A friend of mine recently learned that his teenaged son had become sexually active.
The first thing I said: “Thank goodness your son felt comfortable enough to tell you.”
The second thing? “You should probably watch Savage U with your kid.”
And if you’re a parent with teenage kids, you probably should too.
I mentioned the Savage Love podcast a month or three ago in my list of podcasts to listen to thusly:
Savage Lovecast: Dan Savage gives great
relationship advice. Seriously. There are so many jacked-up things
that we’ve got embedded in our psyche about relationships, and Dan cuts
through almost all of them. Give the micro version a try for a few
weeks (with ads) and I’ll bet you’ll want to subscribe to the Magnum
version like I do.
The thing is, Savage Love is… well, pretty aggressively 18+. Unless you’re comfortable talking about sex, it’d be uncomfortable listening with your kids. (I highly recommend you listening, though.)
Savage U, however, is perfect for watching with your teenage kids.
The premise is pretty simple (here lifted from Wikipedia’s entry):
The series follows Dan Savage and Lauren Hutchinson as they travel to different colleges across the United States.
In each episode, there is an open Q&A session where Savage and
Hutchinson discuss anonymous questions submitted by the audience. Within
the episodes, Savage has a one-on-one session with various students who
have issues that encase deeper relationship problems.
It’s a frank discussion… but filtered for an MTV audience. Dan is a funny, caring, and sensitive guy who gives great advice. There’s a wide range of people and problems represented on the show.
And here’s the absolutely best part:
You get to talk about people other than your kid or you.
Savage U explicitly makes it about other people… so you can talk about people on television rather than talking about each other. That takes the embarrasment factor down roughly a billionfold. Your kids will be able to ask the questions they want to without having to pretend that it’s “for a friend”, or worrying that you think they’re revealing something about themselves. And it lets you, as a parent, talk honestly and openly without prying too much into their sex lives.
I cannot recommend this enough.