As most of you are aware, Justis will turn 13 this year. I’m sure he’s ready for it, but I certainly am not. He has already started to notice changes in his body and he’s also noticed differences in his body in comparison to other boys.
The gym locker room is a horrible place for teenage boys and girls. I remember the locker room in high school. Every gym class was such a traumatic experience for me. Especially during swimming class when I had to strip naked.
And I would never shower. I would rather stink then shower completely naked with strangers. I would slather on lots of deoderant, but showering was out of the question.
Besides changes in his body, Justis is also showing interest in girls. Actually, he’s shown interest for many years, but I think the feelings have turned from more of an innocent “liking” to an actual “lusting” for girls. So I guess the sex talks are way overdue. But I am so not ready for them. At least I get to break myself in slowly with this one because Justis has his mother to talk to and Lee to share feelings with. So in Justis’ case I am just a third wheel. But that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about him and his overactive libido.
Tonight on NBC, Katie Couric hosted a show called The 411 on Teens and Sex. NBC News and People magazine completed a survey on teen sex; interviewing 1000 teens from 13 to 16 years old and their parents. There were some eye-opening facts about teens (13 year olds even) and sex. Especially oral sex. Did you know that the new third base is oral sex?!? What happened to just feeling under clothes?
I am the product of a teen pregnancy and I was pregnant as a teenager. So this is a huge concern of mine. I want to help my children make better decisions. According to the People survery 14% of 13 to 14 year olds have been sexually active (either oral sex or intercourse). That scares me to death. 41% of 15 to 16 years olds are sexually active. That’s almost half of all 16 year olds. That is down right terrifying.
The experts highly recommend talking to your teens about sex. Start early and talk often. Be prepared before you start a conversation. Write out some of your key points. Know what you want to say. Make eye contact with your teen and don’t interrupt when he/she is speaking. Encourage open and honest communication. And don’t be afraid to share some of your own experiences when appropriate. Be careful with that last one though. Your kid doesn’t need to know everything.
The show was very interesting and there is a great five page write up on MSNBC.com. Or you can study the entire survey. Check it out. I can’t stress enough how important it is to be an informed parent.