Gena Lee Nolin’s Blog: When Is The Right Time To Have “The Talk” With Your Teens?

GenaMom-of-four Gena Lee Nolin is inviting Celebrity Baby Scoop readers along as she shares her life experiences – and asks for advice – as she juggles her busy life with husband Cale Hulse and their four children: Spencer, 16, Caia, 11, Hudson, 6, and Stella, 4. In her latest guest blog – she shares how she and her oldest son can openly talk about sex and drugs. Continue reading her experiences and the advice she gives.

It always seemed natural that fathers handled their raging, hormonal sons and mothers took care of their budding, dramatic daughters. Not always the case. Parents have to take on whatever role needed to provide essential information that their teens need, regardless of how uncomfortable it might be for us. Let me tell you, times have changed since we were in school. Being a teen today is like being on a completely different planet. I’ve heard first hand from my 16 year-old-son what goes on in middle school and high school.

There are 8th grade girls doing sexual acts behind the school or in the bathrooms and these are in private catholic schools. Yes, it’s really happening!  So, how and when do we have “The Talk” with our beautiful, sassy teens?

I feel that I’m a fairly strict parent with serious rules and consequences, if broken.  I also have an unbelievable relationship with my son that’s always been very open and free for all topics. We speak openly about drugs, sex and yes, even rock & roll.  Due to the internet and that I’ve been in the public eye, it’s been a topic we’ve had to discuss a bit earlier then I’d hoped, but the outcome was unbelievable.

My son is unreal—he’s mature and creative. He plays the piano and guitar by ear and even played with Green Day in front of 17,000 people without missing a beat. He’s not into drugs and I’ve had him tested with negative results. It really boils down to who your children hang around, what activities they’re into and keeping them busy with whatever it is they love doing. Sports have always been a great outlet for my son. I find it makes a big difference when kids participate in sports and also have involved parents.  However, with that being said, it’s not always the way a child is raised as I’ve seen exceptional parents have kids that go completely off track by taking drugs, starting sex early and even being arrested for unruly actions. Sadly, I’ve known some of these kids since they were tiny. The head scratcher is that they all come from outstanding families with values and it didn’t matter. These kids were missing the mark and had to learn the hard way and they did indeed.

My personal advice is to keep communication wide open. Sex isn’t a bad or ugly thing; it’s natural and should be taken very seriously. Drugs should be taken seriously, too. I scared my son to death with Hollywood drug stories.  The things I saw going on made me never take a drug. People like River Phoenix dying on Sunset Blvd. as he lay on the side walk in convulsions from a drug overdose. His life was over in an instant because of ONE bad choice that night. My son had questions regarding the sex topic. I was open and honest and he respected me for it. Kids are smart; they get it and see things for what they are. I’ll be just as open with my little ones by keeping the door open for whatever questions they have when that time comes. It’s a great feeling when they feel comfortable enough to talk with you about it.

You can’t always be your kid’s best friend, but you can be their voice of reason while sharing your own experiences (word to the wise, leave a few things out!). They look to you for stability and if they know they can openly have a mature discussion with you about these life changing subject matters, then you’ve done your job as a parent.  Embrace their growth as they quickly turn into young men and women.  Cheers to raising good, grounded kids that have self-esteem, that don’t falter to peer pressure and stay true to themselves and their beliefs. It can happen!  I’m living proof with an amazing son. I couldn’t be more proud of the young man he’s become.

Good luck and share your own experiences!

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