This is a good place to find material from those men and women that contribute to the wealth of information found at Manly Training.


Having The Sex Talk With Your Teenager

Talking about sex with your teen is not a fun task. It can be awkward, uncomfortable and rattling. This is especially true considering that many of us fathers never had much of a sex talk from our parents. But for this generation of children who are constantly exposed to the highly sexualized world, it is vital that your children gain a real, non-sensationalized view of sex.

As the parent, you are expected to be the one insisting on the conversation and in control. But you probably feel just as weird about it as your teen does, maybe even more so.

Regardless, “the talk” is one of the most important milestones in the development of your child. It cannot be delayed for too long. Children often have access to highly inaccurate information on sex, thanks to their peers and the digital age they are growing up in.

The Stats On Sex As It Relates To Teens

According to the Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (ReCAPP), a survey in 2015 found that 41% of high school students admitted that they had already engaged in sexual intercourse.

That isn’t the only surprising statistic about teens and sex. According to a study in 2017, the average age of exposure to hardcore pornography in today’s age is 13 years old. Those images can be confusing and misleading for young people who have no context or way to frame what is happening on screen.

Approaching “The Talk” With Your Teens

It is crucial that you discuss sex with your children, even if they are older teens. To help your children feel more comfortable talking about sex with you, try doing these things:

Encourage them to relax and trust you.

  • Now, I’m not saying mere words will do the trick. A key part of being a father and head of the home is to continuously build your family’s trust. Look at your actions honestly, and if you feel like you have cultivated a strong trusting relationship with your children, you are more likely to have them relax and trust you enough to have an uncomfortable discussion.

Invite your teens to be honest without fear of being punished.

  •  Since some teens become sexually active around the ages of 13-14, they could be too scared to tell you. This fear puts them in a dangerous position, as someone can manipulate them with their fear. If you can truly promise you will not punish your children for their honesty, you can help avert serious issues.

Cover the medical aspects.

  • This includes the reproductive organs and processes of both genders, sexually transmitted diseases, what causes and happens during pregnancy, and other topics as you feel are appropriate.

Go over the emotional aspects of sexual activity.

  • These topics can include the emotional connection that can come with sexual activity, how sex and intimacy differ, etc.

Talk about contraceptive methods.

  • Cover what methods do and do not work effectively. Avoid scare tactics, as teens will often research what you say to check. Parents who lie in an attempt to keep their children from having sex can damage the trust they have built-up with their children.

Discuss the importance of consent for both parties.

  • Even if waiting until marriage is a value in your family, your children should understand how important their husband’s or wife’s consent is to a healthy relationship. Also, talk to your children about knowing when you are ready for sex.

Cover The Dynamics Of Sex And Relationships

Sex is not the only topic that should be on the table. Alongside the above points, you should also discuss how to know you are in a healthy relationship versus an unhealthy one. Talk about what respect means for both parties in a relationship and how important it is for healthy relationships to be based on respect and trust.

Too often, young people will become involved in a physically, sexually, or emotionally abusive relationships with no knowledge that they have been sucked into one. With your guidance, your children can learn the red flags and what to do if they ever find themselves in a toxic relationship, and how to help if they have friends who are in one.

Finally, let your children know that they can always come to you. You are your child’s first line of defense in the world.

More articles by Tyler Jacobson:

Parenting my Son with Attachment Disorders

Teaching my Son to Combat Rejection Like a Man

Teaching Teenagers How to Manage Money


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​Helping Teens Make Good Choices in Today’s World

Being a teenager has never been easy. However, advancements in technology mean that teens today are facing a host of issues that previous generations never had to deal with. Other than peer pressure, our teens now have to contend with online dangers which can have adverse effects on their physical and mental health.

Add that to living in a world that insists on praising wrong and shunning right and you begin to get an idea of how difficult and confusing it can be for teens to make good choices. They are continuously facing peer and societal pressure to experiment with drugs, sex, alcohol etc. and need their parents’ guidance more than ever.

