FOX 25 News Boston’s anchor Mark Ockerbloom interviewed this parenting and relationship expert; Dr. Karen Ruskin on Friday July 6th, 2012 during the evening news. Topic: so-called “pregnancy clique” in Middle School. According to a recently released survey by Lynn Middle School based in Massachusetts, 18% of those taking the survey (80% of the students took the survey) have had sexual intercourse. I cannot say that I am surprised by the results, although it is extremely disturbing and concerning.
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Parents, certainly use this survey as an opportunity to speak with your children about the many different topics that middle school aged children are confronted with, sexual intimacy is just but one of those topics. Drugs, alcohol, bullying, violence, depression, anxiety, physical health, and more . . . these are just but a few. Explore with your children what are additional topics.
During my interview, here is but a few of the talking points about what parents can do to prevent sexual promiscuity:
- Educate your children at a young age about the birds and the bees, and about making wise sexual choices. Be open to their questions having age appropriate conversations. This opens the door for them to feel they can come to you.
- Be emotionally and physically attentive and affectionate to and with your children. Children need to feel loved, without experiencing this at home, they will seek it out in other ways outside of the home. When girls actively choose to have intercourse at such a young age it is because they are feeling disconnected and longing for emotional and physical closeness and connection. They substitute what they are longing for with sexual intercourse.
- Explore with your children ways of connecting with people that is not through the use of sexual intercourse. Children who feel they can connect with others through means other than sexuality will connect in those other ways.
- Friends have the potential to affect children’s sexual choices, although they are no substitute for parenting. How you parent matters and makes a significant difference in all aspects of your children’s lives.
Watch this informative interview for on demand viewing and hear when I share that “if I were a cartoon character you would see steam coming out of my ears” in reaction to the teen pregnancy television programs.