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post #41 of 99
Well, I most definitely 100% do not believe having a baby can "ruin your life". It is a choice. I'm very happy with my choice and becoming a parent at 17 because she was a perfect miracle and has made my life complete. Luckily my mother did not feel devastated and supported me the best she could. I would not be devastated if my children became parents that young. Hopefully I will be better at the whole "sex ed" thing than my own family was. I did sleep over at male friends' houses but that's not where I got pregnant and never had sex there.
post #42 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweet.p View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post

I guess I just have a little more faith in teens. I also don't consider teens choosing to have sex to always be the wrong choic

Musician dad how old are you sexually active adolescents?   

I have been the mother of that 15 year old teenage girl asked to sleep over a boys house who were "friends".

The parents did NOT call me to ask if this was okay! 

 

 

 


First the parents should have asked if it was all right with you.

 

Second, my own children are not sexually active, however I was a sexually active teenager. Dh was a sexually active teenager. DH was a father at 16 and has told me more than once he wouldn't change a thing, except maybe DD's bio mom's decision to not be involved. When I was 17, I moved in with them and chose freely to become a parent. There is no way I would consider any of the sex I had as a teenager to be a bad choice.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post

A baby at 15, 16, 17 would most emphatically be my definition of "ruining your life."  I understand that some people feel differently and I have no problem with that, but I would absolutely be devastated if my dd gave birth to a  child at that age.  And I know too many people who were in that situation and what the outcomes were like to ever want that for my child.

I do believe in very comprehensive sex ed, and strive to keep the lines of communication open with my kids.  While it's no guarantee, providing opportunities for them to get pregnant at a young age just seems like going out of your way to find trouble to me.



As I just mentioned, DH became a father at 16 and it most definitely did not ruin his life. And before you say anything about it, bio mom only invested herself long enough to give birth. DH was the sole caregiver for his DD until he and I got involved.

post #43 of 99

Interesting turn the thread has taken.

 

If one of my DDs got pregnant, I'd support her 100%, but I would be sad. It isn't what I want for them. I hope they do a whole bunch of other things before becoming parents. I wouldn't consider her life ruined, but very *different*.  Different in a way that I wouldn't chose for them. 

 

After reading other people's comments, I've come to realize that if other parents said it was fine for my DD to spend the night with their son, I would be offended. I would think less of the other parents. I would consider them poor judges of what was best for my kid. I would trust them less and feel less comfortable with my kid spending ANY time at their house.

 

I'm not saying that's right, but its how I feel.

 

post #44 of 99

Hmm, I find it hard to believe that anyone would say having a baby at 16 or 17 was ideal. My own parents were that age when they had me. Yes, they've had a great life. They've been married almost 40 years. I'm grateful to be here. However, neither wanted that for me and it didn't stop them from giving me proper supervision throughout my childhood and adolescence. They were very careful I didn't feel personally guilty for how my coming changed their lives but I was pretty observant and I knew enough of the difficulties to not want it for myself.  Teen pregancy is hard under even the best circumstances and most pregnant teens will not have the best circumstances. My mom pretty much lost her family. My dad's family was at least financially able to help them get through high school and college though they also worked non-stop those years trying to cover the costs. It is manageable but it IS a big deal and not something most parents would want for their kids. Feeling that way doesn't make a parent a prude or unrealistic.... it just makes them, well, a parent.

 

No kid will be scarred because they didn't spend the night at the opposite sex's home as a teen.

post #45 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post

I've learned some great lessons of what NOT to do from my niece, who informed me that she probably wouldn't have ruined her life if my sister and BIL would have just not allowed the "slumber" parties (at which there was never much slumbering).
 



I'm wondering, now. What is it that is the real danger of co-ed sleepovers? Is it fear of unplanned pregnancy? Or fear of sexual activity? Because, of course, sexual activity can take place at single sex sleepovers as well as at co-ed sleepovers.

post #46 of 99


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I'm wondering, now. What is it that is the real danger of co-ed sleepovers? Is it fear of unplanned pregnancy? Or fear of sexual activity? Because, of course, sexual activity can take place at single sex sleepovers as well as at co-ed sleepovers.


To me, it is a lack of appropriate boundaries.

 

And if I thought my DD was gay, I wouldn't want her girlfriend sleeping over. I don't think it's appropriate. I don't think teens are well served by having casual sex, even if they don't get pregnant. I think that sex intensifies emotions *for many people* and that life and relationships are complicated enough for teens without that. In our conversations about sex, we talk about *why* waiting until you are an adult to have sex makes sense, even for gays, and even if you are careful about birth control. 

post #47 of 99

I agree that if it makes you uncomfortable, then you shouldn't allow it. 

