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As much as I might want to deny it, there IS a teenager in my house now. And, he’s starting to show signs of actually noticing girls. I’m glad that he is finally taking an interest in making good impressions across the board. But, I am not looking forward to hormones going wacky and his asking to date anytime in the next 5 years.
Thankfully, I have a nice short book to keep close by and reference as needed: Raising Pure Teens: 10 Strategies to Protect (Or Restore) Your Teenagers Innocence by Jason Evert and Chris Stefanick. This book is published by Catholic Answers and incorporates Church teaching.
Coming in at a little under 200 pages of text, this book is a goldmine when it comes to laying out the issues modern parents face. While the urge to engage in sexual relations is not something new, the shift in culture with it being seen as not only okay, but a right, is different from when many of us grew up. Add in the ease with which anyone can find material that is pornographic in nature, and it really is a challenge to help a teen stay pure!
Here are the 10 strategies that they present (just the title and NOT all the great information you’ll find in each chapter):
- Understand their motives.
- Teach your teen to say “Yes.”
- Be a parent first and not a buddy.
- Beware of sex education.
- Set the standard high and clear.
- Protect your teen from the media.
- Delay the onset of dating.
- Have THE talk (but make sure it’s part of a lifetime of talks.)
- Model chastity in marriage.
Some of the points may be familiar. A few of them (e.g. #5) are things our family is not currently facing as the boys are homeschooled. Others are ones that I am worrying about already…especially influences through the media. And, some (#1 & 4) are ones that apply to all aspects of parenting…even if some ‘experts’ might tell you otherwise!
While I had heard a bit about some sex education ‘classes’ in the schools, this book really opened my eyes up something fierce. I’m rejoicing that the boys are not in a school where a teacher discusses different ways to find pleasure or have ‘safe’ sex. They also do not see immodestly dressed girls day in and day out. They are not completely sheltered (as some recent PG-13 movie viewing showed a bit more than we anticipated.) But, keeping them from becoming desensitized and accepting of life portrayed in pop culture is a wonderful benefit for any sheltering we might be seen as doing.
Thankfully, even if a child has started going down a path you’d prefer they didn’t, as their parent you can implement the suggestions and help them get back on a better path. In our house, there’s a bit more tightening of the reigns so far as access to the internet and other media outlets.
Raising Pure Teens retails for $11.95 (well worth the small investment in my personal opinion!)
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Raising Pure Teens . They are also a great source for first communion gifts and baptism gifts.