Just received this email from the National Coalition regarding a Heritage Foundation study of the influence of parents in teen's sexual decisions:
In its August Family Facts edition, the Heritage Foundation released their top ten findings concerning the impact of parental involvement in teens’ sexual decisions.
Not surprisingly, each fact confirms what the National Coalition has been saying for years—parents are the number one influence in their children’s lives and greatly affect their attitudes regarding sexual activity.
Following are the Heritage Foundation’s top ten findings:
Delayed sexual behavior. Youths who report higher quality relationships with their mothers and who feel their mothers highly disapprove of their having sex are more likely to delay sexual activity. Click here for full details.
Reduction in teen pregnancy. Adolescent girls who feel their mothers highly disapprove of their having sex and say they had a very good relationship with their mothers are less likely than other peers to become pregnant. Click here for full details.
Reduction in number of sexual partners. On average, youths who feel that their mothers hold more liberal views on teen sexual activity have more sexual partners than peers who believe their mothers hold less liberal views on teen sex. Click here for full details.
Youth sexual activity. Teen girls who say they have a close relationship with their fathers are less likely to become sexually active. Click here for full details.
Youth abstinence. Adolescents whose parents discuss what is right and wrong in sexual behavior are more likely to remain abstinent than peers who do not have such talks with their parents. Click here for full details.
Parent/child discussions. In spite of peers’ behavior that would encourage sexual activity, adolescents who engage in discussions with their parents about sex are less likely to be sexually active or have fewer partners than youth who do not have such talks with their parents. Click here for full details.
Delayed sexual behavior. Adolescent girls whose mothers communicate with their friends’ parents tend to become sexually active at a later age. Click here for full details.
Risky behavior. Teens who are closely monitored by their parents are less likely to take risks regarding sexual behavior. Click here for full details.
Parental rules. Adolescents whose parents set clear rules are less likely to have had sexual intercourse than peers whose parents did not. Click here for full details.
Setting limits. Teens whose parents set limits on their television viewing or watch television with them are less likely to initiate sexual activity. Click here for full details.
To help parents, student leaders, and teens combat the sexual trends among today’s youth, the National Coalition developed a curriculum called Sex & Young America. This interactive discussion series helps initiate open and honest conversation about sex. For more information and to learn more about the curriculum, please visit www.nationalcoalition.org.
Folks- this is common sense that applies to every facet of your kids' lives. The more involved you are, the more of an influence you will be. This applies to diet and nutrition, academic performance, and spiritual development.
Parental influence cuts both ways- good and bad.
As a parent, what kind of a role model are you? What do your words and actions say to your kids?
Welcome to MY LIGHT, a Catholic centered magazine for children. The goal is to help Catholic and other Christian children nurture a deeper relationship with God. Many of our children know about God, but don't have that connection with Him. We aim to be a lightened path from our children to God Himself.
We were on our way to his old house, and he said, "I think this is almost the exact place where Jerry Hockman said hello to us." Every step he took, every direction he looked, he was finding something. He was touring his past, he was an archaeologist on a deadline not of his own making, excavating long-lost joy. I was probably the right person for him to have with him; I was the one person in the world who wouldn’t have to ask him about his references, including the Jerry Hockman reference.
It’s funny how a kind gesture from someone can stay with you—how the smallest choice a person makes can resonate over the years. The reverberations of cruelty and gratuitous meanness, we often hear about—absence of mercy tends to make the history books. Yet it can work the other way. Fleeting moments of kindness can echo forever. We were little elementary school kids walking down this same sidewalk when, coming from the other direction, we saw Jerry Hockman.
Jerry Hockman, that year, was the high school’s star athlete—older than us, living in a different solar system than us, accustomed to hearing cheers. He had no idea who we were. We were young, invisible. So here came Jerry Hockman, in his blue varsity letter jacket with the white B on the chest, and to us it was like we were seeing Johnny Unitas, to us it was like we were seeing Mickey Mantle. He had that kind of celebrity, in that town, in that year. And our paths were about to cross.
What were we supposed to do, at a moment like this? Get off the sidewalk, to let him pass? Offer him words of praise? Ask for his autograph? We hadn’t planned this encounter—what were the rules for such an occasion? What we did was look down at the sidewalk and avoid his gaze. What we did was fall silent and feel small.
What Jerry Hockman did was speak to us. "Hi, guys," he’d said. Just that—he acknowledged we were alive. We looked up and he gave us a smile and a nod of his head as he walked past.
Tiny choice on his part—ignore the two kids or make them feel special.
Tiny choice—and here, at fifty-seven years old, Jack was remembering it.
Choose your words carefully- what you say, and what children hear, may have an impact that lasts for the rest of their lives.
Project Girl is "the first girl-led, arts based initiative to give girls a creative opportunity to develop and strengthen skills they need to become more critical and informed consumers of media."
Project Girl is a touring exhibit and workshop- click on the News and Events link to see upcoming tour stops.
While you are at the site spend a few minutes taking their Cool Media Test, read some of the girls' poetry and browse through the artwork. There is also a short video that looks at how our girls have been objectified by the media.
The marketing images are disturbing but the positive actions that Project Girl is making to educate and empower girls is very inspiring.
The New York Times has a lengthy article on collegiate chastity clubs. As a Christian, I am impressed by these students' commitment to pre-marital abstinence- especially in the face of cruel ridicule from other students. As a parent, I am very impressed by the maturity and strong sense of self-awareness and self-worth that these students possess.
“It’s an odd thing to see one’s lifestyle essentially attacked in The
Crimson,” Fredell said. She began to feel a need to stand up for her
beliefs, and what she believed in more than anything at Harvard was the
value of not having premarital sex. In an essay she wrote for The
Crimson, she asserted that “virginity is extremely alluring,” though
its “mysterious allure . . . is not rooted in an image of innocence and
purity, but rather in the notion of strength.” As she told me later,
“It takes a strong woman to be abstinent, and that’s the sort of woman
I want to be.”
I suspect that this strength is also evident in the other areas of these students' lives- in their approach to schoolwork, their care for their bodies, and their emotional fortitude.
These are the role-models we, as parents, should want for our kids. Young people who are strong and self-assured.
Despite their foray into the world of rock 'n' roll -- long a refuge for teen angst and rebellion -- the New Jersey-raised sons of an ordained minister vow they will stick to their wholesome ideals despite the trappings of fame that derailed other Disney alumnus like Britney Spears.
"It's everyone's own decision, but the pressure's definitely there in the spotlight to join a lifestyle," said Nick, who plays guitar and sings lead vocals with brother Joe.
"We want to continue being a positive influence," said Kevin, when asked if they ever faced criticism for being so straight-laced in the world of rock.
"I don't think it's a contradiction. It's more of a new way of looking at things. We're trying to be different. It's who we are as people, and it's how we set ourselves aside from people, not making a statement with their personal lives," he added.