There was a time when it was assumed—rightly or wrongly—that teen boys were the ones who tried to push the envelope in their physical relationships with girls, and that it was the role of “good girls” to hold off those advances. But gender roles have changed a great deal in just a generation or two, and it seems to be spilling over into the romantic lives of adolescents.
Moms of boys report that they’re often shocked by the aggressiveness they see in girls who pursue their sons. The sons who will talk about such things also report that many times, these same girls are the ones who want to go farther faster in the physical aspect of the relationship. So how can a mother prepare her son to stay true to his own values and keep pushy girls in their place? It starts with understanding that the world he’s living and dating in isn’t the same as the one you grew up in. Learn how you can help your son stay pure in a world of aggressive girls.
1. Make your family values related to sex and relationships clear.
It’s far too easy to be embarrassed about sex, even as an adult, and just avoid those types of conversations with your kids. Guess who isn’t afraid to talk about it? The rest of the world. So if you don’t speak up and talk plainly with your son about the importance of sexual self-control, you’re entrusting the entire narrative to others. Speak openly about the moral, spiritual and practical need for self-control where sex is concerned and ask your son to decide in advance—before he starts to date—to uphold those values.
2. Don’t push him into romantic relationships any earlier than necessary.
Some parents revel in the cuteness of that first girlfriend, the Valentine flowers, the middle school dates. But sexual exploration is a progressive thing. If your child begins holding hands with girls at 12, he’ll be more likely to move to the next level, and the next, in short order. Whether it’s his idea or that of an assertive and curious girl, beginning romantic physical contact early lessens the chance that he’ll be able to maintain his purity for marriage. Slow down and give him a fighting chance.
3. Encourage him to have a chivalrous attitude about protecting himself and his girlfriend from bad decisions.
This is a great conversation for dads to have with their sons. Even in our more gender equal world, there’s something to be said for a man who feels a responsibility to protect the women he cares for. Whether it’s his mother, his sister, or a girlfriend, he can be a leader and a protector. In his dating life, impress on your son that he may be the last line of defense between a young woman and a decision they’ll both regret.
4. Teach him how to appreciate classy girls.
It’s easy to see how a teenage boy can be so flattered by the advances of a pushy girl that he fails to see what her relationship style says about her. If he has a sister, ask him how he would feel about it if she pursued boys with the same level of assertiveness, and how he thinks that would look. Teach your son to appreciate the modesty and mystery of classy girls who don’t just put it all out there. Here are 5 types of girls he should avoid.
Teach your son to appreciate the modesty and mystery of girls who don’t just put it all out there.
Tell us! Does your son deal with girls who are more aggressive in the romance department? How do you prepare him to deal with those advances?
Dana Hall McCain writes about marriage, parenting, faith and wellness. She is a mom of two, and has been married to a wonderful guy for over 18 years.