As we raced down the highway driving 65 MPH it was clear the only option he had was to sit and listen to what I wanted to say. I validated his feelings and promised that the conversation would be short as long as he was willing to be an active participant. Once he realized the only option was to talk about sex, we had a great conversation about girls, condoms, sex, oral sex, physical attraction, masturbation, love, etc. The funniest part of the conversation came when we had a competition with one another about the various ways we refer to sex and masturbation. Fortunately I did not experience resistance, but there was a awkward and silent moment when I had him open up a condom and I made sure he know how to use one and how to take one off.
The final part of the conversation had less to do with sex and sexual behavior and more about the values I want him to live with when it comes to sex and relationships. I made it clear that I do love him unconditionally regardless of who he chooses to date. However, he did say that he was attracted to girls and that he knew that it was important to treat them with respect, dignity and kindness. We also discussed my desire for him to wait for intimacy until he was much older, in a serious relationship, or better yet married. Finally, we talked about the word “no.” I wanted him to know that “no does mean no” and to take that very seriously. I also told him he also has the right and ability to say “no” as well and by saying “no” would not make him any less of a man.
It had been a year since that conversation, but I still recall it with great pride. When I coach and speak with other parents I share that story to encourage them to do the same. It is an important conversation to have and affords one of those “once in a lifetime” moments for a parent and child. It can either be remembered as something that was relatively painless, or if ignored can be the “mistake” a parent makes because it was too awkward or inconvenient to do.
Coach Randy Nathan, MSW, PCC is a professional coach who works with middle school, high school, and college-aged students, their parents and their families. Through the powerful coaching process he inspires and motivates them to overcome major challenges and transitions as well as identify relevant opportunities in their life. Coach Randy writes for numerous publications and travels throughout the country as a motivational keynote speaker and workshop facilitator. He is the creator of Operation PRIDE, The LEAP Program, Peak Performance Coaching, Career JumpStart, and Workforce 2.0 - powerful programs for millennials. For more information go to www.projectnextgen.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.