Sex & Dating
Learning how to engage in healthy, romantic relationships is a big part of growing up. Helping teens navigate the issues of sex and dating can feel exciting for them and terrifying for their parents!
Dating can be a great source of fun, social skills building and a way to get to know themselves better. But it can also be a source of stress, peer pressure and pain.
Many teens lose their virginity toward the end of high school. At that age, teens are very susceptible to peer pressure and have not yet fully developed good decision-making skills. For this reason, we have a very high rate of teen pregnancies and STIs in the United States.
For some teens, having multiple sex partners is a way for them to meet internal needs by numbing emotional pain, finding validation or experiencing intimacy.
WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR TEEN
Set boundaries! As your teen begins to engage in romantic relationships, they need boundaries and accountability more than ever. This is especially true if you believe your teen to be sexually active. Even though it can be awkward, try to create an open dialogue with your teen about their romantic life. The earlier you create an open dialogue, the better your conversations will be.
With the pressures to be sexually active, they need a voice that affirms who they are and helps them understand their sexual identity apart from sexual intercourse. It is important for them to be able to answer the questions, “Who am I as a sexual being?” and “Am I normal?” As a parent, you can help them work through these big issues.
HOW TREEHOUSE HELPS
TreeHouse provides clear messages about the value of abstinence and setting healthy sexual boundaries. We believe that the best and most life-giving relationships are grounded in trust and respect for oneself and others. Both our single and married staff model healthy romantic relationships, providing teens an example they can look up to.
Providing more information about sex, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases is another way to help teenagers make better choices. They also need a safe place, like TreeHouse, to ask questions, express fears and share feelings about sex and dating.
We provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment to help them through the emotional rollercoaster that often comes with teenage dating. We find the highs and lows even out when teens get their relational needs met primarily through great friendships with peers and staff, giving them the confidence and security they need to make good choices.
TreeHouse taught me to have healthy relationships, which is one of the reasons I am so healthy today.