How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex, with Dr Glenn Miya – RFL041

How to Talk To Your Kids About Sex – Episode Overview

The Internet and technology has brought many of the more adult issues right to our kids – even though they aren’t adults. They don’t have the ability, in many cases, how to understand, process or deal with some of the information they connect with – sex, drugs, relationships, social media. As I regularly state, a critical role of our job as parents is to walk with and translate for our kids, the information they get from our world. We can’t protect them constantly, but we can guide them to be prepared and wise when they do encounter things that are challenging or have the potential to disrupt their life and health or adversely influence their choices.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on getting our kids ready for life. My intention is to encourage meaningful conversations with our kids about sex and other things they will encounter in life – before they encounter them – the things that can be confusing, dangerous and difficult for them to understand without our guidance, support and coaching.

Meet our guest Dr. Glenn Miya

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex With Glenn MiyaDr. Glenn Miya, is a parent and board certified physician as well as a radio host, producer, writer, and speaker on current topics in the world of medicine and wellness. His philosophy to staying well is simple.

“Start with the three fundamentals of health:  proper diet, proper exercise, and proper rest. Years of gymnastics and martial arts taught me that.”

He has been featured by PBS, NPR, CBS radio, and many other new shows and publications.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. Sex is everywhere – on television, movies, phones, the Internet. Most parents don’t talk about it in a way that relates to their values – so that when their kids encounter it, they know how to place it in a meaningful and healthy way in life.We can help our kids by walking with them and helping them understand and interpret the information they get from their world – to place it wisely – particularly about sex.
  2. Our kids need to understand the mechanics of sex (how bodies work) before they can begin to understand it emotionally. Talk to your kids early (toddlers) about bodies. It helps them see them as natural and normal – before they start to see them sensationalized.
  3. Our discomfort with talking to our kids about sex will direct them to learn about it from the internet, friends and the outside world. This doesn’t ensure that our kids develop a healthy understanding of it for their lives.
  4. We are connection beings. We are modeling and teaching our values about sex and sexuality with our kids from their first moments. Everything about having and raising kids is about connection.
  5. Look for the teachable moments to bring up or deal with issues about sex, health and other meaningful topics. Many times an event, site, word, television show, etc will get your child asking or wondering. This is a teachable moment – tune in to it – don’t miss it.
  6. Most kids overestimate what they know about sex; most parents underestimate what their kids know about sex.
  7. Talking about the mechanics of sex (early education for our kids) is part 1. The more important part is talking about the flood of emotions (feelings) that go along with sex. A solid foundation helps parents talk and deal with the emotions and feelings that come with our maturing kids around dating, sex and relationships.
  8. When we tune in and really pay attention to our kids (and ask them a lot of questions), we discover what they know and think about big issues like sex. We can then assess where they are with things and determine how we can best support and respond – particularly as they get older.
  9. Kids today are more connected with each other because of their constant social media connections. This encourages greater emotional relationships, sooner. Parents need to be aware that many relationships that we see our kids in as virtual (and not emotional), they see as real (and very emotional). This affects how they react.
  10. Sex is part of life. It is important for us to help our kids appreciate, value and trust their feelings and to understand and respect their bodies – and the bodies of others.
  11. Examine your own values and attitudes about sex. This is where most of the embarrassment about sex comes from. Rethink it and assess what needs to change to help you help your kids be wiser about themselves and the way they connect to sex in their lives.

Questions for parents

  1. How are you regularly talking about sex and tough issues with your kids?
  2. What concern or fear do you have in talking to your kids about sex?
  3. How could you involve your pediatrician or physician in preparing to have these meaningful conversations?
  4. What changes do you need to make in your own understanding of sex and being a sexual/connection being that will improve your life?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1.    Stop and Notice how you talk to your kids about sex. What are your fears and how will you overcome them?
  2.    Stop and Notice what your kids currently know and think about sex? How can you have a discussion to find this out to determine how to help them develop a healthy and wise understanding of it in their lives?
  3.    Stop and Notice whether you take advantage of the teachable moments to help your kids understand sexuality, sexual behavior and their sexuality. How will you be more tuned in and watching for the times to help them learn from teachable moments?
  4.    Stop and Notice how you are helping your kids stay sane and grounded in a world that has a lot of distractions around sex. How can you help your kids understand this in their world and not be a victim to it?

Sex – it’s everywhere. Our kids see it all the time. Many times we have no idea what they know about it – and whether what they know is healthy, accurate and will help them be ready for life. As parents, we need to own these big conversations even if they make us uncomfortable. Our kids need us to help them develop their understanding of all of what their life shares with them. This way they will be wise and informed in the decisions they make at any point in their lives.

