Saving Your Child from Driving over the Cliff!

 Fifteen-year-olds are not young adults. They are big kids. They are not ready to make major life-decisions on their own, and they will ultimately hold us adults accountable for not being there to put up a roadblock when they have their foot on the pedal and are [bent] on driving their lives off a cliff.
–Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Red car balancing on the edge of cliff above city.

At a recent presentation, a parent approached me afterwards to thank me for what I am doing and to tell me that I was speaking to her and about her because she was a teen parent. She also said she wished there had been someone around like myself to speak with her when she was a teenager.

What she said next really struck me:

I have been having a lot of problems with my 16-year-old daughter lately. She has been dating an older guy and making some bad decisions sexually.  She really needed to hear everything you said today. She is at home because she refused to come and now I am kicking myself for not making her come.

At this point in the conversation, I am a little confused. I don’t understand how a 16 year old can refuse to go to a presentation that may save her from a lot of pain, heartache and regret, especially when the mother already knows the daughter is making bad decisions in this area. This young lady is living in her mother’s house, sleeping in her mothers’ bed and eating the mother’s food. At what point does the mother step up as a parent and tell the daughter that she does not have a choice about whether she will attend or not?

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Where in the world is Jackie?

iStock_000022998034SmallFirst, let me apologize for not being more consistent with posting lately. In case you didn’t notice, last week was my first time publishing a post in three months. But it’s not like I was twiddling my thumbs over the summer and doing nothing. My summer was extremely busy! As a matter of fact, I’d like to bring you up to speed on what’s been happening with me lately.

I Have a Secret!

I’ve been working on a book, The Seven Secrets Guys Will Never Tell You, for longer than I care to admit and finally decided that recording a DVD of an assembly may be an easier task to accomplish in the short term. I was right! This summer, I released two DVDs, one for girls and one for guys. You can find out more about the DVDs and place an order here.

DVD Covers3

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The Day I Changed What I Pray!

iStock_000005119542SmallThe other morning I woke up thinking about something that had happened the previous day that changed the way I pray every day.

Let me give you a little background. Before I go into a classroom or an assembly, I pray that God's Spirit will rest upon me as I speak.  I’m aware that His Spirit is always present on the inside of me. My prayer is that His Spirit also rests upon me so the students can sense His presence. I also take authority over every demonic spirit that will try to hinder the students from hearing and receiving my message of TRUTH.

You say the truth and I am happy you tell it like it is because that’s what my generation needs…the TRUTH. ~High School Student

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Are You Speaking Your Child’s Love Language?

HiResI know why girls search for love & try to get it any way they can. My parents never really loved me in the right ways and I have found that this guy does, but I am so desperate for someone’s love. ~High School Student

Does this young lady’s parents love her? I’m sure they do! The problem: They are not speaking her primary love language. In fact, this young lady did not say her parents did not love her. She said they never really loved her in the “right ways,” which has caused her to search for love from a guy.

The search for love in a teenager’s life can lead him or her to make some very dangerous and detrimental decisions. As a matter of fact, my experiences in the past twelve years of working with teens have led me to believe that at the heart of much of their misbehavior is the fact that many teenagers don’t feel loved, and subsequently don’t love themselves. 

Learn to Speak their Language

Watch the video below as Jackie shares information from the book, The Five Love Languages of Teens, in a parent workshop.

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3 Things Teens Say Can Prevent Them from Having Sex!

iStock_000014225228SmallAdults have a tendency to come up with solutions on their own for the issue of teenagers’ bad decision-making. So I decided to survey teens to see what they believe the solutions are. Below are some of the most common responses I received when I specifically asked students what they thought it would take to decrease the number of teenagers having sex:

1. Higher expectations from parents and adults!

I believe that if teens knew that their parents believed in them, parents would not be disappointed. ~High School Student

I have reconnected with many former students who told me the reason they had not had sex was because they didn’t want to disappoint me (not their parents, but me). For many of them, their parents expect them to be sexually active as a teen. I am saddened when I hear them say I have higher expectations of them than their own parents have.

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Porn: Is Your Child at Risk?

iStock_000015913655SmallIf your child has access to any electronic device, he or she is definitely at risk of being exposed to pornography! Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of if your child will be exposed to pornography, but rather when.

·    93% of boys and 62% of girls are exposed to Internet pornography before the age of 18. 1.

As much as we want to shield our children from societal ills such as pornography, unfortunately we are living in a culture where not talking to them about these things may be setting them up for failure. (I wrote about a similar topic in a previous post, “Protecting Innocence or Promoting Ignorance.”) Your child needs to know that pornography exists and that he/she will likely come across it at some point.

A child’s first exposure to porn will probably be by accident, as was the case for this 8th grade girl,

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5 Things That May Increase Your Teen’s Likelihood of Having Sex

mother shouting at doughterIt’s not easy being a parent today. Your teens are inundated with so many competing voices that influence their decision-making. I certainly empathize with the countless number of parents that have reached out to me over the years, seeking advice on how to talk with their teens about sex. Sometimes it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. So I thought it would be great to hear directly from teens.

I believe the following letters will speak for themselves…

1. Yelling:

I thought I was in love with this boy until your class.  My mother has always told me these things, but she yelled so I didn’t listen.  I really want to thank you. Now I will be a virgin until I’m married. 

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Six Things I Learned from a Former Student’s Phone Call

Cell PhoneI received a call Saturday from a soon to be 22 -year-old young lady who served on the leadership team of an after-school club I worked with when she was in high school.  I had not spoken with her since she graduated from high school.

She began by telling me she had wanted to talk with me for a couple years, but had just built up enough courage to call me. She was reluctant to call because she was ashamed of her decision to begin having sex at 19 years old. She was also afraid I would be disappointed in her.

As I listened to her talk about how she was parented and why she made the decision to have sex, I heard some very interesting things that I would like to share with you:

1. Children need rules and want high expectations!

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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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Lessons from a Great Father!

 

 

It is easier to build strong boys than to repair broken men. ~Frederick Douglass

 

 

Last week I introduced you to Mr. Charles Johnson, who raised an adult son who made and has kept a commitment to wait until marriage for sex. In today’s post I will share Part 2 of my interview with Mr. Johnson. 

Before I share some of the actual questions and answers, there are a couple things that really stood out to me during the interview that warrant mentioning. 

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