What is a teachable moment? It’s that moment when you can set the path for how you a child, teen, or young adult sees the world or themselves based on your reaction to a specific scenario.
Take a moment to read the following scenarios and see how you would react by answering the following questions
- What is your initial (gut) reaction?
- What family value, if any, was compromised?
- What is a key message you want to give your child in this situation?
- What methods/ words would you use to address your child in this situation?
parent of a fifth grader calls you for advice: “My son wants to go on a ‘date.’ When I said no, he said, ‘you're SO old fashioned, and besides, all the other kids have been “dating” and their parents are okay with it.’” The parent wants to know if he’s “just out of touch.”
Your child’s new best friend is having a 12th birthday party. The plan is to go to an R movie, after pizza. What do you think? What do you do?
Your 13 year old daughter has been invited to her first co-ed party. She walks down the steps to get in the car, scantily clad in clothes you’ve never seen before. What do you do?
You just learned about a video game your child was playing at a friend’s house. It contained “extreme violence, profanity, and sexual content”. What do you do?
You have helped your 15 year old prepare for the upcoming school dance. He/she doesn’t have a date, but is going with a co-ed group to dinner and the dance. It’s the night before the event when your child springs on you plans for an after party with a sleepover. What do you think? What do you plan to do?
Your 16 year old has been invited to a weekend away with a co-ed group of friends to a family cabin. You do not know this family. You aren’t familiar with this group of friends. Your high schooler really wants to go. What do you think? What do you plan to do?
Your 15 year old has a group of friends over. They all planned to be in the hot tub on a cool fall evening. When you decide to check on the group, outside, you discover your teen with a “friend” making out in the hot tub. There is no sign of any other kids. What do you think? What do you do?
You were switching loads of laundry when a 3 pack of condoms fell on the floor. You have 15 & 17 year olds, neither of whom are in a steady relationship. You’re not sure who these belong to. What do you think? What do you plan to do?
You just learned that your teen’s best friend was caught by the police this weekend and given a citation for alcohol consumption. What do you think? What do you plan to do?
Your 17 year old has been dating the same person for 1 year. He/she asks you “when do you think it’s okay for someone to have sex?”
Issues facing teens and parents today
My child’s sexual orientation
Whether you’re wondering if your child is gay or not, or you know this to be a reality, you may be feeling overwhelmed with emotions. You’re not alone. Learn some of the tips for to talking with your child. It is important to provide your child with love, care and respect as you discover what this means to you and your family.
You might wonder what is LGBTQ? Basically, it’s lots of letters indicating a variety of sexual orientations including:
Most young people start to identify the people they are sexually attracted to in their early teen years. Some will say “they knew all their life” while others aren’t sure for many years to come. One out of ten people are LGBTQ. One out of four families know someone who identifies as LGBTQ.
“Coming out” or telling their parents that they are gay may be stressful for one person, while it may not be for another. Many young people worry their parents will not listen to them, ask them if it is a phase, try to change them, or even kick them out of the house. We encourage parents to consider how to best react in this situation and how to be there for their adolescent. If you’re wondering about your child’s sexual orientation, you could either ask about it or decide to wait and see- you know your family’s communication abilities better than anyone. The following resources will help you better fully understand this topic and how to sort out the emotions you may feel.