How to talk your Not-So-Little Lady about sex relationships and love...
This is an important topic! The media, education and friends are all talking about it more than likely in a manner you might not approve of. So we need to take matters into our own hands and help our girls develop their own values when it comes to their sexuality.
1. Open the lines of communication making sure you create a safe place. Tell them you would like to talk and assure they are allowed to say anything that comes to mind and you promise not to get upset. This is a girls talk your having with your favorite girl and her secrets are safe with you. Be prepared to stay calm no matter what, they may say. Something things might shock you but if you react in a negative way they may stop talking altogether. Remember it is better to know what’s going on than not.
2. Tell them your story, it helps when your child can relate to you, if you have your own sad story, funny story or the 'I had no idea what I was doing with the boy next door" story, use it with no shame or self hate attached to it. Knowing that you were human just like she is and you are still good not matter what you may have done or not done is important-- Remember, we are not our actions. Our circumstances do not define us == how we handle them does. Try not to use your mother’s voice. You know the one, the "Did you do the dishes" voice. Talk to her the same way you talk to your girlfriend. Be at ease and just let the information flow.
3. Listen, Listen, Listen, at some point she may start asking you questions but let her open up about her own experiences. without fear of judgement. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with girls who are afraid to talk to their mothers because they dont want to hurt them or worry them. Let her know you want to hear about it all so you can both deal with whatever is happening in a safe and positive way. Woman to Woman.
NOTE: If something is disclosed that is alarming to you, remember to stay calm and continue to think of her as a friend. What would you say to your best friend, how would you help your friend deal with a difficult situation? If she discloses a major problem (abuse or something like that) again stay calm, comfort her, believe her, acknowledge your pain in a way that does not scare her. Saying things like “I’m going to kill him, I can’t believe this, why didn’t you tell me” will only cause fear which will close the doors of communication. Stay calm and comfort her. You can always freak out later with your real girlfriend.
4. Instill Family Values... its important to establish a set of values that will govern her decisions moving forward with at set of standards that will help her make healthy choices. For example you could establish rules around when, where, how, why, with whom... Ask the tough questions like what does having sex mean to a woman and a man?, how important is the emotional, mental and physical intimacy as well as sexual intimacy, is there a the need for committment from a partner before they engage in sexualy activity and why. Help her set up very high standards.
a. Her body is precious, it is import to teach her to make sure everyone treats it with respect. Show her that she has the power of choice and she can determine what happens to her by the choices she makes.
b. Her feelings matter, if she ever feels uncomfortable or hurt, it matters
c. Teach her how to define the relationships she will wait for and the kind of guy she will date and the ones she won’t. Cute is not enough, he needs to be smart and caring, and loyal and honest. Give examples of how he shows honesty -- does he tell the story the same way all the time in front of her and his boys. Does he skip class and cause fights etc? How does he treat his sisters, teachers, mom and friends?
d. Have a code word for emergencies when mom will drive anywhere at any time no questions asked if the child doesn’t feel safe.. Allow for a cooling off period with no questions to allow the child and open up.
e. Tell her you want to help her live her best life, that you support her and want what’s best for her -- that you trust her and respect her. Her life depends on it.
This is not an easy thing to talk about unless you make it easy. Trust yourself as a mother and a woman. You are much wiser than you think.
If you'd like more information please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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