When we discuss the reasons why teens have sex and the reasons why they wait, one aspect of teen decision-making that frequently comes up is being “goal-oriented.” Teens that believe they have a lot to look forward to in life are much more likely to wait to have sex (and to make countless other positive choices!).
So…dream with your child! Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- When your child wants something, give them a short-term goal to work towards as they “earn” the gift. (Not for every gift, but for some!)
- Ask “dreaming” questions: not just “where do you want to be in 15 years?” but also “What would be the coolest thing that could happen to you at school this year?”
- Teach your child to plan and anticipate by planning and anticipating together. For a daughter, you might plan and shop for a special outfit to wear to a concert, holiday, or event. For a son, you might consider putting together a project to complete, or planning and executing a special meal for the family.
There are endless possibilities. Just keep in mind I want to help my child realize there are tons of things to look forward to in life. You just have to look for them!