Consider the Cost: How to Teach Your Teen Freedom is Never Free. Especially When It Comes to Sex

Happy 4th of July!

Any American like myself, celebrating  “Independence Day,” should know our “independence” has and always will come with a price.

Soldiers sacrifice their lives for us to have our freedom. So, freedom is never truly FREE!

The Lingering Costs of Sexual “Freedom”

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During the 1960’s there was another  “freedom movement” called the Sexual Revolution. At the time there were only two sexually transmitted infections that we knew about, gonorrhea and syphilis. Today, there are 25+ known STIs/STDs.  This generation is paying the price for all of the sexual freedom that was ushered in during the 1960’s.

I share the above in the classroom before I begin to speak with the students about the cost they may have to pay for the sexual decisions they make during their teen years.

A few months ago, I received the following email through my website:

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From Boys to Men: How a Slew of Guys Confirmed 7 Secrets was Worth Writing

If I had to sum up the whirlwind that was last week, I’d have to say it was “Man-tastic!” 😃

Last week I had the privilege of participating in four separate events. Each one presented the opportunity to share 7 Secrets with guys of ALL ages, and boy did they get it!

It all started last Tuesday when I was joined by my friend and former teaching partner, Michael Calloway, in hosting a FREE post-Father’s Day webinar, The Daddy-Daughter Dynamic: How Engaged Fathers Lead to Empowered Daughters.

Let me tell you, if you didn’t sign-up for this free online training, you missed a treat!

Michael and I shared life-affirming information, including material from Chapter 6 of 7 Secrets, with almost 100 caring fathers and mothers of teen girls. In just over an hour, we provided them with 8 actionable tips to empower their daughters to avoid or ditch “daddy issues” and become healthy, confident, and successful young ladies who know their worth in and outside of a relationship.

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What a Difference a Dad Makes: How Engaged Fathers Empower Their Daughters

Happy father applying chocolate spread on croissant for daughter in domestic room

There’s a lot of attention paid to the negative impact of fatherlessness on daughters, and I am the first to tell you that it is a real issue with many of the girls I teach.

However, in honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to flip that around and focus on the positive impact of fathers who are actively engaged in their daughters’ lives.

Especially when it comes to their decisions regarding love, sex, and relationships.

The following are three ways daughters are empowered in their dating decisions by actively engaged dads.

  1. They lean in to positive parent pressure. In the same way that positive “peer” pressure influences girls like your daughter to make healthy choices (like abstaining), having an engaged father influences them to make healthy choices too.  In this case, her goal isn’t to fit in with peers she likes and wants to impress, but to keep from disappointing her dad, whom she loves and wants to make proud.

If I had sex, not only would I regret doing something I can’t take back, but my dad knowing I didn’t respect myself would hurt him emotionally too.

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#GraduationGoals2017: When Girls Plan to Lose Their Virginity Just in Time for College & How to Help Them Change Their Expiration Date

It’s hard to believe another school year is over, and high school graduations are right around the corner.

Perhaps your daughter or a young lady you know is a member of the Class of 2017. No doubt she’s spent months, if not years, dreaming about life after high school—going to college, embarking upon a journey to a new career, moving away from home for the first time, and gaining her freedom from adult supervision.

If your high school grad is anything like some of the girls I encounter in class, those college dreams come with #GraduationGoals, like:

  • finalizing their college pick,
  • designing the perfect dorm room,
  • deciding on a major,
  • and losing their virginity.

You read that last one right. I’ve even had girls as young as thirteen admit this is their goal.

Before hearing you speak, if you had asked me when I thought I’d have sex, I probably would have said, ‘Hopefully by the time I enter college.'

Why Girls Set a Virginity Expiration Date

As I shared in an earlier post, the pressure girls feel to set high school graduation as their virginity expiration date is largely self-inflicted.

Why? Two reasons.

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When Teen Romance Turns Tragic: How Teen Girls Form Unhealthy Emotional Attachments & What You Can Do to Intervene

Depressed Teenage Girl Sitting In Bedroom With Pills

I’ve heard teen girls say that they love hard or when they fall in love, they fall hard. They say it as if that’s a badge of honor.

What does that mean anyway? Loving hard!

Does it mean that they’ll blindly give their hearts, souls and bodies to their boyfriends, no questions asked?

I have a big heart and I love fast and hard and guys take advantage of that.

That they fully intend to marry their boyfriends one day, and as a result, believe it their sole responsibility or “wifely duty,” to make sure their “husbands” are happy?

Before you came to speak to us, I always had my mind focused on the fact that making a guy happy is all there is to life.

Or maybe “loving hard” means these girls get so emotionally wrapped up in their relationships, that they are unable to cope when something goes wrong or it eventually ends.

In a few of my past relationships I have had sex, and when they ended I felt devastated and empty.

Loving Hard + Sex = A Powder Keg! 

I’m concerned when I meet girls whose entire world revolves around their relationships.

Is that healthy at their age, considering there’s only a slim chance that teen relationships will last past their teen years? 

Earlier this week I read about the tragic story of an 18-year-old girl in Cincinnati, OH, who committed suicide in her dorm room. 

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It Takes Two to Tango: Why Educating Your Daughter is Only Half the Battle

When schools request that I come do an assembly, I’m often invited to only speak to the girls.

I then counter by strongly suggesting that I speak to both the girls and guys.

Why?

Because educating girls about love, sex, and relationships is only half the battle!

And guys are often just as receptive to my message as girls are, and sometimes more so.

