Teaching young people about dating and sex

Repeating these types of activities for each child over the course of three years helped deepen understanding and build confidence through practice more than a single conversation about relationships ever could.We also discovered that it was incredibly helpful to provide as many opportunities as possible for our children to observe real-life relationships.

We also covered practical considerations: how to appropriately plan a date or what to do if plans go awry (such as when someone gets sick or if an emergency arises).

Your own curriculum can develop naturally as you study, ponder, and pray concerning what to teach your children.

Yet data from an NIH study suggest that young people who put off vaginal intercourse by having oral sex don't wait very long for full sexual initiation.

While serving as bishop in a young single adult ward, I couldn’t help but notice how young people handled their emerging relationships.

I was increasingly worried about those who approached dating with very little purpose, understanding, or direction.

Some were apathetic, while others were much too zealous.We laughed (and marveled at her wisdom) as she shared her own experiences and they role-played possible scenarios for success.As you can imagine, family members loved role-playing during this part of the dating academy!Some teens do appear to have oral sex to put off or at least delay first intercourse: Young females who were youngest at age of first intercourse were more likely to have had vaginal intercourse before having oral sex.Young women with factors linked to later age of first vaginal intercourse -- mothers with a college or higher education and two parents living at home -- were more likely to report oral sex but not vaginal intercourse.We felt that no matter how we prepared our children, we needed to ensure that what we taught would be founded on solid gospel principles and standards and not just our own experience or bias.

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