Kids these days

Apr 26 2008

Dear Mitch,

I work closely with 8th grade girls that are experiencing challenges at school and they are mostly being raised by single parents. They are so curious about sex, and they just know they are “in love” with the 8th and 9th grade boys!

Mitch, their Myspace pages say stuff like, “If Billy breaks up with me I know I will die!” or “Any guy can find the best sex with me!’ Yikes!!

I remember when I was that age and all through high school I was always wondering what sex felt like. I had very strict, protective parents, so wondering was as far as it went back then. 8th grade is so intense and they think they are so mature.

I have a professional relationship with them but they do tell more than they are telling their parents. What can I say to them that will cool their jets?

My Heart’s With These Girls


Hey Heart,

You mean KIDS watch “Sex and the City”??!

Good luck “cool(ing) their jets”! Only Since The Dawn of Humankind…

¤ Boys & girls have gotten hot & bothered about each other during the teen years…
For the first 10,000 years, a 12-13 year-old female was: A “Woman” – in her prime child-bearing
years AND available for marriage!! Now we ask them to remain children until they’re at least 18…

¤ Teens innately strive to push the existing paradigms – That’s a BIG part of their job!! Why? They
have that energy and strength combined with naiveté [see: Not jaded, fried or sold out] to offer
the world new thoughts, ideas and expressions of society’s angst, frustrations and fears!

Sexual expression is natural and generally healthy!

FIRST: TIME-OUT: Please make sure you’re truly qualified & expected to “help” these young ladies as you’d like to! Many a well-meaning person has been burned by insecure/immature/irrational adults looking for lawsuit opportunities. If you truly care about these kids, having someone like you unemployed helps no one. There are very positive, non-confrontative ways to ensure your actions are in line with the spoken and unspoken expectations of your position with these kids. Assuming expectations and your intentions are in agreement…

° IDENTIFY: What deep-down am I afraid of?! Is it the expression of sexuality?… Or, some of the potential
pitfalls of sexual expression and exploration?

° ° KIDS ARE PEOPLE – First Amendment Rights included… So, you don’t want to shut down their
expression – that’ll alienate and anger the kids.

° ° WHAT ABOUT: ° Teen pregnancy ° Actions leading to unhealthy associations
° Speaking/acting per peer pressure & assumptions (vs. what’s best for us)
° Actions that can attract “the wrong crowd” (Paedophiles, problem kids….)

° REMEMBER: When you were a teenager: What did you REALLY want from the Adults in your life…

• Teens always want to be respected for the fact they are smart, aware and often intuitive! Approach thusly and you’ll achieve goals!

• In some ways, teenagers are already Adults! I know: So why can’t they remember to take out the trash? I did say, “In SOME ways”! Talk to them knowing this!

• Their world is NOT the same as your world was as a Teen, or as your world is now! Respect the fact that they deal with far more stressors than teenagers ever have.

• If you honestly, in your heart believe that one or more of the kids is “open” to and asking for your input/direction…

♦ Compliment them… an HONEST, HEARTFELT compliment first. A powerful one is
to verbally accept something they’ve said or done that you don’t like by saying, “I
get what you’re saying!”

♦ Ask how they FEEL about something they’re discussing! Whatever he or she
mentions, ask about their feelings – remind them to check within for their inner
guiding spirit.

♦ Ask what they hope to achieve by doing something. For example, “When you say ‘I want sex’ on your MySpace page, what are you wanting in return: sex? Discussion? To be cool?” – You MAY be surprised at how often they’re not even trying to be involved in sexual activity, but DO want to appear “cool” & “sophisticated”!

° FOREVER: Your role as a Parent, Educator, Mentor, Coach: To plant positive “seeds” in the childrens’ minds
for future success! Never is it to “fix” or force into your vision for them, or they’ll end up with huge
challenges as Adults.

My friend, honor each and every person’s (Teens included) paths to self-discovery! They’re in this lifetime to learn their own, unique lessons – God only knows what that is for each individual…

I honor your commitment and love for those kids…

~ Namasté ~

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