develop your skill, you will have amazing insights into yourself, your children, and your family among other things. You just may discover that the answers you’re looking for are innate to you. You may be able to let go of all your controls and find out that there is another way to parent that is better for you as well as for your kids.
Yes, this takes some conscious effort, but the rewards are worth it. The answers may come when you least expect them. The most beautiful part of intuitive parenting is that the answers and solutions are unique to you and your family. This does not imply that you cannot draw solutions from all around you, but it does imply that you are the final authority. This is an empowered way to live and to parent. It is a new way to find creative solutions and solve problems.
Much like the artist who works upon a clean canvas with each new creation, you can step outside of the ideas of your thinking mind and work from a very pure place of higher understanding to create your life in the most beautiful, original and unconventional way.
Although it has been said before, your life is your art. Why work from a soiled canvas when there is a clean, new one waiting for you?
For more exciting information about conscious parenting and raising children in wonderful new ways, or for more information about Lily’s Truth and Susan Haid, visit http://www.lilystruth.com.

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