Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What You're Thinking

Can I stir up a discussion?

This morning I was on a radio program, WMBI's A New Day, a Moody Bible Institute station and program out of Chicago. We were talking about the second in the Live Free series, Seduced by Sex, Saved by Love--A Journey Out of False Intimacy.

One question that I was asked, and have heard before, is: how do parents talk to their teens about tough issues . . . like addictions, self-injury, or sex? How do they do it without their teens shutting down and shutting them out?

I live at a residential ministry and ranch for at-risk youth, and though I write full-time right now, I spend as much time as possible with the teens here. I get a strong sense they've wanted their parents to care enough (and maybe to be brave enough) to be available and address those issues with them.

But I want to hear what you're thinking.

My questions for you:
What do you (or did you) most want your mom and dad to know about you and the pressures you face?
What do you feel has worked in their help and conversations with you?
What do you feel hasn't worked?
What advice would you give parents who want to address the tough issues with their teens?

Those are my general questions, but if you have other thoughts, feel free to share them. As usual, respond by commenting on this post or email me privately.

I'd love to know your thoughts! My next post on the 9th will take the discussion a bit further.




Pepper Basham said...

Hi Jan,
I'm a 30something mom of 5 and I have/and have always had a very good relationship with my mom. In answer to some of your questions, I think one of the things I appreciated most about my mom was her availability. I don't mean always being around, but I do mean that she was always willing to answer my questions, no matter how embarrassing they seemed to her. I'll never forget asking her "What is masturbation?" and her face turning puce. Poor thing! She answered it in a calm, though a bit higher pitched voice, and never refused. She always said, "If you have questions, I'd rather you find the answers out from me than anyone else." I want to be that way too.

Captain Bonnie Spinner said...

I think something that is really good in my relationship with my mom is just knowing that I can talk to her about whatever, if I need to, and she most likely will have advice and personal experience. She's never too busy for me.