How Not to Talk to Your Teens about Love, Sex & Relationships: Korey’s Advice to Parents

For the past seven weeks, I’ve had the privilege of sharing my Conversation with Korey series with all of you, and today it draws to a close.

If you’ve been with me from the beginning, you’ll recall that Korey Harris, is but one of an awesome group of ten young adults whom I’ve been blessed to mentor.  Each of them have their own amazing story to tell, and are often the highlight of my youth empowerment workshops. They are one of the many reasons #WhyIDoWhatIDo.

I have witnessed first-hand, how much Korey’s transparency and candor has resonated with the teens who have attended my events. He’s also been a hit with their parents who value his insight into their teen world.  

So today, in my final Conversation with Korey post, we sit down to discuss advice for parents. Check out Korey’s words of wisdom for moms and dads who may struggle with how to engage their teens in meaningful discussion about love, sex and relationships, in a way that won’t go in one ear and out the other.

A Tale of Two Extremes

Knowing what not to do/say is often half the battle when it comes to talking to teens about issues of importance of them. In today’s clip, Korey talks about two extremes in parenting styles that rarely go over well with teens. Korey experienced the first “extreme” himself, as a teen when he was interested in girls and his mom wanted to steer him in the right direction. Korey remembers when “every girl was the devil” at the time and he was admonished not to even think about sex. Korey explains that hearing this only put “sex” on his mind and made him want to find out more from friends or older males he knew. Definitely not the direction his mom had hoped he’d take. Thankfully, Korey and his mom have such a caring and open relationship, that they’ve since been able to talk about what worked and what didn’t.

The other extreme is the “hands-off” approach. In the clip below, Korey shares how he had friends whose parents had no problem with allowing their kids to drink, smoke, and have sex in their house. Some would even rationalize their decision as if it was somehow “safer” for their kids to engage in risky behavior as long as it was happening under their roof. But according to Korey these parents simply “didn’t care.”

Let’s be real. Neither extreme is productive if your goal is to equip and empower your child to make healthy decisions regarding love, sex and relationships.

So what’s a parent to do?

Mom, Dad – Do This Not That!

Once again, as he has throughout this entire series; Korey shares sage advice that is parent-tested and teen-approved. His Do’s and Don’ts for moms and dads line up with the feedback I’ve received from students, when I ask them what approach works best with teens. The key word here is “balance.”



  • Help them understand what they stand to gain by waiting.
  • Motivate with fear.
  • Remove any lingering bitterness from past relationships.
  • Project past hurts onto your son or daughter.
  • Explain why having sex isn’t the best choice for them right now.
  • Tell them that affection, love, or even sex is evil.
  • Guide your kids by letting them know your expectations. Ask to meet the guy/girl and meet the other parents.
  • Prevent them from even seeing the opposite sex.

Korey readily admits that even if/when parents follow the “Do’s” above, they’re still likely to receive resistance from their teens. But I totally agree with him; do it anyway! Your kids may not like it, but at the very least, they’ll know you care and want what’s best for them. And that, according to Korey, is the “victory on the other side.”

Thank you so much for taking the time to read, watch and share my Conversation with Korey posts with your social media friends over these past several weeks. I may be slightly biased because he’s my mentee, but isn’t Korey amazing?! I cannot thank him enough for his willingness to share his personal challenges and triumphs with a bunch of strangers, especially given the nature of the topic.

When I set out to do this, I had a feeling it would be well-received, but even I have been blown away by the number of views, likes and shares the vlog posts have garnered.

Ultimately, I pray my Conversation with Korey series has inspired even more teens to dream bigger dreams, make better decisions, and walk into their destinies.

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