Fatherless Sons: Exposing the Epidemic and Breaking the Cycle

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For the past two months, I have been hearing a great deal about Oprah’s Lifeclass series on "Fatherless Sons," and was finally able to watch a full episode last night.

It was not long into last night’s show before I realized it would be difficult to watch the entire show without being reminded of the painful stories and letters that I have heard and read over the past 11 years.

One of the stories I was reminded of while watching was a conversation I had with a 9th grade young man four or five years ago. This young man waited to speak with me after class and shared the following: 

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Why Daughters Need their Dads!

Daughter&Dad

When a girl’s first date is with her father, 
all other men must measure up.
~Author Unknown

 

But what happens when a girl’s father is not actively engaged in her life?

Often times she makes poor relationship choices, becomes sexually active at a young age and spends the rest of her life questioning why her father did not love her enough to want to be a part of her life.

A teen girl tells us why:

We were discussing the “father issue” in class one day and a young lady gave the following explanation as to why many young ladies make poor relationship decisions and do not always demand to be treated with respect or recognize their value:

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Love-Ed vs. Sex-Ed

Love Book

 

I think we miss the boat when we spend so much time talking to teens about sex when the better conversation is one about “love!”

When a young lady tells me she has sex in order to show her boyfriend how much she loves him (which is one reason high school girls give me for having sex), I immediately think that she needs a lesson in “Love-Ed” –a term coined by another student. And my response to her is:

What are you going to do to show yourself how much you love YOU?  You have to love yourself first before you can really love anyone else.

When you love YOU, you don’t make decisions that could jeopardize your chances of reaching your dreams and goals.  When you really love others, you don't let them make decisions that are harmful for them either.

What is more important than showing your boyfriend how much you love him is showing yourself and others how much you love and respect YOU!

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Do You Know What’s On Their List?

TodolistThe common assumption is that teen girls are having sex because guys are pressuring them into doing so, and that is often not the case.  What may surprise you and what I am hearing from 8th grade girls is oftentimes their decision to have sex is made long before guys even ask them for sex or long before they have boyfriends in some cases.

Following are some reasons 8th grade girls have given for PLANNING to have sex:

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The Bigger Picture

Yesterday after finishing a presentation to a health class of high school juniors and seniors, five young men stayed after class to speak with me. The last young man who had patiently waited for me to finish speaking with the others simply wanted to say “Thank You!” I told him how much it meant to me that he had waited so long to let me know how much he appreciated and benefitted from my presentation.

I also told him I was sure he was already making good decisions even before hearing me speak. He dropped his head and said nothing. I said, “But you will START making good decisions after today because when you know better, you do better, right?” He smiled and said, “Yes!”

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