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Taylor Swift:: Fifteen:: The Ten Minute Rule for Teenagers

Updated on August 15, 2012

The Ten Minute Rule

I hadn't seen this Taylor Swift video or even heard the song "Fifteen" when I decided to write this hub. As serendipity keeps guiding me, I find all of the components just come to me in time. If you haven't read my hub about Taylor Swift, a certain hug campaign, and just how sweet this young woman really is, then it won't surprise you that I didn't know about this song. The fact that I adore her and her music, and that I think she is a great role model for today's youth, should bring into perspective the fact that this video slipped right past me.

When I wrote "The Ten Minute Rule" hub, I touched on the fact that I had taught it to my children. I personally planned to get pregnant with all three of my children, and in fact prayed for all of them. I believe the intention to get pregnant was part of the process. By the same token, the intention not to get pregnant must be taught to children.

Many people are afraid that "Sex Education" will increase the amount of promiscuity among teens, well the opposite is really the case. The reason there is so much promiscuity has more to do with loneliness and hormonal activity than any education. Still, tribes where the children all sleep in the same bed with the parents have no "teen pregnancy" problem. The children never have children outside of marriage. These children have been educated about sex to the point of actually assisting with the births of their siblings.

It takes a whole tribe to raise a child, a whole village, however our village is divided. Our parents and grandparents often live hundreds or even thousands of miles away, when we start parenting. We may remember what they taught us, but we think we are doing a better job of teaching our kids!

The Ten Minute Rule for children.

You should start teaching your kids The Ten Minute Rule as early as possible. You may not call it that at the beginning. It may be simplified as "time out" and the younger the child the shorter the "time out" should be. As young as two years old a child can be taught that their temper has gotten the better of them, and given a "time out" by either standing in a corner, or sitting in a specified chair. Two minutes is about all it takes to start.

Being consistent and explaining why the child is getting the time out is crucial. You must let them no in no uncertain terms, that they have lost control of their emotions. You must remain the adult, and not lose control of yours.

Yelling and hitting are signs ( in your child's eyes) that you have lost control. Ask any child why daddy or mommy hit them and the first response will generally be "Daddy (or mommy) was mad" and the part about "I was bad" is not even entering their mind, even when told that you are hitting them because they were bad. This is why many children have trouble understanding "Sorry" because they have not been taught that their actions harm others.

How can you teach a child not to hit, if you hit them all the time? How can you teach them not to lose their temper, if your temper flares in front of them all the time? How can you teach a child self-control, if you have none yourself?

I am not saying that spanking is not useful in certain situations, but it must be restricted to specific things, such as if the child was hurting someone else, or if the child was endangering themselves. A swat on the hand that is reaching for the flame is warranted, because the flame would hurt the child more than the smack. Explaining the smack, and that fire burns is in order. Backhanding the child across the face is not warranted, nor is picking the child up and repeatedly smacking until your arm hurts. 

Beating your child is never going to teach them self-restraint.

Remember what it felt like when you were a kid?

As we get older...

As we get older we start to "lose time" in that we once could have spent hours working on a coloring book, but now we want to be done with everything more quickly. While we were once content to wait for our dinner, now we want instant gratification, and opt for fast food or microwave a hot pocket.

This is how teenagers feel all the time. Today is the only day, and right now is the only moment that matters. This is how teenagers run into trouble. They feel that they have finally reached their peak moments. You must have harnessed them and reigned them in before they reach "Hyper-speed" or you will have children with no self-control at all.

Teaching Self-control

The Ten Minute Rule is simple, but must be taught and reinforced. First of all, you must teach your children that if they take ten minutes to think before they go too far, they may find it was the best use of their time, ever.

Ten minutes to think about the possible repercussions of sex, unprotected sex, and even ten minutes to think about explaining an unexpected pregnancy, or caring for an infant. The ten minutes of reflection can even include discussion with their boyfriend/girlfriend. The reason I bring the discussion part up, is because there are teenage girls out there who are actually trying to get pregnant. Hoping to snag the "boy of their dreams" they will throw themselves at him, almost literally. Where it was once "only" the boy who wanted to have sex, now the girls are sometimes the aggressor, or instigator.

