So you and your spouse are having big disagreements about sex education and appropriate clothing
for your middle school daughter. Well, let's talk about that today on tips on teens. My name
is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, and I specialize in helping
kids, teens, and families live happier lives. I lead two organizations stations, teen Therapy
Center and the nonprofit 501 C three organization, child and Teen Counseling, both here in
Woodland Hills, California. Every Wednesday at noon, I jump onto Facebook Live to answer your
parenting questions. Let's jump into today's. My wife and I have different ideas about sex
education and what's appropriate to wear to school. I really don't think my kids should be learning
about that stuff, and I don't let my 13 year old daughter wear tops that show her midriff. My wife
thinks it's okay, and this leads to lots of fights in the house between my wife and I and with me
and my daughter. I've suggested therapy to my wife,
but she's really against it. So what's the answer? Thank you for your question. I think a big
part of this question is about the inability for you and your wife to get on the same page on these
two topics, especially on how much to educate your kids on sex and also what is appropriate for
her to wear at school and what's not appropriate. This is not an argument between you and your
daughter. This is an argument between you and your spouse because she will follow your guys'lead.
If both you are on the same page with clothing, well, then she's not going to have that clothing
in the house. But clearly someone's buying her shirts that you don't agree with. So how is she
getting that shirt? Is it coming from mom? If so, it's really a discussion to have with mom. So
obviously mom's against therapy, which is her right. So my question is, how do you and your wife
sit down and have that conversation with empathy, respect, an open mind to find an imperfect
middle? And what I mean by that is it's
not about convincing her to do it your way. It's not about her convincing you to do it her way.
How do you guys find that middle, that imperfect middle? That's good enough. And I know you're
like, but that's not what I want. And if you go in saying it's my way or no way, it's not going to
go anyway, and you're going to be the bad guy from everyone because it seems like daughter and
mom are on the same page. So you're the OD man out. So it's important that you find a way to find
the common ground. Otherwise it's just going to create more tension, more resentment. I was
actually just talking to a parent about this like half hour ago about a very similar situation,
about you need to find a way to find compromise and sex education. And you may not want your 13
year old educated on sex and sexual health, and I understand that, but you have to understand
that she's 13. She's an adolescent. She's going through puberty. She's starting to have sexual
thoughts and feelings, which is a normal part
of adolescence. It's okay. And she is inundated with sexuality in the media everywhere she
goes. Even if you have strong restrictions on the Internet, at school, at a friend's house,
you can't protect her from it. So you're not stopping her from being exposed to this material.
You're just not giving her the education to go with it. And what I would argue is the education,
the real life science, health education that you want to give your daughter arms her against
the misinformation and the taboo subjects and the unnecessary early experimentation. If
she goes in forearmed and forewarned with real education, statistically, she's going to make
better choices. She's going to wait a little bit longer before she starts experimenting with
these things till she's more emotionally prepared. Also, having a really strong relationship
with you is also going to help her with that as well. But again, that's going to be impaired if
you and your wife cannot get on the same page. So I really encourage you
guys to find a way to find common ground for what's best for your daughter. Also, below there's
a link to website for Robbieharris.com. She has a bunch of great books for different ages for
kids learning about sex education. I encourage you to go to the website, prove some of the books.
If you think it's something that is appropriate for your child, get one and try to sit down with
your kid and talk with it. If your kid is not willing to do that, no, I do not want to talk about sex
with my parents. This is so uncomfortable. Leave the book in her room. I guarantee you she's
going to start looking at it just with the door closed and with no one else looking. It's not going
to inspire her to do anything inappropriate. If anything, it's going to do the opposite. It's
going to give her more information to make better healthier choices. Thank you for your question.
We love your questions. Keep them coming. If you have a question you'd like me to answer on tips
on teens, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can direct message us right here on Facebook next week's,
Thanksgiving. I'll be out next week, so see you guys in two weeks. I think that's December 1.
So that's be our next tips on teens. Thanks again, everybody. Have a wonderful holiday. My name
is Kent Toussaint from from Teen Therapy Center and Child Teen Counseling, and I'll see you
guys soon. Bye.
The Imperfect Middle
Do you and your spouse disagree about sex education and what is appropriate to wear at school?
How do you and your spouse hash out differences with empathy and respect? Parents have to realize sometimes convincing the other partner over to their side just isn’t going to happen. Sometimes when there’s a chasm between two parents about an issue there is no perfect solution. Rather, in these situations, parents must find and accept the “imperfect middle.”
Educating Them Prevents Problems!
Teens are inundated with sexuaity and sexual material. If you don’t give your child the education to go with it, you’re probably missing an important opportunity to arm them with knowledge against misinformation that could prevent a crisis later. Statistically teens make better choices if they have information. Educating kids about sex doesn’t inspire them to do anything in appropriate. If anything it does the opposite: give them more information to make better choices.
When parents disagree about sex education it can have repercussions, and we talk about it in this Tips on Teens video:
“My wife and I have different ideas about sex education and what’s appropriate to wear to school. I really don’t think my kids should be learning about that stuff, and I don’t let my 13 year old daughter wear tops that show her midriff. My wife thinks it’s okay and this leads to lots of fights in the house between my wife and I and with me and my daughter. I’ve suggested therapy to my wife, but she’s really against it. So what’s the answer?”
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.