Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Interview with Jackie Brewton, Part 1

 Today is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, the official kick off to National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (NTPPM) recognized each year during the month of May. You can learn more about them both by clicking  here and here.

Jackie Brewton, CEO of MotivationN3D, is a youth motivational speaker and sex education expert who, for more than 10 years, has been inspiring teens and young adults to dream bigger DREAMS, make better DECISIONS and walk into their DESTINIES! You can learn more about Jackie Brewton by clicking here.

For the past several years, it’s been my privilege to get to know Jackie. I treasure the work she does to educate teens and young adults on the, often, life-altering consequences of poor choices AND to enlighten them on the vast possibilities that lie just across the threshold of healthy ones.

In addition to being a sought after speaker, a dedicated mentor and an advocate for the bright future of teens and young adults, I am honored to call Jackie my friend. In recognition of the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, I sat down with her to learn more about what’s on the minds and hearts of youth today when it comes to s.e.x. Our conversation immediately took a turn toward the role of parents in the always unfolding saga that is the life of many of America’s teenagers. Here’s a little bit of what Jackie had to say:

The sad truth…

Monica: What is the most common theme you hear from young people regarding parental involvement in their decision to or to NOT have sex?

Jackie: The most common [theme] is that there is no involvement. What’s sad [is] if you’re asking a boy [they’ll tell you] they’re almost encouraged to have sex.

Our Fathers encourage us; they make us believe that’s what makes us a man,” said one young man. “As a boy, we don’t want to disappoint our fathers. So when your father encourages you to have sex…we feel like we have to do it so we will make our fathers proud of us.”

Jackie: The sad thing is no father is going to ask his daughter if she’s had sex yet? So that’s what’s so unfortunate…. I had one guy in a class who said, “No adult in my life has ever told me not to have sex.” So I asked, “What do they tell you?” He said, “They tell me to wrap it up.” Another boy sitting beside him said, “When they (the parents) found out I’d had sex, do you know what they said? They said, ‘Thank God you’re not gay.’”

UNsafe assumptions and low expectations…

Monica: So how do parents usually find out their child is having sex? Do the parents ask?

Jackie: I think what’s so sad is they all just assume that it’s happening. Even to the point where some of the girls have said their moms think that they’re having sex, but they’re not and there’s no way they can convince the mom otherwise. They are hurt by the fact their parents expect them to be sexually active and won’t even believe them when they say they’re not sexually active.

What do you expect?

Monica: So, what do you tell parents regarding their expectations of their children?

Jackie: What I tell parents is that kids will live up or down to their expectations. The reason we’re getting what we’re getting from teenagers is because that’s what we’re expecting. Unfortunately parents are making it really easy for their kids to be sexually active because they have low expectations and they’re not raising the standard.

I love the quote by John Steinbeck that says,

“It is the nature of man to rise to greatness if greatness is expected of him.”

But these kids don’t have anybody expecting greatness from them. And so they’re not rising to greatness because nobody’s expecting it. That breaks my heart.

*****

It breaks my heart, too. And it should break your heart, as well.

Beginning today and throughout this month at jackiebrewtonblog.com, Jackie will be featuring a hugely insightful blog series entitled Teens Tell All. Top 20 Reasons Why Teens Do and Don’t Have Sex. If you are the parent of a pre-teen/teen, if you know parents of a pre-teen/teen OR if you simply have pre-teens/teens in your life, you really don’t want to miss this series. On the blog site, you can sign up to have the series delivered right to your inbox. I strongly encourage you to do so.

Connect with Jackie Brewton on Facebook by “liking” her fan page – Jackie Brewton, CEO of MotivationN3D. There she shares educational articles, statistics and quotes. She also shares anonymous letters from students she’s met. Trust me, folks, these letters will fill your heart with joy and with sadness all at once. They will enlighten you on what is really going on in the lives of teens and hopefully provide us all with creative insight on what we can do in our individual circles of influence to assist them along their paths toward greatness.

Until next time…

Coming up next at Be Completely You….. Part 2 of my interview with national youth motivational speaker and sex education expert Jackie Brewton in conjunction with the National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. Don’t miss it.