Suggested Resource:

A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About Sex  – by Dr Kevin Leman and Kathy Flores Bell

A resource to talk to your kids about sexParents Often Imagine Their Kids to be Nonsexual Until Their Wedding Night The truth of the matter is that we’re sexual from day one. What are you going to communicate to your kids about this, knowing that they are sexual creatures today? Your kids need you to talk with them about sex. No one else will do. They’ve been discovering their sexuality since the day they were born, but they need you to help them deal with the changes and challenges of puberty. Those conversations that are so vital for your children’s health and happiness don’t have to be difficult if you’re prepared. A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey with Your Kids about Sex helps you build a strong, trust-filled relationship with your son or daughter to prepare you for the intimate talks you need to have when “the changes” hit. And because every child grows in a unique way, this book tells you what to teach but lets you determine when. Inside this book are the tools you need to help your kids not only understand their growing bodies, but also cope with the temptations and social pressures that go with them. Practical, expert, and down-to-earth, A Chicken’s Guide is a powerful resource not only for moms and dads, but also for pastors, counselors, and anyone with a heart for kids.


When You Are Feeling Down, Do This One Thing To Turn Things Around

Face it, we all get to places and events that seem to take us down:

  • We get tough news about our health or the health of a loved one.
  • Our kids get into trouble outside of the house.
  • Relationships get challenged.
  • Jobs get lost and money gets tight.

Each of these can take us down. And sometimes it feels right to pull the covers up and feel sorry for ourselves. Or, it feels right to lose our cool and get angry. Being a victim or getting angry are the default behaviors for some of these life situations. Visiting these negative emotions is fine, but don’t move in.

Focusing on the negative brings more negative

When we dwell on a tough situation, it can take the joy out of every other part of life. Feeling down or sad about a situation you cannot control just brings these same feelings to the other parts of your life. We all have met or had to deal with people who were upset about something and then let it ruin every other part of their day (we’ll start to see it now as another election cycle happens).

So the question is, when you are feeling down, what is something you can do to turn things around? That one thing is GRATITUDE.

See, even in the worst of times, there is always something to be grateful for. In the moment of shifting out of victim or anger (both show up when we are down), we create a new energy – a positive energy – one that can help us reframe what we see, create optimism and encourage new solutions.

Gratitude changes the energy

Research shares that one of the greatest abilities to heal ourselves and to stay healthy is to live with both a positive outlook and with gratitude. It changes the chemicals in our brains which then positively influences our body chemistry.

If you are dealing with a challenging teen or young adult who has gotten herself in trouble, you are much more capable to handle the issue, help the young adult realign and keep a family together if you keep your mind focused on solutions and stay positive. Using your energy to be angry limits your ability to see the situation clearly, solve it wisely and build a more solid relationship. But with the awareness to shift to a little gratitude, opportunities to successfully resolve become more apparent. After all, what you seek you find.

Studies show that being angry or acting the part of the victim are life’s defense mechanisms; they are designed to keep us safe (notice the brain’s defaults are about safety, not happiness – we own creating our happiness). To (stop and) notice these feelings can help us shift to make sounder, wiser decisions.

Try this everywhere

We can do it face-to-face with our kids – when we focus on what is great and amazing in them. We can do it as money gets tight to see that we have support and help from others, or our health, or a loving relationship. We can do it when we are frustrated in the workplace by choosing to focus on something remarkable about the job or the people. We have to choose (on purpose) to stop and notice the good things when the bad things seem to have our full attention.

Don’t let the downs make you miss all the ups of life. The ups are more powerful than you think – they can completely dissolve the downs. Remember that “be happy” and “be down” can’t coexist – they are mutually exclusive emotions. Focus on the ups and they will help you provide solutions and responses to your downs.

What are three things you are grateful for, and how will you focus on these when life send you things that get you down?

The One Question That Will Improve Your Life

There is one question you can ask, in any situation, that can will improve your life. It can help you stand out in the workplace, with customers, with your employees, with your managers. It can help you stand out in school, with your friends, in class and on a project. It can help you stand out in your relationship at home, with family, with friends and with people you don’t know. Ask this question and everything changes.

What is the question?

Hold on, I’ll share it in a minute.

Let’s first understand why this question works.

Stop and notice for a moment each of the following situations:

  • Your workplace
  • Your school
  • Your family
  • Your relationships

How pleased are you with each? If I asked you to rate each on a scale of 1 – 10, where 1 means it is terrible and 10 means it is off the charts, what would you rate each? Most people rate all of these between a 4 and a 6. What kind of relationships, family, school and workplace do you have with a rating of 4, 5 or 6 out of ten? Good but not great?

