Talking with your kids about dating

If the messages from parents aren't clear enough, then the bad messages have the upper hand,” says Tom Lickona, co-author of (Ave Maria Press).

“Unless parents talk to their kids about the sacredness of their bodies and self-respect, kids will be eaten alive by the media.” Parents and educators sometimes make the mistake of limiting sex education discussions to the act of intercourse, but they should also focus on sexual activity within the context of sexuality, intimacy, and self-respect, says Father John Heagle, co-author of (Crossroads).

We believe this is very important and very special,'" Lickona says. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Naperville, Illinois, remembers his parents talking about their expectations of chastity when he was a teen.

It's important for parents to share not only their expectations but also an understanding that teens face constant challenges in today's society.

By talking about real situations and discussing ways to handle them, parents can equip teens with the knowledge and understanding to make wise choices even when parents aren't around.

In response to these realities, some parents and educators have focused on abstinence and just saying no.

Others have emphasized talking to teens about the beauty of sexuality and the benefits of waiting until marriage to share this gift.

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