What do you expect from your teens?
Do you expect your teens to drive carefully? Yes. You would not take your teen for their driving test and expect them to get into an accident right away. We expect them to drive carefully and obey the laws for safety. We discourage texting while driving. We don't allow drinking and driving. Although 1 in 5 of 16-year-old drivers has an accident within their first year of driving according to DoSomething.org, we expect them to be in the 80% of teens that do not have an accident.
Do you expect your teens to graduate from college? Yes. You would not help your teen fill out all those college applications and at the same time have no expectation of having them graduate from college. We expect them to graduate. We keep in touch with them in college and find ways to help them if they begin slipping. We even offer them to hire a tutor if it will keep them on track. Although only 56% of students earn degrees within six years according to the Pew Research Center, we expect them to be in that percentage. We actually expect them to be in the smaller group that graduates in 4 years.
Do you expect your teen to maintain sexual purity? Yes/No/Not Sure. Many of you who would allow your teen to start dating, actually expect them to become sexually active. Teen sexual activity has become socially acceptable in many circles. We don't encourage proper behavior as ladies and gentlemen anymore. Yet 53% of high school students indicated that they had not yet had sex according to the ReCAPP report. Why do we not expect them to be in this group?
By not expecting purity in our teens, by default we expect them to be sexually active. If you as parents do not expect purity from your children, who will? If you as parents do not know what to expect of your teens, how are your teens to know what you expect of them?
I hear of parents putting their daughters on the pill as soon as they find out they are interested in boys. I have talked to parents of boys that just say, "I can't control what they do. I can't expect them to wait." WHY NOT?!!! The percentage of teens that are not sexually active is close to the percentage of students earning college degrees within six years. Why can't we expect this from them?
Do not let the culture decide what is expected of your teen.
You decide: WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?
I was very disturbed by a recent episode of Modern Family. Promo HERE. This is how far our culture has gone.
In this episode a daughter asks her father if her boyfriend can move in with them. The father is not shocked. Further in the episode was a conversation between Phil and Clare (the parents) about their daughter and her boyfriend:
This doesn't bother you? Haley and Dylan in her bedroom.
They're doing what they're doing. I say we be evolved about it.
Fine. If you're really okay with our precious daughter shacking up with her ne'er-do-well boyfriend, so be it.
I just don't want them sneaking around like we had to.
Read more at: Forever Dreaming
Why did the parents sneak around when they were teens? Because they knew it was wrong. Or they at least knew that it was not what their parents expected of them.
Teens need you to tell them that you expect them to be sexually pure.
And don't forget to give them hugs, be the parent, have dinner together as a family, say goodnight to them, and pray for them. They may not tell you, but they need you now more than ever.