10 Tips for Parents :: TIP 10

The SRA (sexual risk avoidance) community has reviewed research about parental influences on children's sexual behavior and talked to many experts in the field, as well as to teens and parents themselves. From research, it is clear that there is much parents and adults can do to help their children choose sexual integrity. 

Many of these ideas presented in this blog series will seem familiar because they articulate what parents already know from experience, like the importance of maintaining strong, close relationships with children and teens, setting clear expectations for them, and communicating honestly and often with them about important matters. Research supports these common sense ideas. DCO hopes that these tips can increase the ability of parents to help their children choose sexual integrity.

So for the month of October, we will be releasing blog post titled 10 Tips for Parents throughout the month! If you have somehow stumbled across this blog, today is TIP TEN.

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TEN 

Have a strong, close relationship with your children that is built from an early age

Strive for a relationship that is warm in tone, firm in discipline, and rich in communication and one that emphasizes mutual trust and respect. There is no single way to create such relationships, but the following habits of the heart can help:

  • Express love and affection clearly and often. Hug your children, and tell them how much they mean to you. Praise specific accomplishments, but remember that expressions of warmth and love should be offered freely, not just for a particular achievement.

  • Listen carefully to what your children say and pay thoughtful attention to what they do.

  • Spend time with your children engaged in activities that suit his or her interests not just yours. Shared experiences build a "bank account" of affection and trust that forms the basis for future communication with them about specific topics, including sexual and other risky behaviors, such as drug and alcohol use.

  • Be supportive and be interested in what interests them. Attend their sports events. Learn about their hobbies. Be enthusiastic about their achievements, even little ones. Ask them questions that show you care and want to know what is going on in their lives.

  • Avoid hurtful or teasing ridicule. Don't compare your teenager with other family members.

  • Help them to build self-esteem and understand their self-worth.

  • Make it a priority to have meals together as a family as often as possible, using the time for conversation.


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