Physical Attractions And Sexual Urges: 5 Things Parents Need to Teach Their Kids

BY: - 24 Oct '13 | Parenting

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How did you learn about sex? How did you learn about dating? What to do? What not to do? Were you taught by your parents?

It’s interesting. As I look back at my training grounds…I learned what not to do from my elders (“don’t do this”…”don’t do that”). But I learned what to do from my friends and the older guys I hung with. The church was helpful at correcting some of what I learned…but still insufficient. The bible tells you to love your spouse and don’t do any freaky-deeky stuff until you get married. But it doesn’t tell you what to do with those feelings of attraction and sexual urges toward the opposite sex in the meantime.

Let’s face it, hormonal induced attractions are a wild beast to try and harness. Many have tried. Most have failed. Starting around 13, feelings of attraction to the opposite sex are natural and to be expected. But most parents would agree that 13, 14, 15, and even 16 is too young to be having a girlfriend or boyfriend. But what does a teenager do with those feelings of attraction…those animalist instinctive sexual urges! The…”she’s phat” or “he’s fine” or “I try’n smash” or “He can get-it”. What does a teen do with that?

The social silence leaves a huge gap in knowing how to handle physical attractions and sexual urges. So teens are left with doing what they hear and see at school, in music/videos, on youtube, and TV. *in my Chris Rock voice* “That ain’t right!!!”

Parents teach your kids:

  1. What to do with their feelings of attraction to the opposite sex
  2. What to do with their sexual urges
  3. How to show a girl/guy you like them…without being corny or embarrassing yourself
  4. What to do when a girl/guy says they like you
  5. What to do when someone wants to have sex with you

And be real! Don’t live in a parental bubble…where everything makes 40-year-old sense. Teens are experiencing primal urges and feelings — some for the first time. You can’t rationalize away feelings. You have to teach them to acknowledge their feelings, but control their behavior.

A 13 year old needs to know what to do when he/she has feelings of attraction for the cute girl/guy in class. They need to know…from you… what to do with that! Because proper social etiquette now says that she needs to show him how good she can twerk so he’ll notice her. Or she should offer him a blow jo- — I mean…oral sex — under the stairwell to really make him like her.  And then there’s the sexting.

Oh…and don’t just tell them, “Don’t twerk” or “Don’t give him oral sex” or “Don’t sext”. You’re just telling them what not to do. Normalize their feelings. Validate that their feelings of attraction and sexual urges are okay…they are natural. Then normalize the conversation about their feelings. Explain to them what they should do with those feelings in a loving, non-confrontational, non-embarrassing way. Use humor to lighten the mood. Be transparent about your past to build credibility. Never tell them to suppress those feelings until they’re older. That’s like trying to tame that wild hormonal beast. It didn’t work on you. So don’t try it on them.

BMWK – What are some positive, proactive things that teens should do with their feelings of attraction and sexual urges? And please…keep it friggin’ real!!!

About the author

Heath Wiggins wrote 26 articles on this blog.

Purveyor of Understanding - Heath Wiggins, founder of the Family Bootcamp, launched His Leadership Her Trust to combat the epidemic of men shirking from their responsibility of providing leadership in their homes. His mission is to teach men how to lead in a way that women want to follow. Heath will be celebrating 16 years of marriage to his wife Bernadette in October 2013.

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21 WordPress comments on “Physical Attractions And Sexual Urges: 5 Things Parents Need to Teach Their Kids

  1. BK

    I have a while before I have to have this conversation with my 2 girls, but when that time comes, I plan on being real and up front with them. I’ve always felt that sex education is one area where too many parents fall short. There’s really no need to sugarcoat stuff or use shame and what not to teach kids about the subject.

    Reply
  2. FM

    Preach! I wish my parents had taken this approach with me. Their lack-of led to many years of not being self-assured, lack of confidence in my sexuality and just shame well into my adult years talking to my parents about anything having to do with the subject! I’m an engaged women now and I think my mom still believes I’m a virgin!

    Reply
  3. michelle

    you have given no information and/or guidance for parents on how to have these discussions? confused. you talked about what is normal feelings at a particular age, but i would have assumed that the article would have given some examples to parents on how to break the ice and talk about a subject that is obviously uncomfortable for both child and parent. For example: what to do with feelings of sexual attraction? ummmm most parents have no idea of what to do with feelings of sexual attraction as they may still be irresponsible in that area having never been taught the proper way. I was looking for more of an educational piece rather than one that is just written in broad statements containing information that most people already know. Good try.

