Worth the Wait! How Will They Know?

Anticipation-7Are you old enough to remember the Heinz™ ketchup commercial with the “Anticipation” song? The lyrics were simple, “Anticipation…It’s making me wait.” It took, what seemed like, forever for the ketchup to finally drip from the bottle as the caption read, “The taste that’s worth the wait!”

Waiting! Who does that anymore?!?!

I’m not one to glamorize the past and make it seem like this generation is “going to h*%@ in a hand basket.” But, I often tell students that I feel sorry for their generation for many reasons. One of those reasons is the fact that many of them are being deprived of the opportunity to experience the emotion of “anticipation” and the joy of its fulfillment. They are required to wait on very little today. For most of them, whatever they want, they get!

I’m not sure what your childhood was like, but there were a couple of ways I was blessed to experience the fulfillment of anticipation when I was a kid.

Cartoons

Did your parents ever complain about how difficult it was to get you out of bed for school during the week, but yet on Saturday mornings you were up bright and early in order to watch cartoons? If you were like I was, you were so excited about the chance to watch cartoons on Saturday that you were up even earlier than your parents were.  Oh, how things have changed: today kids can watch cartoons 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a result, they never get to experience the weekly excitement of looking forward to Saturday mornings.

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50 Shades of Green: Fighting the Media’s Manipulation of our Youth

Hand with money

I open my classroom presentation with the following question, “Do you think we have a healthy sexual culture in our society?” An overwhelming majority of the class will reply, “No!” When I ask them what they think contributes to the unhealthy culture, media always garners the most votes. Yet, this is the same media that they freely consume without even a thought of the cost of such an unhealthy diet.

After we finish what is often a lengthy discussion about the negative impact of the media, I know I’ve gotten them to think about the media they consume in a different light. I love watching the "light-bulb moments" when they realize the media is manipulating them in order to make money.

Let me tell you, teenagers do not like being manipulated. But they love being challenged. If the media is the culprit behind our unhealthy sexual culture (and all the damage that inflicts), I ask them to consider their contribution to the demise of our culture. Then I challenge them to fight back against the manipulation with their dollars.

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Why Single Moms Need to “Think like a Dad!”

woman thinking

An 8th grade girl approached me after class recently asking if she could speak with me about something I had spoken about in class—the dangers of dating older guys.

She told me she had a wonderful boyfriend who was older than she was, respected her and did not put any pressure on her to have sex. She added that she didn’t understand the big deal about dating an older guy as long as he wasn’t pressuring her to have sex. I asked her how old her boyfriend was and she answered “19,” immediately adding that she’s “almost 15” as if the “almost” made the age difference any less significant.

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Teen Girls Who Don’t Know their Value Become Women Who Don’t Know their Value

I've been told for years that adults need to hear my message just as much as teens do because my message transcends age.

Teenage girl and her mother crying

Though my most requested presentation falls in the category of “sex education,” it covers so much more than sex. I address how to have healthy relationships, what it means to value yourself, how to treat yourself and others with love and respect, how to live a life of discipline and self-control, as well as how to make decisions now that will benefit you long-term and not just for the short-term. These are principles that apply to both teens and adults alike.

What You Don’t Know Can/Does Hurt You!

So what happens when adults did not learn these things when they were teens? They end up dealing with the same issues that teens are dealing with, just much later in life and for a longer period of time.

I recently received the email message below that confirmed for me how important it is to teach this generation of young ladies their value so they do not end up battling with the issue of low self-worth when they are well into their adult years.

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How a Dad Turned his Daughter Against Marriage!

Broken MarriageTypically we think of women being the ones who bash guys/men or use stereotypical statements when describing them. I recently received a letter from a young lady whose father was the one who bashed guys and in turn convinced her that she never wanted to get married because there were no “good guys” out there.

Dear Ms. Jackie,

When you came to talk to my class, I had already made up my mind that I wouldn’t wait until I got married to have sex. The main reason I had made up my mind about not waiting till I got married was because I wasn’t planning on ever getting married.

I have always had a very close relationship with my dad, and he has hammered into my head since a young age that all guys are the same. They just want to have sex. For the longest time, I have believed he was right. But when you came in and read some of the letters from guys and told the stories about the decent guys, it gave me hope that one day I will find a good, faithful guy…I now fully intend to wait.

Thank you so much for coming in and talking to us, and please keep doing what you’re doing. There are so many futures you are saving.

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Three Reasons Teen Girls Stay Instead of Walking Away!

conflict and emotional stress in young coupleHave you ever wondered why teenage girls stay in unhealthy relationships?

A recent conversation with a young lady after class provides some insight.

She waited until everyone else left and came back to speak with me. It took her a while to speak because she was trying unsuccessfully to fight back tears. I held her as she cried and I repeated, “Whatever it is, you’re going to be okay!”

She finally pulled herself together enough to speak and said,

Thank you for speaking to my class! Hearing you speak made me realize that I need to end a 2 ½ year relationship with my boyfriend. He pressured me into having sex about 9 months after we started dating. Even though he wasn’t a good guy, I felt like I had to have sex with him to keep him around. I gave him so many chances even when he lied to me and cheated on me. He even gave me an incurable STD and I stayed with him.

Last summer I was diagnosed with HPV, the strain that causes cervical cancer. I’ve already had my cervix scraped twice because the pre-cancer cells had returned. My doctor says I will have to be monitored for cervical cancer the rest of my life.

Listening to you talk about how a guy treats a girl that he really loves made me realize that he never really loved me. I just wish I had heard you before I made the decision to have sex with him. It’s not going to be easy, but I know what I have to do now.

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Guys Want to Hear More about “Protection” from a Sex Ed Teacher!


ProtectionI am very grateful when God gives me a new approach to use with young men to counteract the barrage of messages they get from the media encouraging them to have sex. This week, I will share a strategy I began implementing with guys about a year ago that has proven to be quite effective. And it’s not what you think!

I’ve found that guys are not always aware that the reasons why girls have sex, in many cases, are very different than their own. Guys are also often ignorant of the emotional impact of the sexual activity on girls.

In order to help guys understand the cause and effect of sex for many girls, I read them one of the thousands of letters that I have received from teen girls, like the following:

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Fatherless Sons: Exposing the Epidemic and Breaking the Cycle

20130613-lifeclass-fatherless-sons-small-720130613-lifeclass-fatherless-sons-small-6

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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