"My son just turned 14 & his girlfriend is 13, and he doesn't understand why I won't leave them alone in my house. Am I being over protective of BOTH of them? I feel a duty of care to his girlfriend. I know how easily things can turn from innocent to not-so-innocent. They are both physically mature. Help!" -- Kathleen
Photo by Robyn Gallant via Flickr
Helping boys (and girls) navigate the ins-and-outs of relationships isn't easy. It's also one of our most important jobs. The groundwork and guidelines we establish will set the tone for our kids' behavior and relationship expectations for years to come.
It's not enough to simply say, "Stay safe." And it's not practical (or even advisable) to say, "No dating!" Somehow, we need to give our children room to explore and experiment with emotional and physical intimacy, while also teaching them respect and boundaries. While dealing with teenagers. Who are sure they know everything.
We're here to help you muddle through.
In this episode, Jen & Janet discuss:
* The changing definition of "girlfriend" -- & why it's important to ask your son what the term means to him
* How family rules & values can help you (& your teen) navigate relationships
* Why it's so important to discuss relationships, consent & sex with your boys, beginning when they're young
* How to connect with the family of your son's GF (& why you might want to)
* Why it's more beneficial to talk about what to do in a relationship than what not to do
* How relationships can help your son expand his emotional vocabulary
* Why you might want to invest in a box of condoms. Even if your son is only 10.
Links we mentioned (or should have) in Episode 127:
Episode 110: Talk to Boys about Sex with Amy Lang
Episode 119: Consent with Mike Domritz
Talking to Boys about Sexually Aggressive Girls
-- BuildingBoys post about how to help your son handle sexual pressure