Saying that may shock some of you, but it's the truth and the problem is just going to get worse if we don't start teaching our children.

The ten minute rule will serve you for the rest of your life. Here's how it works.

When the situation seems to be escalating, maybe your heart is racing, perhaps you can't catch your breath, it's time to take ten minutes. Look at the other person and say "I need ten minutes" then walk away, or move far enough away that you can calm down and really think about what you are going to do.

Spend that ten minutes deciding the worst case scenario. Is this your first time? Are you mentally and emotionally prepared? How long have you known each other? Can you really trust your partner? Do you have protection? What if the protection fails? If you get pregnant, how are you going to deal with it? Really think of all the possibilities. What if you get an STD? How are you going to deal with that?

When the ten minutes are up, you may realize the other person would have to make more of a commitment than the purchase of a condom, and dinner. Even a ring might not seem like enough.

What if it's already too late?

Finally, suppose you got too excited, forgot the ten minute rule completely and now realize you may have made a mistake.

Take ten minutes now. Sit alone and write down the possible repercussions. If you can, talk to your parents, or medical professional, do it. If not, talk to a pharmacist, or stop by Planned Parenthood. I took my girls to Planned Parenthood before they ever had sex, because I wanted them to know they could ask the women who worked there, if they weren't sure that they could ask me.

Parents, please understand, it is your responsibility as a parent to make sure your kids can talk to you about anything, especially something this important! This is life and death, literally. Life safety issues should be a "no brainer", your kids should already know how to get out of the house in case of a fire. Wouldn't you also want them to know how to protect themselves from Aids? If you have any doubt that your kids will talk to you, then I recommend finding someone they will feel safe to talk to.

I know Planned Parenthood has a bad reputation in some parts of the country. Many people believe that it's an abortion clinic, but it is not. They are first and foremost medical professionals who have been treating the needs of women since Margaret Sanger started her first clinic in 1916. Before that women were dying in childbirth because no Doctor would provide birth control, or even education that pregnancies could be prevented and planned for.

The world has come a long way since then, but even in her day, Margaret Sanger would have told young women to wait, and savor the moment they finally decide to give their virtue away. She would tell every young woman, and every parent that education is the key, and after education, self-control.

If your best plans have failed then you must face the possible consequences, and burying your head in the sand and waiting to see, while you agonize and hope the "worst" doesn't happen, can do more damage than good. There are plenty of stories about girls and women giving birth without even knowing they were pregnant. If you have had unprotected sex, then you need to get checked out. There are STDs that show few or no symptoms until it's too late. These are facts that must be faced. It's part of talking responsibility for your actions, which, if you aren't old enough to take responsibility, then you certainly aren't old enough to decide to be sexually active.

Teach your children to take responsibility for their actions, and teach them that it's often best to take ten minutes and assess the situation before acting, if the act in question will change your life forever.


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    • the pink umbrella profile image

      the pink umbrella 

      7 years ago from the darkened forest deep within me.

      the ten minute rule?? yea ill remember that the next time passion strikes. lol, just kidding faye

    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks Htodd! I appreciate you reading it!

    • htodd profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks for writing Great hub!

    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thank you Paradise, I must agree, even though I wrote it, but even my kid says it's a lesson teens need to learn, and he's fifteen. He said he uses the Ten Minute Rule to stay out of fights and to keep himself out of trouble, almost daily.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Great hub, really a don't miss for everyone with a teen.

    • Faybe Bay profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Constantino 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Thanks LeanMan, I know that people often want to shield their kids, but in reality, if we don't teach them, they'll learn from someone else, and what they learn may just be bad information.

    • LeanMan profile image


      8 years ago from At the Gemba

      The ten minute rule is a great thing to use on your kids..


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