Can You Really Teach Selflessness to the Selfie Generation?

The answer is yes, you can! Granted, selflessness is not a topic students expect to hear when they take my Sex-Ed class, but I’ve found it to be quite effective once I break it down for them.

Teen Sex is as Selfishness Does

Every school year I introduce a new approach that becomes the focus for my classes. Last year it was selfishness vs selflessness.

As with tackling any new approach, there are a couple steps I take to introduce it:

  1. Define the Approach/Idea. I always like to begin with a definition that students can understand on their level.

“Selfish is when you make a decision that benefits you even though it hurts someone else.”

Sometimes even concepts that adults deem “simple” are anything but for teens, so I never assume they already know what I mean.

  1. Paint the picture. Let’s face it, when it comes to talking about teen sex there’s not a lot of “painting” required. Oh they get it!

But as you’ll see in the clip below, I do paint the picture of the selfishness of teen sex, especially given the very real possibility of a baby being conceived. Despite what some reality shows would have teens to believe, teen parenting is never ideal for the baby or the parents.

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7 Secrets Book Update: The Ultimate Guide Every Teen Girl Needs

Shortly after I shared in a post in April that my book would be released in July, an unexpected obstacle caused a delay in the release of the book. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to finally getting the book into the hands of young ladies who so desperately need to read it. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the delay was a blessing in disguise.

After things didn’t work out with the first graphic designer I hired, I found a book des7SecretsCoverInteriorigner who provided advice that will result in me publishing a much better product.  One of the first things he recommended was a redesign of the book cover.

How do you like the new design?

He also recommended a different method of printing that would allow me to add color to the interior at a reasonable cost.

Taking my own advice!

When I speak to girls about their relationships, I share the following:

The enemy of best is not bad; the enemy of best is good!

How ironic that I was fully prepared to publish what I thought was a “good” book, until my book designer, Michael Rohani, showed me how I could publish a “best” book.

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The Gift that Will Benefit the High School Graduate for Life

DVD Covers3

Wondering what to get for all of those high school (HS) graduates you’ll be receiving invitations from? Well, what better choice than a gift that is one-part knowledge, two-parts inspiration and motivation? My two DVDs, The Sex Talk Every Teen Girl Needs to Hear and The Sex Talk Every Teen Guy Needs to Hear, would make the perfect gift for your HS grad.

As I’m getting ready to go to college, I think this information is even more important. Reading tweets, articles, and hearing personal accounts of many college students makes it seem like you have to have sex in college if you want to be in a relationship. Since I never had a boyfriend in high school, I was looking forward to one in college. Thank you for reminding me that sex isn’t necessary. –High School Senior

Just because they are graduating, doesn’t mean they have to stop learning. As a matter of fact, there are some things they especially need to learn before they embark upon this next phase of their lives—called college.

It’s all in the preparation

They need to know how to navigate in an environment where they’ll have newfound freedom, a party scene complete with exposure to drugs and alcohol, and let’s be real—plenty of opportunities to have sex.  So often as their loved ones, we focus our attention and hard-earned dollars on our high school grad’s physical preparation for college (i.e. comforters and microwaves for their dorm, shopping for clothes). And while those are all great and needed, we often overlook their social preparation, which is equally important to their success in college. How confident are you that your incoming freshman is going to make healthy choices when it comes to his/her college relationship(s)?

Why is it so important for them to be armed with the information and tools to make good choices when it comes to their relationships?

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Sexual Assault Awareness: Shining a Light on a Daily Issue

Stop rape.

April was Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month. If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I chose to bring awareness to this issue by posting a new letter every day during April, from a student who had been raped or molested. I wish I didn’t have enough letters to be able to post one each day for an entire month. But, not only did I have enough, I could continue posting letters every day for months sadly.

Rape and molestation are happening at such epidemic proportions that I believe only bringing attention to them one month out of the year is doing a disservice to the issue. So, I’m purposely choosing to write a post about it after the designated month is over. I guess it’s my way of rebelling against a culture that doesn’t always acknowledge the severity of the problem.

Quiet as it's Kept

When I wrote a post to highlight Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month last year, I shared a story of a young lady who had been date-raped two years earlier and had never reported it until she told me. Since then, I’ve continued to see a pattern of girls keeping their sexual assault/rape a secret. Even if they do tell someone, many times they don’t want to press charges or get counseling.

Unfortunately, many girls blame themselves when they are violated. They tell me they don’t want to press charges and risk going to trial and being interrogated as if they were at fault. They also don’t want to get counseling because they don’t want to replay the incident and the trauma and shame that comes with it.

