Parents & Educators
Sex education is included in most school’s curriculums and teachers obviously have the opportunity to speak to learners about sex. Unfortunately, often it is not their personal views, nor from personal experience, nor what they practice in their personal lives, and teenagers miss nothing. If you do not believe in what you say, your empty words are not capable of changing anyone.
Most often learners are not able to be 100% open about their sexual views and experiences because they see their teachers daily. Some teachers discuss pupils with fellow teachers which takes away the freedom to share from the learner.
On the up side, there are a lot of passionate teachers who really do sow into the lives of the pupils in their schools. It is very beneficial to have outsiders come in and reiterate what the teacher has been saying. It reinforces what they have already heard. Heart Reach is not in competition with teachers, we are on your side, we are trying to give our youth the best future they can possibly have, and this starts from healthy life choices and good boundaries.
Too often parents feel that the school is responsible for teaching their children everything about sex. This is wrong. Parents play a vitally important role in their children’s sexual development. Again, what teenagers see at home impacts their views tremendously. If they have parents who feel promiscuity is a way of life and natural, that will probably be their view to. If their single parent sleeps around, they will not see this as a problem.
Often parents have told us that they don’t mind if their children have sex, just as long as they are careful. This amazes me – careful of what? Careful that they don’t get a reputation, careful that they don’t get hurt, careful that they don’t fall pregnant, careful that they don’t get used, careful that they don’t get AIDS. And if they are careful and something terrible happens like a pregnancy or AIDS or a ‘skanky’ reputation, then what is plan B?
This is like telling a person to drink as much as they like, but just to be careful when they drive home!
As much as it is vitally important to have a good relationship with your children, don’t get mixed up with your role. You are the parent not the friend.
How we can help you as an educator/parent.
Our approach to the youth is very direct. We do talk their language, they are never left wondering what was said or implied. Nothing is left ‘grey’.
We encourage teens to see their parents as their safe place to land, not their enemy.
We assist teachers by reinforcing good healthy choices, encourage being selective about their choices in life now, concentrate on school work now, and enjoy later. We really can say what teachers are not able to say.
As Mother Theresa said “I think the world is upside down, and is suffering so much because there is so very little love in the home, and in family life. We have no time for our children, we have no time for each other, there is not time to enjoy each other. Love begins at home, love lives at home, and that is why there is so much suffering unhappiness in the world today. Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.”
Parents you can make a difference, it just may mean you have to be a little different yourself.