Being a good father in today’s world calls for you to teach your teens how to prioritize and stay focused on making good choices even when it might not be the popular thing to do.

Tips to help your teen with responsible choices

Learning how to make good decisions requires practice –the more you do it, the better you become at it. The trick to teaching your kids lies in conveying the skills of good-decision making without trying to take the decision out of your teen’s hands or making the decisions for them.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Talk with your teen about choices. Start a conversation with your teen about what constitutes a good choice. Sometimes teens think they have no choice in certain situations so brainstorm, help them see things from a different perspective and come up with smarter alternatives.
  • When they talk to you, listen completely. Listening to your teen can be just as important as talking to them. Actively listening without judgment or overreacting validates their feelings. It makes them feel that their opinions are important.
  • Help them identify and compare possible outcomes of their decisions. Part of making good choices lies in anticipating the consequences of your decisions. Encourage your teen to think ahead to what their choices might lead to e.g. how will taking alcohol affect playing on the football team?
  • Respect your teen’s choices. While you might not always agree with your teen’s decisions, you have to give them space to make their own choices and mistakes. This is how they’ll learn to think for themselves and become confident decision-makers.
  • Involve them in making family decisions. Other than letting them voice their opinions, encourage your teen to participate in making decisions that affect the entire family. This will not only boost their confidence and esteem but also give them good practice for adulthood.

Finally, give your teens your unconditional fatherly love and support. Your teens still need you as a sounding board as they grow older. Sometimes they’ll make poor choices that backfire in their faces but encourage them to keep at it. Make them aware that you’ll always be there to cheer them on and support them in any way you can.


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​Teaching Young Adults To Have Perspective & Keep Priorities In Order

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It’s easy for young adults and teens to lose sight of what really matters in life. They have to constantly deal with pressure and expectations from their peers, friends, parents, and society.

As responsible parents, we should take care to teach our teens to keep their priorities straight if they are to be prepared for the real world. While high school life does have its moments, it’s not all there is to life. Part of our responsibility as parents, in keeping with God’s word, is to guide our children and one of the ways we get to do that is to teach them to have perspective and get their lives in order.

Here’s how to go about it:

Teach them to set aside time to reflect.

I believe the first step in learning how to prioritize is taking time to pause and reflect. Teens especially need this, given that they live in a fast-paced world that is full of distractions with a million things clamoring for their attention.

Like the scripture says- Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. When your teen spends time reflecting on their lives and seeking God, they will more easily figure out which direction to take to realize the Lord’s purpose for their lives.

Help them figure out what’s important.

Another key step is for young adults to get crystal clear on what they feel is important in their lives and what they want to achieve. Whether it’s financial success, academic excellence, volunteering or spreading the word, they need to have clear goals to focus their time and energy on.

They need to take action in small steps.

While coming up with goals is a good thing, teens also need to figure out what steps to take to achieve them. Remember success replicates success, so ensure they keep to small, measurable steps that can be easily achieved.

For instance, if your child wants to make the track team, a small achievable step towards this would be waking up at 5 a.m. to run 5 miles, 4 days a week. This will keep them motivated to continue working on their goals and eventually accomplish all of them.

Introduce them to a mentor.

If you find your teen having trouble realizing their goals or struggling to get their priorities in order, consider linking them up with a mentor. Mentors can be a fantastic source of motivation and wisdom for young adults, giving them someone to look up to and confide in especially if they don’t want to talk to their parents. The mentor could be a pastor, teacher, counselor, etc. who wouldn’t mind taking your child under their wing.

Remind them that it’s ok to change priorities as they grow.

Nothing in life is constant so your teen should feel free to adjust their priorities as they grow older. This will not only allow them to check their progress and discard what no longer serves them but also ensure that they are always aligning their lives to God’s purpose.