 

I also completely disagree that co-ed sleepovers will cause every teenager to engage in sexual activity. I crashed at parties as a teen and didn't sleep with my male friends. My DH and his brother did not fool around with their sister's friends when she had slumber parties. And my own kids have had co-ed sleepovers many times. All of the kids who they hang out with are also the children of my closest friends, and out of all of them (ages 15-19) only ONE is sexually active, and she's not sleeping with any of our gang. She has her own 20yo boyfriend whom she met at work.

 

'Course, all of them (save two) are/were homeschooled, so they aren't exactly worried about people spreading rumors about them. Everybody has differing ideas of what constitutes an "appropriate boundary."

 

My mother, a good friend of mine, another good friend's daughter, and my neighbor's daughter were all pregnant before they were 17. No boys ever spent the night. What they all had in common was emotional insecurity and lack of information/resources, not sleepovers.

post #48 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

Interesting turn the thread has taken.

 

If one of my DDs got pregnant, I'd support her 100%, but I would be sad. It isn't what I want for them. I hope they do a whole bunch of other things before becoming parents. I wouldn't consider her life ruined, but very *different*.  Different in a way that I wouldn't chose for them. 

 

After reading other people's comments, I've come to realize that if other parents said it was fine for my DD to spend the night with their son, I would be offended. I would think less of the other parents. I would consider them poor judges of what was best for my kid. I would trust them less and feel less comfortable with my kid spending ANY time at their house.

 

I'm not saying that's right, but its how I feel.

 


I agree with you 100% on this.

post #49 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

Hmm, I find it hard to believe that anyone would say having a baby at 16 or 17 was ideal. My own parents were that age when they had me. Yes, they've had a great life. They've been married almost 40 years. I'm grateful to be here. However, neither wanted that for me and it didn't stop them from giving me proper supervision throughout my childhood and adolescence. They were very careful I didn't feel personally guilty for how my coming changed their lives but I was pretty observant and I knew enough of the difficulties to not want it for myself.  Teen pregancy is hard under even the best circumstances and most pregnant teens will not have the best circumstances. My mom pretty much lost her family. My dad's family was at least financially able to help them get through high school and college though they also worked non-stop those years trying to cover the costs. It is manageable but it IS a big deal and not something most parents would want for their kids. Feeling that way doesn't make a parent a prude or unrealistic.... it just makes them, well, a parent.

 

No kid will be scarred because they didn't spend the night at the opposite sex's home as a teen.


Show me where anyone has said that having a child at 16 or 17 was ideal? I have only seen people saying that it does not automatically ruin ones life, and that plenty of teen parents don't regret or feel that their pregnancy ruined their life. Why is it that when ever someone talks about 100% support of teen parents or how they or someone they know were teen parents and they don't feel they ruined their life they are somehow promoting teen parenthood as ideal?

post #50 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I'm wondering, now. What is it that is the real danger of co-ed sleepovers? Is it fear of unplanned pregnancy? Or fear of sexual activity? Because, of course, sexual activity can take place at single sex sleepovers as well as at co-ed sleepovers.


To me, it is a lack of appropriate boundaries.

 

And if I thought my DD was gay, I wouldn't want her girlfriend sleeping over. I don't think it's appropriate. I don't think teens are well served by having casual sex, even if they don't get pregnant. I think that sex intensifies emotions *for many people* and that life and relationships are complicated enough for teens without that. In our conversations about sex, we talk about *why* waiting until you are an adult to have sex makes sense, even for gays, and even if you are careful about birth control. 


Why should your boundaries be the default? 

 

And why is teen sex, even in a relationship, casual? I can promise that the sex DH and I had when we were teens was not casual. It wasn't a mistake either and waiting until we were adults didn't make anymore sense than not waiting.

post #51 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post


And why is teen sex, even in a relationship, casual?



It's because modern society infantilizes children until they're 18, at which point they become freeloaders and are thrown out of the house. If you're under 18, you're obviously not capable of mature thinking, impulse control, or good decision making. Once you turn 18, you're supposed to have your goals in order, a major chosen, and rent money.

 

/sarcasm

post #52 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post


I totally agree (well except for the part about a baby meaning a ruined life)


It wasn't one baby... she repeated her mistake and had 3 children at the age of 18 (the second pregnancy was a set of twins).


Edited by velochic - 11/19/10 at 5:22am
post #53 of 99


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Quote:

Originally Posted by velochic View Post

For my niece the chances (with the parents in the next room) turned out to be 100%.  Neither she nor her "friend" had a car and were never alone, except for these "slumber parties".  It does happen.  And many kids, when they have to take the time to plan things out and maneuver to get time to fool around, have some time to THINK about what they are going to do.  It gives them a moment to fully understand that they are purposely lying or deceiving to get time to do something of which they are probably not mature enough to handle the consequences.  When it's the middle of the night and dark and spur of the moment... because the parents PROVIDED the moment... things can go too far, too fast.

