Improving the ways parents talk to their teens about sex and relationships

Talking to teens about sex can be difficult and awkward but don’t put it off or expect sex education in school to cover everything. (123RF)

Sex education in school doesn’t cut it when it comes to teaching our teens everything about sex and relationships. Most teens will say up front they most certainly had questions that were not answered, either by teachers or parents. Sex education is usually limited to some talks about how your body changes physically and then some grave warnings about sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancy. Often the next step is for kids to turn to the internet for information if they don’t have healthy guidance. So how do adults rise to the challenge of gaining expertise themselves and then giving these answers to teens?

(Excerpt from Ail Sa Keppie’ article in the Halifax Chronicle Herald– read more)

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How to Register a Compliment

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Life is not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration,
and we all need to assemble around us
the people who care about us and support us in times of strife.

~Tim Gunn~

Lately I have been discouraged by the fractures I see in society and in our daily relationships. It feels like half of us are on each side of every issue. We tiptoe around people we don’t know well in order to avoid uncomfortable and heated conversations. At times through the course of our history we have been able to look to our government leaders as a source of leadership. Now we see the same divisions among our would-be leaders as we find in our communities.

I have been waiting for our leaders to rediscover common sense and the ability to bring us back together. The longer I wait the more frustrated and disillusioned I become. I have been tempted to see the world in which I grew up as gone. Another way of life may be on the horizon although it might not appear in my lifetime. Maybe I have nothing left to contribute.

Then it occurred to me that elected representatives and officials did not appear out of thin air. Everyone elected is in office because some of us voted for them. They are in charge only because we let them be. If we don’t like the direction our community, nation or world is going, it is up to us to change it. If we want our leaders to cooperate with each others for our benefit, it is up to us to learn how to get along with each other and insist with our votes that those we elect do the same.

How do we make this change? We need to start with our own perceptions and feelings. We need to be clear on what we want. We also need to understand what others want. The hard part is to balance the two sets of needs. To do it, we must listen to each other. Criticizing everyone who differs from our ways just leads to more conflict. Learning to understand what others want and finding bridges between us and them is the next step.

I have wondered where to start this process. I discovered one way this morning. I sat in McDonalds, drinking my coffee, eating breakfast and writing in my journal. I noticed the music playing in the background. It consisted of some of my favorite folk ballads from the 1960’s. When I finished breakfast, I told the woman at the register that I would like to register a compliment. I told her how much I enjoyed listening to the music. I could tell that my comment brightened her day and mine as well.

I also visited Aldi’s this morning. I found the store completely rearranged while I was away for the past month. I told the checkout clerk that I liked the new store layout and that it must have been quite a project to make the changes. She also brightened up and we parted both wearing smiles.

These encounters might seem small to you. What if we all looked for ways to compliment each other? Perhaps this might be a start back toward more civilized and mutually supportive communities. Perhaps this would lead to more constructive conversations. Please join me and give it a try.

 

Book Release: Transform Your Anger and Find Peace



How did we get so angry?

Anger surrounds us these days. It shows up on the nightly news, on talk shows and the newspapers as well as on the Internet, not to mention in interactions on the street. Unplanned events in our daily lives invite us to summon and express our anger. It is as if we have become an angry culture. How can we make sense of anger, cope with it and find alternative ways of dealing with our own and others’ misfortunes besides giving vent to our anger in destructive ways? That question is the challenge I pose for you and invite you to explore with me in this book.
As a psychologist, I worked with angry people for thirty­five years on anger management. They have been in my life longer than that. Our country seems angrier now than I can remember it being in the past. Not everyone barks at other people, attacks them or shoots them. Yet the national mood seems to be one of anger coming from a national divide on both sides of every issue.

What to do about anger

I have thought about how this happened and have consulted a variety of publications and also drew on my own professional and personal experience. I came up with a few findings and thought you might find them useful as well. Here are the questions I posed:

  • What is anger and what causes it?
  • How does it affect your life?
  • What kinds of anger problems are there?
  • Who is the target of your anger?
  • How do you manage anger directed toward you?
  • How can you transform your anger?

Have you wondered about any of these? Are you still looking for answers? Join me in an adventure to move away from anger and toward peace.
This book is available through Amazon. Take a look at the free sample (Look Inside) on the Amazon page for Transform Your Anger and Find Peace.

The Teen’s Guide

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Life as a teen is by no means easy. Everything is changing both physically and emotionally and yet you are thrust in to the most intense situations of your young life, discovering heartbreak, anxiety, low self esteem and peer pressure along the way. In a teenager’s world, developing lasting, meaningful relationships can also be a challenge.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/love-family/teens/galleries/the-teens-guide-how-to-understand-yourself-and-improve-your-relationships.