Life can be difficult for young adults as they struggle to find balance. Teaching them to prioritize will go a long way towards helping them lead fulfilling lives.


My Father Was Not There – A Father’s Legacy

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Innocence can be gone before you know it was ever there.

I would be years discovering the likeness I shared with my father. He wasn’t there the day I parted the atmosphere of this world but, his DNA was. He showed up when I was five, after I had already noticed the life other kids were having with their dads. And, feeling the absence and emptiness of something I couldn’t understand.

Where would I get the vocabulary to define the jubilation of his embrace, warm smile, and sense of belonging his presence invoked? The promises he made of our future together sent new flesh competing to cover my barren bones. Gone was the hole inside I had fallen into many times. Those choking and gurgling sounds, emanating from the empty chair at the table of my broken heart, vanished.


I had arms to run to, a man to play ball with, and a father who would teach me to fish. I would snuggle up close as he read me a bedtime story and tucked me safely in for the night. My imagination freshly supplied with thoughts and feelings of completeness. The two hours of ecstasy shattered into so many pieces I doubted ever being able to collect them all when he walked out the door, never to be seen or heard from again.

The search became a life sentence of exploring the bitter taste of unanswered questions. My virtue, significance, and contribution remained locked in the haze of not knowing who I am. The lack of affirmation, clarity, and sense of worthiness had stolen my identity. Titles and achievements introduced a synthetic and manufactured life. Hyper masculinity chased authenticity away. Intimacy resided in Neverland.


Nameless drivers dictated shallow comprehension of deep maladies. Brokenness was my brand! I didn’t even know what was wrong. I only knew something was askew. The innate whisper clamoring for satisfaction. I feared the feelings of abandonment, rejection, and not being enough. These are the marks of the fatherless. A man will battle to be praised and a woman will struggle to be valued.

Fatherlessness is pandemic. Where’s the healing? The remedy? The anecdote? I believe there’s a great restoration ahead among the sons and daughters rejected, abandoned, and violated by their fathers. Those which have recreated the pain in their own lives by the stories they wrote about their life events. Maybe even passing the devastation on to their children.


When my daughter announced that I would have a grandson, with the plight of the fatherless threatening his well-being, pure desperation set in. For months, I contemplated his arrival. Aware that his father’s decision to not be in his life would brand him in many ways. While I had gained much ground in resolving my own inner conflicts I still had work to do. I determined to change the legacy brand of our family.

Hopeless to rearrange the past; helpless to alter my failures; working with perceptions that had consistently left me short, I stepped into the unknown –  the safest place I had ever been. I had been in ministry for some thirty years. I Pastored churches, travelled as an Evangelist, both here and abroad. And, I was broken. Holding the fragments of a life undone, I wanted what I knew was there.


When I held my grandson in the delivery room for the first time, I heard the unthinkable. As I showered him with affection pouring out my love, and reaching for his soul, I knew exactly how my Heavenly Father felt about me. I was not without a father. Nor, had I ever been. My mind wanted to argue for my tradition. I was too messy for the purity of divine intention. But, I was wrong. I had been wearing an illegitimate brand.

The repetitive phrases that pounded against my soul were only lies, borrowed from human defect, and plagiarized as my own. How I thought about myself is not the way God thinks of me at all. I rewrote the stories of my life events to reflect a more accurate accounting of the things that had happened. Living out of hurt and despair had not allowed love to reset the perimeters of my life.


A missing father easily translates into a missing God. My father was out there, somewhere. I met him. He was real. He was there. Just not there for me. Likewise, I knew God is real. I experienced Him. And yet my inability to believe He was there for me, at the deepest levels, always left me wanting. I discovered unlimited grace, unconditional love, and it changed my brand. I became the father I never had and the father I never was.

I’m living the legacy I want to leave.

Rick Amitin
Rick Amitin

Rick Amitin is the author of “IF ONLY I HAD A DAD: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness and the Companion Workbook of the same title.

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