According to Planned Parenthood, teens who had good, honest conversations with their parents about sex are more likely to delay sexual activity, have fewer partners and use condoms or other contraceptives when they do have sex.
So how do you talk to your kids about sex and puberty, so that they are informed of the changes ahead, know how they can protect themselves, and how to react to the pressures from others? Without euphemisms or embarrassment.
The worst thing that any parent can imagine is the death of a child. It is the stuff of nightmares, the kind that wake us at 3am, and send us to give our children a quick kiss, and a stroke of their hair. Just to know that they are safe. It was a dream, just a bad dream.
Sadly, for some parents, this isn’t a nightmare. It is reality. When the worst happens to a friend, it is difficult to know what to do, what to say, as no words can make things better, or heal the pain. No platitude can lessen the heartbreak, but still we are often consumed by the feeling that we must DO SOMETHING! Anything. It was this feeling of helplessness and empathy that lead to the foundation of the Woolly Hugs charity.
No, you aren’t imagining it. It really is harder to make friends when you get older. When I look back at my teens and twenties, there was always someone to go out with, friends to meet for lunch. Even later, after the birth of my kids, I had plenty of friends. When my kids were babies and toddlers, I would sit outside the house with my neighbours, drinking tea and chatting while the children played in the communal courtyard. At some point though, after the third house move, it got more difficult. And I’m not alone in this.
In developing countries, the longer girls stay in school, the rosier their future. When girls are educated, they tend to marry later and have fewer children, which improves their chances of surviving childbirth. They are more likely to be able to work, and generate income for their families, and their children are healthier, and more likely to go to school. The knock-on effects of longer schooling for girls is felt by the entire community.
The recently released results of a Kenyan study on menstrual cups and girls’ education show just one of many ways to help girls stay in school.
What is your parenting goal? One of mine is that my kids move out before they are 20 years old.
I’m only half joking when I write this. I don’t fear the Empty Nest Syndrome. While I adore my kids, I want them to live their own lives, and to get out and explore the world, in their own way. They’ve a while to go till then, so I’m building the foundations of their future, by ensuring that they have the necessary life skills to become independent adults.
We discussed this recently on our Facebook Group, and came up with a list of Life Skills for Kids