Teaching parents about chastityParents are the primary educators of their children. They are the most effective and mostexperienced to educate their children because they know them best. The American national coalitionto prevent teenage pregnancy recognises this key fact thatparents are the number one influence in ateenager’s life. Many parents are not aware of this fact.Both parents and teenagers are thirsting for the truth about sex and chastity. In a sex saturatedculture, many are looking for clear teaching and responsibility. Serious problems arisewhen parents are disconnected from their children. A number of legislative eventshave occurred inBritain encouraging access to abortion and contraception without parental consent.Some parents would rather preach to the British National Party on the benefits of mixed racemarriages than talk to their children about chastity. But the fact is that the average teenager will hear and see up to 480,000 sexual references, innuendos or images by the time they leave school (TedBaehr Phd, Protecting children from harm from the media, address to world congress of families II,from U.S. News and World Reportfindings.http://www.worldcongress.org/wcf2_spkrs/wcf2_baehr.htm#_ednref27). If we are notwilling to put rubbish into our bodies, why do we put it into our mind?Fear tactics do not tend to work when talking about chastity. First chastity is not abstinence.Abstinence merely focused on a lack of sexual expression, whereas chastity is the virtue of purityand temperance, which brings spiritual benefits. Having a bigger vision of the benefits of saving sexuntil marriage will increase the efficacy of your message. Some parents have shown slides of STDsto their children. In this practice, they might miss the bigger picture as they are less aware of theconsequences of their actions. They might only learn that they do not want to take pictures of STDsas a living! The call to love is far more powerful than the imposition of fear.The message that sex is not love is very important. If you love someone, you want to do what is best for the other person. But when 20% of sexually active children get Chlamydia, something must be wrong. Many teenagers have extremely low self esteem. They have not been built upemotionally and the phrase ‘I love you’ is not used or heard at home. They can be built upemotionally simply by saying, “You look beautiful.”Teenagers can also be encouraged physically. Our society has lost the sense of a healthy touch-either there is too much emphasis on touch or there is a complete phobia of it. We all have a needfor human touch. Mother Theresa was particularly aware of this and the elderly also need to betouched by others frequently. With a healthy sense of human contact, one is given the sense of being protected.Some men lack good male role models. When they are given a tangible and physical role modelthey realise it is possible to be virtuous. Without a solid role model it is likely they will find thewrong group of friends to hang out with and will not have a clear reference point and example of what it is to be a man. Every teenager needs a man who gives him support and affirmation so thathe can come to a healthy sense of self identity and know how to relate to other men.Men and women are wired extremely differently. Guys reach their sexual peak at about 18, whereasgirls reach their sexual peak at about 35. There are considerable differences in hormones betweenmen and women. It is also important to recognise this.Prayer is indispensable for families. It is corny but true that ‘The family that prays together stays
together.’ It is important to offer up sufferings and realise the power of prayer. Sometimes religioussisters or Priests can help us by praying for us. Sometimes if we ask God for something he willshower us with gifts. With great freedom comes great responsibility. Teenagers free will has theweight of grace placed upon it.Saint Augustine of Hippo was a badly behaved teenager, but when he grew up he learnt how to be asaint. The prayers of another saint (his mother), was important in helping him get to thisstate. Parents do not have to blame themselves when their children venture off on undesirable paths.God is the best parent in the universe. Because he gave his children free will, look at the state of what has happened! St Francis said be patient with the whole world, but first of all with yourself.Suffering can also have a redemptive side. When we offer up our sufferings, rejoice in sufferingsand unite our sufferings with the sufferings of Christ everything can be transformed into prayer.Christ came to earth and suffered. We now know how to suffer because he showed us how to do so.Mary as co-redemptrix (Pope John Paul used this title in his pontificate.Seehttp://www.fifthmariandogma.com/old_site/response_1.php) suffered with the redeemer. Theyset the standards high and clear.The message of so called ‘safe’ sex and ‘safer’ sex is devastating and dangerous. It is medicallyinaccurate and insulting to women. It generates a false sense of security encouraging risky behaviour and reduces the understanding of sex to purely genital. Sex has more consequences than acondom could ever protect against. The message of ‘safe’ sex is an absolute joke. Sex is not safe, but involves the complete gift of self to another person. ‘safe’ sex misleads people about the biological, spiritual and emotional effects of sex. Such a message is patronising and insulting toteenagers. Effectively, it communicates, “I have no confidence in you.” Being neutered by drugs isone way of repressing your fertility. Spaying is normally something you do to your cat not to your child. When we set the standards high and if fact say: save sex until marriage, we give a newgeneration the confidence to believe in themselves and to live for something greater. They then aremore likely to respond and thank you for believing in them.The female contraceptive pill has many dangerous side effects. Along with Depo Provera, it tricksand lies to the body into thinking that it is pregnant. This can harm a woman’s immune system.There are quite a number of studies have shown a link between the pill and breast cancer. The journal of the Mayo clinic in October 2006 showed that in 21 of 23 studies, the pill increased the probability of breast cancer (Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Oral Contraceptive Use as a Risk Factor for Premenopausal Breast Cancer: A Meta-analysis, Chris Kahlenborn, MD, et al., October 2006;81(10):1290-1302). It encourages women to engage in sexually permissive behaviour in themistaken notion that they are sexually free.Many people do not realise that contraception is also an abortifacient. It leads to a thinning of theuterus. Some doctors deny this, but it is usually stated on the packet that the pill comes with. Usingthe pill sends a mixed message to teenagers. Rather than concentrating on the message of saving sexuntil marriage, contraceptives encourage teenagers to engage in risky sex under the false premisethat they were protected. Would it be wise to tell a teenager that it would be fine to play on themotorway just provided they put a helmet on?Planned parenthood and its associates gives the foolish message “Don’t let anyone tell you what todo with your body, just listen to your body.” As if the hormones of a teenager are the mostauthoritative reference on the subject! Research on the development of the adolescent brain showsthat a certain parts of the brain does not mature until 24 or 25. Giving solid advice on sexuality suchas sex is permissible when you are married.