    Reply
    1. Vanessa

      Michelle- I felt the same way. This article could’ve used some practical examples. Heath- when you say “parents teach your kids what to do with feelings for the opposite sex”- what do you suggest? HOW should they deal with them? What should they do when they have sexual urges? When their crushes sext them or joke about sexual favors, how should they respond? I think the answer is that it’s different for every parent and child as every parent-child relationship is different. However, It seems to me one thing we all have in common is the responsibility to develop our children’s character before they hit this age so a.) they ‘ll want to hear what we have to say and b.) hopefully won’t be looking for love or affirmation through sexual experiences

      Reply
    2. Gwen

      I agree. I think it’s a good starting article but more info would be great. I have a 13 year old son and 12 year old daughter. I would really appreciate some tips/examples of what ways to, for starters, bring up the subject and then some examples of what some of the “do’s” should be. If anyone has examples it would would be greatly appreciated.

      Reply
    3. Heath Wiggins Post author

      Michelle, you are right. I didn’t give any advice or guidance on how to have this conversation. But that was intentional. Here’s why. Although I do have an opinion about how to do it, each parent has their own values system and parenting style. I made a conscious decision not to interject my value system’s approach because depending on the parents value system my style would be either too liberal or too strict for some parents. I did not want the conversation to be about my approach vs theirs. To me that’s not important. More importantly, I wanted to ignite parents to have that discussion with their children. However I do concede your point that I could have given some examples of how to break the ice or broach the subject.

      Reply
    4. Kim

      I agree. I know that they should do something, but what? I want to guide but I’m unsure of what to tell them. I was also hoping this would be more informative. Feeling disappointed.

      Reply
  4. Heath Wiggins Post author

    Vanessa, the reason I didn’t give any examples is expressly because of the reason you stated in your comment “…the answers is that it’s different for parent and child every parent-child relationship is different.” I thought it more important to stimulate that idea that parents need to have the conversation with their kids father than spark a debate over which ideas I think will work. Because, as you mentioned and I mentioned in my respond to Michelle, my ideas might work for some and not for others. But thank you for you comment. And because of it , I might just follow up this article with some ways to get this awkward conversation started with your kids.

    Reply
  5. chy luke

    this is an interesting post. I would ve loved to know some practical examples . My children will soon become teenagers. Thanks

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    Good try but interestingly, but your approach contradicts your message because it does just what you advices us not to do: caution them without offering solutions. I understand you reason but that just as parents will offer options for dealing with these experiences and tell our children each situation will be different, you could have used examples as a starting point. Kudos for broaching the topic, though.

    Reply
  7. Tiffany Hall

    Very good article. I think it gets parent thinking. There is no cookie cutter routine to talk to your child about sex and feelings. Some will need to start at 9 years old others 15/16. With my 19 year old, o begantalking to her about ddifferent things at different ages. When she was 5/6 we had the private part/no touching talk. As she started to develop and her menstruation came around 12 we had the respect your body talk. At 13 we had the safe sex talk. Her father talked to her about what he. And his friends were like at her age. We also talked about appropriate dress and dating rules when you go out.
    Unfortunately there isn’t a guide and my talk will probably be different when my son gets older. Just know as a parent you need to have open communication about sex and feelings with your kids early.

    Reply
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  9. Eyo

    I really loved this piece it was eye opening as I have a soon to be 16 yr old. I have been dreading the subject for a while as I have had bad experiences growing up because of the lack of knowledge from my parents. She recently told me that she liked a boy, I spoke with her but I don’t think I did a very good job and I think about it all the time.Please some examples on how to deal with these issues and how to approach it would be very useful as I would not want my daughter to go through what I went through because of my lack of support. Please even if you have to personally email me. Thanks

    Reply
    1. Heath

      Eyo, I am writing a follow up article that goes into detail about what parents should do. It’s kind of detailed. It should point you in the right direction. It will likely be published next Thursday. Please check back then. I’ll try to follow up with an email to this post.

      Reply
  10. Pingback: Helping your teens deal with feelings of attraction and sexual urges | | Urban Family Communications | Ministry, Media, Politics, RadioUrban Family Communications | Ministry, Media, Politics, Radio

  11. Pingback: 6 Tactics for Teaching Teens to Deal with Physical Attraction and Sexual Urges

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