My Equal Opportunity Message

As much as I enjoy seeing the light-bulb go off for a girl or guy in my class, I really love it when I get to talk to couples.

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The Issue of Faith: Why it Matters and How NOT to Apply It When Having “The Talk”


A latin mature father sitting and reading the Bible to his family outdoors in a medium shot.

In honor of this Easter weekend, I thought it fitting to tackle the role faith plays in teen girls’ decision-making when it comes to sex.

From the time we were born, we were taught to chase the momentary satisfaction. We were taught to find the largest high to fulfill our greatest lows and for me, that was sex. I gained my ultimate satisfaction from the opinion of man. It wasn’t until I discovered that a righteous, pure, just man died for me, that I found my true value and worth, Jesus Christ. Now I no longer have to chase the momentary satisfaction because I’ve found a permanent one. ~High School Junior

The truth is, religious beliefs are a very strong reason why some teen girls (and guys) abstain.

According to the National Survey of Family Growth, more than half of teen girls—57 percent—said that they had never had sex, and nearly one-half of these young women said that the main reason they had abstained from sex was that it was against their religion or morals. 1

And I have received numerous letters from girls that confirm this survey’s results.

If I wasn’t already sold on being sexually abstinent because of religious and emotional reasons, I surely am now. ~High School Sophomore

I am a Christian girl and my biggest fear isn’t STD’s or the emotional distress, etc. It’s the fact that my God would be disappointed in me. I am not trying to say that I would have sex if I didn’t know my God but I’m saying why don’t you explain to people that you can find love through something else that’s not a person or material things. ~High School Freshman

As a Christian myself, I understand why Christian parents would approach their “Talk” from a biblical perspective. And I think that’s great!

But time and again I see teens reject their parents’ teachings.

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Back to the Basics: Why Sexual Assault Prevention Begins with Consent

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"It took me listening to you for me to realize that I’ve been raped twice."

WOW! It boggles my mind that any young lady wouldn’t recognize when she’s being raped. Why is that?

Is it because girls are so desperate for attention from a guy that they are willing to do whatever he wants just to get it, including having sex unwillingly?

Or is it that they have been conditioned to believe that what they want doesn't matter?

Do they think so little of themselves and their bodies that they don’t believe they have the right to decide what happens to their bodies?

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month, I thought it important to shed light on an issue that is more pervasive than most parents realize.

The Problem Defining the Culture

Sadly, I have enough letters from teen girls sharing their sexual assault stories, that I could post one every day for months.

And I’ve read way too many letters from girls who tell me that they wouldn’t say they were raped; they just didn’t want to have sex.

Or they say, they succumbed to pressure and just “let it happen,” like the young lady below: 

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Prom Proposition: How to Save Your Daughter from Making an Offer Her Date May or May Not Refuse

It’s that time of year again when girls are on the hunt for that showstopper dress and matching shoes, the perfect hairstyle to accentuate their best features and a flawless make-up application to tie it all together.  

Apart from her future wedding day, and perhaps her Sweet Sixteenth birthday, there isn’t an event in a girl’s life more highly anticipated than prom.  

Why?

If you think it’s just about saying “yes to the dress,” think again!

Who’s Pressuring Whom?

You’ve often heard me talk about how things have changed over the 15 years that I’ve been speaking to teens. Well, this is one of those areas.

We’ve always believed the guy is the one who would pressure the girl to have sex on prom night.

Not anymore! Check out what this young man wrote me:

My friend is asking me constantly to take her virginity on prom night. I love her, but I would feel guilty knowing if I do she would feel guilty seeing how she used to say she wanted to wait till marriage. Sad thing is that I persuaded her to think another way, talk about irony, right? Another factor that I find more messed up is that other females ask me to take theirs as well. Being a young man, I know I’ll make the right decision.

I don’t know for the life of me when prom became the expiration date for when a girl loses her virginity. Unfortunately, it’s an issue that I continue to see play out with students.

Like the young man who approached me after the second day of my class to ask for advice. He was a junior and dating a girl who was a sophomore.

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Battle of the Sexes: Why it’s Easier to Talk Teen Boys Out of Having Sex than it is Girls…

tug of war, teens playing on beach on summer vacation or spring break

When I started speaking to teens about sex 15 years ago, I only spoke to 8th grade girls for about three years. When the opportunity to speak to high school students presented itself, I must admit, I was rather nervous.

It’s one thing to convince a 13 to 14-year-old girl who most likely hasn’t started having sex why she should abstain. It’s an entirely different challenge to convince 17 to 18-year-old girls who may already be sexually active, why they should stop having sex. Not to mention, the high school classes are also co-ed.

And if I thought it would be difficult to convince a 17 to 18-year-old girl to abstain, I figured it would be nearly impossible to do the same for guys. 

Boy, was I wrong!

I started getting letter after letter after letter from young men like the one below: 

You have honestly changed my whole perspective on having sex in high school. I didn't care whether or not I had sex, with who or how many. I just saw it as pleasure and having a good time. I never thought through the consequences. You made me realize how much having sex can jeopardize my future and other people's. I'm also glad you came to talk with be now, because it'll keep me from making future mistakes. I will always go back to your speech every time an opportunity comes and actually think before I act. Now that I know better, I will do better. 

Guys’ vs. Girls’ “Sex-pectations”

I wasn’t sure why guys were willing to discontinue sex more easily than girls until I started doing an activity in the classroom.

I asked girls and guys to list what they expected from sex.

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