Earlier this year, a high school junior who was raped by four guys in an abandoned house when she skipped school during her freshman year, wrote the following:

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From Labor Pains to Labor of Love: My Journey to Birthing My 1st Book

As you know, it has been months since I last posted to my blog. (Are those crickets I’m hearing?) If you follow me on Facebook, you already know why my hiatus hasn’t been a complete waste of time.

Who said writing a book was easy?

Whoever it is, they lied! The road to becoming an author has definitely been the toughest road I’ve ever traveled in my life.

Without a doubt, the hardest part of writing 7 Secrets Guys Will Never Tell You: A Teen Girl’s Guide on Love, Sex and Relationships, was the actual writing itself. Add to that my being the perfectionist that I am, and you have a recipe for a long, drawn out process. I’ve probably written, edited and rewritten the book more times than necessary, but it. is. finally. finished!

I finished writing the manuscript at the beginning of the year, only to realize that I was just getting started.  There was still much work to do.

So what have I been doing over the past three months since I wrote my last blog post? Well, after realizing I was never going to have the “perfect” manuscript, I finally sent my baby off to be professionally edited. Next it was time to focus on the book cover design.

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The Ripple Effect: 2015 Edition

stones in a water

 

 

“I alone cannot change the world; but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~Mother Theresa

 

I hope your new year has gotten off to a great start! It's hard to believe the month of January is almost over and I’m just getting around to sharing my 2015 review, which may be an indication that 2016 is going to be just as busy as 2015 was.

Each year, as I assemble the data to share my review of the previous year, I’m always blown away when I look at the numbers.

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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

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The Big Brother Advice Every Girl Needs to Hear: Korey Talks Love, Sex & Relationships

The most popular post of my Conversation with Korey series thus far, has been this one where Korey talks about the impact of fatherlessness on girls. It clearly struck a chord with a lot of people as I'd hoped it would. And I pray today’s post will do the same.

Tune in as Korey shares big brother wisdom with girls on love, sex and relationships – topics that many of them could benefit hearing from a caring young man’s perspective.

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

When it comes to teenage girls, love has a lot to do with it. The problem is many of them have a skewed definition of love, due in large part to the media. And our culture has trivialized what it means, to the point where now sex has become synonymous with love. Now there’s almost a reprogramming that has to happen, so that girls will know how to recognize authentic love that is mutually beneficial and healthy for both people involved.

As Korey points out, love should never make or break a girl. If he had a little sister, he would tell her that she can’t look to another person to discover who she is. Korey would also advise her not to compromise who she is-her value, her beliefs-all in the name of so-called “love.”

The advice Korey shares in today’s clip, for the little sister he never had, is spot on for any young lady.  He encourages her to avoid wrapping herself up in another person to the point where she loses sight of who she is.

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#DadsMatter: Korey Explains How Fatherless Girls Become Easy Prey for Guys

Hopefully by now the Conversation with Korey blog series has sparked honest, open-ended discussions between you and your teen. The practical tips Korey shared last week are great for any guy or girl who’s made a commitment to abstain and needs additional inspiration on how to “sex-proof” their day-to-day decisions.

In today’s post, Korey and I delve into the highly sensitive topic of fatherlessness and its impact on girls. Before we begin, now feels like a great time to offer my disclaimer: The purpose of this post is not to assign blame to anyone for the very complex subject of fatherlessness. Our goal is simply to highlight some of the issues that girls without fathers face as a result.

While this is never a fun topic to discuss, it’s one that am forced to address every time I speak to girls. So many of them are suffering the negative effects of not having dads in their lives, which almost always shows up in their relationships with boys. That’s why I wanted to get Korey’s take on it. 

The insight he offers as a young man who has encountered, been in relationships and/or had sex with young ladies without fathers, is worthy of taking notes.

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How Korey Sex-Proofed his Life: Practical Tips that can Work for Teens too!

For a young man, Korey is full of wisdom that both teens and their parents can glean from, don’t you agree? And once again with this week’s Conversation with Korey, he doesn’t disappoint!

It’s one thing to say you’re going to stop having sex, but it’s something else entirely to actually live out your commitment on a daily basis. But that’s exactly what Korey has done over the past couple of years.

Today Korey and I discuss what it really takes to sex-proof your life so you can live sex-free till marriage.

Free your Mind and the Rest will Follow

It wasn’t until Korey changed his mind about sex, that he was able to change his behavior. What followed was him setting boundaries for himself in several key areas you’re going to want to take note of. Including:

  • What he listened to
  • What he watched
  • Who he hung out with
  • How he referred to himself

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