Straight Talk Advice

Last Call: Lauren serves up final advice

Nov 23, 2015

Advice to thrive by — for both parents and youth

Dear Readers: When I started Straight Talk in 2004, wearing sunscreen and avoiding beauty magazines was the famous advice. Only half of U.S. homes had Internet, mostly dialup, “social media” was a head-scratcher, and smartphones weren't invented. Then, bang, 2005. Every teen was a pioneer — first on MySpace, then stampeding to the Facebook frontier. In 2007, the iPhone launched and the real frenzy began.

Things might have worked out okay if the biggest presence on the playground wasn't pornography. In 2011, 12 percent of all websites — 26 million — were porn. One in four searches were for porn. Average childhood viewing age was 11. It’s gets less human and more mainstream each year. Child pornography comprised 20 percent of all porn in 2003. Today it’s epidemic.

Not surprisingly, the biggest issues Straight Talk deals with are rampant sexual-orientation confusion, intimacy disorders, and sexual assault. “Making love” is considered a joke.

After 12 years wading chest-deep in the murk of this prophetic age, my parting advice is for both young people and parents. You're in this together. BTW, there's nothing here I didn't apply to my own four Millennial kids — who are my best testimonial.

Boys (and increasingly, girls): Don’t watch porn. It wrecks your sex life — if you can get one. It rewires the brain toward social awkwardness, lack of male drive, ADD, brain fog, intimacy disorders and EDD.

Girls: Today’s revealing fashions give you brain fog. In experiments, girls placed alone in windowless rooms wearing one-piece bathing suits scored horribly on math problems compared to girls wearing bulky sweaters. Their brains were too busy self-objectifying. 

Delay, delay, delay. As an older teen/young adult, you have a better chance of having a good first sexual experience — or being able to handle a bad one.

Use condoms and IUDs. The Pill attracts women to the wrong men. After going off the pill (and possibly having a baby), Mr. Right often smells wrong.

Don’t drown your troubles or depression with alcohol, drugs, or food disorders. (And if you’re attracted to them, you do have troubles.) It just gives you another big problem. Be brave and see a counselor.

Say no to peer pressure — and the profiteers. Drugs are stronger and weirder than ever. Heroin at $10 is so pure you don't need a needle. Pot at 20-80 percent THC (compared to 8 percent in 1985) reduces IQ significantly. Molly hardly ever contains MDMA. It's a rabbit hole.

Roofie scumbags? Report them. Please.

Don't dope for grades. It just drives up the curve — and the insanity.

Do sports, yoga or martial arts. Look into organic farming (WWOOF), Weston Price, or the primitive-skills movement. Using muscles and willpower calms emotions and promotes health and beauty.

Develop your mind. Our distracted populace is losing our democracy. Reduce screen time. Read. Especially books like “EcoMind“ and “Confessions of an Economic Hitman“. Think. Vote. Protest. Find real heroes, not the Kardashians. 

Parents: Honestly, the key to not going extinct is protecting childhood. Our young can handle our world and even positively affect it, if they first can develop properly.

Think 4-H. If you’re raising lambs, you wouldn't allow them junk food, caffeine, inadequate sleep, and keep them indoors in front of sound-and-light machines. It would kill them — and it's killing us.

The average kid spends 33,000 hours in front of screens by age 18, including a lot of porn.

Unless you'd let your kid play in Bangkok's red-light district, keep computers in a central place, facing outward.

Don’t get your teens smartphones. Fifteen percent still have flip phones. Join the revolution!

The forbidden-fruit thing is a myth. The longer you protect children/teens from bad habits and influences, the more their brains can mature — and be able to manage vices, not the other way around.

Don't supply or “normalize” alcohol. Europe's alcoholism and binge rates make us look virtuous.

Emotional stress kills, too. Take the ACE test and see how “adverse childhood experiences” become diseases.

If your kid changes suddenly, I guarantee something happened. Do not chalk it up to “oh, teenagers”. Normalize mental-health care and constantly offer it.

Demonstrative love and attention and warm authority are the top things to give your child. Express disapproval and never character assassinate. All parents make mistakes. It's your striving that matters most. —Love, Lauren

Editor's Note: Today is our last regular featured advice. I plan to keep the website open and the archives available — as long as I can afford to. I will also answer questions from readers as I can. If you put the question on our comment board, other readers may answer it as well.

It's been a pleasure getting to know each of you! I will miss you. Be curious, be kind. Take care of each other and talk to each other. —Love, Lauren 


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  1. By nancy Jewel Poer, age 84, from California on 11/24/2015

    GREAT JOB LAUREN!

    SO many will be grateful to you for so much.  The final is advice is spot
    on Straight Talk, no nonsense and the voice of one who has listened and knows the score….  Bless your work and all who helped it to reach out to those who had that light of caring truthful guidance to light their way.

    Reply to this comment

  2. By Lisa Schrader, age 50, from Nevada City on 11/24/2015

    This is such an awesome, spot-on and valuable post. Thank you. Sharing. You have always had a gift for speaking straight. And what an incredible gift in this world which so often appears to be spinning out of control eating it’s own lies, denial and distortions for 3 square meals a day. With love and so much gratitude to you.

    Reply to this comment

  3. By Cathleen Dunham, age 63, from Elk Grove, CA USA on 11/25/2015

    Thank You!
    Appreciate your closing words. Feeling sad & understanding.
    I’ve ordered EcoMind & Confession of an Economic Hitman and will share your advise.

    Reply to this comment

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