1. In a world where older men see young girls as potential lovers; how to we teach our girls to not be caught in this trap?
Use the daily opportunities that life gives you for educating your children along the way.
By having conversations with our children we can inform them about situations, way before it actually arises; so they will hopefully have both eyes wide open. Be a pro-active parent rather than a re-active one.
Educate them on the difference between Love and Sex, Between Love and Money, between being loved and being used.
Lead by example – if you as a mother respect yourself and have strong values, you will teach this to your daughters as well
2. Why do girls fall into this trap?
Most have an intense longing for acceptance, for feeling loved and cared for, for feeling special and appreciated. And unfortunately, an older man will be very aware of this fact and they will seek out these young, insecure women and make them believe all of the above.
Therefore we as parents and primary care givers have a huge influence in the type of relationships our children will get involved in. If you have a close knit family, with strong family values, loving and caring interactions, where every individual feels loved and cared for and valued, where strengths are appreciated and acknowledged, where everyone feels needed – the need for a type of False Love will be greatly diminished if not absent in total.
In families where children are abandoned, ignored or emotionally, sexually or physically abused – the children are left with very poor self-esteem – and we have discussed the importance of a healthy self – esteem in a previous show already, but children with a poor self-esteem will be at a greater risk to fall into this trap.
Father figures – a lot of these young woman who fall for these older men, are subconsciously trying to regain the affection of an absent father figure. Remember also very important here is that a girl learns how she should be treated by the opposite sex, from her father – from how he respects and treats her, as well as how he treats her mother.
3. It seems to be a norm for Teenage boys and girls to have to engage in sex as part of their relationship and no sex before marriage has become history in most cases; do you get a sense that even we as parents have accepted this norm?
Unfortunately, to some extent I do agree, yes.
I do however wonder if this very fact – that parents are just accepting it, isn’t one of the huge contributing factors to it being a norm amongst teens.
Have you heard that if you put a frog in a pot, and turn on the heat, and slowly make the water hotter and hotter, the frog just keeps on acclimatizing to the heat and doesn’t notice that he is being cooked alive until its way too late…
I believe that we are doing exactly the same when it comes to raising our children.
We don’t step up and voice our opinions regarding sex before marriage, we don’t set curfews’, we don’t stop our children from watching R-rated movies, from dressing like porn stars, we just let it all slide by us, and all the little things that we think are not “that bad”, add up and by the time our children are totally out of control or we are faced with a teen pregnancy, its too late to turn back the clock and re-do all these little things.
In one of your previous shows a caller said we are faced with a society in which we have obedient parents and strict children and I think its about time that we step up - My mother once told me that my grandfather wouldn’t allow them to ride their bikes in the street – when they started crying about it and pleaded with him, he said to them – id rather you cry about not being able to ride in the street, than me crying because someone ran you over…
It’s important for us to realize that there is so much more at stake here than just a ruined reputation- HIV is a very definite concern, as are teen pregnancies.
But also very important to note here – if your child does make a mistake, because let’s face it we all make mistakes – be there to catch them and to help them through it.
4. How does a parent teach a child to love themselves enough to feel no peer pressure to have sex from peers?
By loving them unconditionally
We as parents give our children their first messages about themselves, Therefore firstly – show your child that you as parent respect them, love them, value them, care for them – as a person! You show them, by your example that they are worthy of the deepest and most sincere love.
Also help create a sense of pride in the values you as a family stand for.
But life happens and every child reacts differently to the challenges that they face, so
There might come a time in your life where your child does have a very low self-esteem regardless of your efforts. If this does happen, don’t just ignore it, talk about the challenges that he/she is facing and if need be – get some help in resolving the issues
5. When it comes to our expectations for boys we seem to allow them to be premiscious as opposed to our girls; do we raise boys differently from girls?
We definitely raise boys and girls differently – it shows very early in life as well – if a little girls trips and falls, we sooth and comfort her, but If a little boy falls and starts crying – we say it wasn’t that bad, boys don’t cry and so forth
And this carries on throughout life
When they are older – we allow boys to stay out later than girls, we allow them more freedom to come and go as they please – thus creating more opportunities to get into all kinds of trouble.
I think we should start expecting more from our sons –fathers should be involved in their lives and lead them by example and through participation - teach them to respect themselves and to respect girls and women.
Teach them what the difference between love and sex is, discuss with them what it is to be a real man – there is an excellent film that every father should whatch at one stage – it’s called Courageous and it definitely leaves you with a lot to think about as a father
That being said – if a girls values herself enough and is emotionally secure an fulfilled – a promiscuous boy should have a hard time convincing her otherwise, so we very definitely have to treat promiscuity as a matter of urgency in raising both boys and girls.
And always remember – these statements are my opinion and are theoretically very sound – but in practice its often not as simple – so ask for help if you need it and don’t be too hard on yourself as a parent – your very best…is good enough.