The reason for this is that most of us never have learned to ask this one power question – the question that changes everything. The result is we allow life to go on as it is, just accepting what comes. But this question gives you the power to change anything. Ready for the question?

Always ask this

“What could make this better?” That’s it. Or use this one modification, “What could I do to make this better?”

See, most of us don’t look at our work and lives and ask what could make it better. We take it as it comes and then get disappointed. We forget that we own our response. We want to blame the world for anything that isn’t right when we actually have the power to change it by learning to ask this question.

So, walk into any business. Walk in to any class at school. Look at any homework assignment. Look at any meal. Look at the relationship with your brother, father, sister, mother, neighbor, teacher, boss, employees. Look at any garden. Look at any vacation. Look at any room in the house. Ask the question: what could make this better? (or, What could I do to make this better?).

This question forces you and your kids – to take responsibility for the quality of your work and life. It doesn’t mean that any of the situations or events you assess aren’t good – you have just developed the habit of always considering what could make them better. This constant focus on small improvements over time leads to significant improvements. This is how great things are developed – they come from constantly asking the question, “what could make this better?”

Ask this question everywhere

To improve things in the workplace, be the employee who always asks, “what could make this (service, operations, work environment, benefits, culture, training, etc) better?” – then come up with some suggestions.

To improve things at school, be the student who always asks, “what could make this (homework, class, reading, project, sports team, activity, club, etc) better?” – then come up with some suggestions.

To improve things in your relationships, be the one who always asks, “what could make this (conversation, time with each other, intimacy, friendship, etc) better?” – then come up with some suggestions.

You improve things when you take ownership of improving everything you encounter. All it takes is a simple change in awareness –a new habit – of always asking the question, “what could make this better?” (or, “what could I do to make this better?”). Imagine your family, workplace, school, relationships, life and our world if we all asked this question more often.

Feeling Selfish When You Make Time for Yourself? Don’t.

Does your world make your feel selfish when you make time for yourself – that you should be more attentive to your family, partner or work?  You can’t be there to support the important people in your life if your don’t first support your own wellbeing.

Parents, Managers, Spouses

As parents, we are told to focus on our kids. It is after all, their time to learn how to find their way in the world to show up bold, courageous and ready for their life. Coming of age happens quickly and so they are our focus to get the ready to soar.

As managers, we are told to focus on our employees – they are the eyes and the ears of the company and the place where we connect with customers. If they are not at the top of their game, then our connection with customers and our business suffers.

As spouses, companions or partners, we are told to focus on the needs and wants of the other to be supportive, attentive and loving. After all, the success of the relationships is impact by their happiness.

Though all of these are true, what struck me in thinking about this was that if I am not present, not well, not connected, not tuned in, not aware of me, then none of these can happen well. If my world needs me to be ready to support and guide others, how can I respond well if I don’t first make sure things are all working with me?

You have heard the oxygen mask analogy. The flight attendants in a plane remind us, that in an emergency to put our oxygen mask on first. We can’t be there for others if we are out of air.

We can’t be there for our kids if we are not tuned in and focused in building a happy authentic life. We certainly can’t support, guide and help them find their fit if we never did it for ourselves. If we never discovered our voice, then we are unable to both see the need or have the ability to help our kids do this same work for themselves.

We can’t be there for our employees if we have not developed our leadership values and skills, have a clear vision of where we are headed and are resilient and capable to handle change. If we have not taken the time to identify and develop our beliefs and values, worked on our skills and defined our path, then we are ineffective in guiding, supporting and coaching our employees to bring their best to the workplace and to make their difference.

We can’t be there for our spouse, partner or companion if we are unaware of our talents, passions and values. Without having spent some time looking inward to understand ourselves, we haven’t figured how to be ourselves personally or intimately with others.

3 ways to feed your inner self, to be a stronger outer self

  1. Make time to think, meditate, pray or be quiet. In a loud and pushy world, you can get easily overwhelmed. Creating a place of quiet and calm, allows you the place to sort through your feelings, emotions, thoughts, dreams and opportunities. Once clear about you, life is easier to navigate.
  2. Keep learning. Constantly invest in your skills through reading and practice. Choose things that inspire and engage you, and those that will help you show up more fully to the people, places and events in your world. Go learn something new.
  3. Make a point to be thrilled by life. Watch your world for the things that get you excited, passionate and energized. Building more of these in your day amps your energy throughout the day – to keep you more focused on what is right than wrong with life and relationships.

Is it selfish to make time for yourself? No – it is actually wise. The more significantly you show up to your life, the more significantly you will show up to the other important people in your life. Make time for you. Use it well.

What is one thing you will do to invest in yourself today, that will help you be a better person, parent, partner or employee/employer?