 

There is a HUGE difference between giving your children the tools to think through these decisions vs. offering up on a golden platter the opportunity to let all of that teaching go down the drain in a flash of hormones.  Teaching them is one thing... providing the opportunity is another.  You don't have to keep your eye on them 24/7, but you don't have to pretend that a sleepover is absolutely always going to be "platonic".

 

I've learned some great lessons of what NOT to do from my niece, who informed me that she probably wouldn't have ruined her life if my sister and BIL would have just not allowed the "slumber" parties (at which there was never much slumbering).
 


But did they provide the tools your niece needed to make other decisions? There is a difference between a teen with complete and factual information about sex and knowledge of how to acquire or access to birth control. I know plenty of people who, as teens, were allowed sleepovers. With people they were dating even, and only one got pregnant as a teen and she doesn't think she ruined her life.

 

And I'm sorry, but someone who claims, as an adult, that her parents were responsible for what she did at 15 still has some growing up to do. As in realizing that in the end they were her choices. As is often pointed out by the abstinence crowd, teens can and do make the choice not to have sex even in the heat of the moment. It still comes down to whether or not they have the tools they need to make the choice that is right for them. On the other hand, if she was rape at one of the parties, then in the end it's the fault of boy who did it.

 

That being said, maybe she needs to stop thinking of it in the sense of a ruined life. A child at 15, 16, 17 is not a horrible thing unless you make it one. You being not just the mom in question but those closest to her as well.


She was on birth control (the pill), without her parents' knowledge for BOTH pregnancies.  Birth control fails.  And yes, even now she has some growing up to do and she's nearly 30.

 

I'm saying that as a parent, you don't have to provide the opportunity.  To think that a sleepover at 14/15 years old is going to be innocent is ridiculous.  And I doubt anyone here would condone an active sexual relationship at this age for any couple.  It's no different than letting a 2 year old who likes to put thing in their mouth play with marbles.  We're not talking about 18 year olds here... we're talking about 14 year old.  There is a HUGE difference.


Edited by velochic - 11/19/10 at 5:24am
post #54 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I'm wondering, now. What is it that is the real danger of co-ed sleepovers? Is it fear of unplanned pregnancy? Or fear of sexual activity? Because, of course, sexual activity can take place at single sex sleepovers as well as at co-ed sleepovers.


To me, it is a lack of appropriate boundaries.

 

And if I thought my DD was gay, I wouldn't want her girlfriend sleeping over. I don't think it's appropriate. I don't think teens are well served by having casual sex, even if they don't get pregnant. I think that sex intensifies emotions *for many people* and that life and relationships are complicated enough for teens without that. In our conversations about sex, we talk about *why* waiting until you are an adult to have sex makes sense, even for gays, and even if you are careful about birth control. 


Why should your boundaries be the default? 

 

And why is teen sex, even in a relationship, casual? I can promise that the sex DH and I had when we were teens was not casual. It wasn't a mistake either and waiting until we were adults didn't make anymore sense than not waiting.


Because as parents helping children establish boundaries is part of our jobs.  And casual sex is EVERYWHERE among teens.  Even if it's meaningful for one party, doesn't mean it is for the other.

 

And no offense, but you are saying "when dh and I were teens" yet, IIRC, you've mentioned before that your dh is quite a bit older than you (I was thinking you are around 23 and he is 30ish), so I'm wondering what you mean by "when we were teens". Perhaps it wasn't casual for you and your partner, but for many teens (with same-age and older partners) is often *IS* very casual... and traumatic because they don't have the emotional maturity at 14 or 15 to understand a very intense and physical relationship.

post #55 of 99

I had a long post, but I think that it was insulting to people who've made other life choices or are OK with the kids making other life choices. I've no desire to insult ANYONE'S choices or how any one's life has played out.

 

I'm sure that we all want our kids to be happy and have the best lives possible, we just disagree on the best way of going about that.

 

Peace.


Edited by Linda on the move - 11/19/10 at 8:29am
post #56 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post

I guess I just have a little more faith in teens. I also don't consider teens choosing to have sex to always be the wrong choice.



I truely hope your dd never gives you reason to lose that faith. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post

A baby at 15, 16, 17 would most emphatically be my definition of "ruining your life."  I understand that some people feel differently and I have no problem with that, but I would absolutely be devastated if my dd gave birth to a  child at that age.  And I know too many people who were in that situation and what the outcomes were like to ever want that for my child.

I do believe in very comprehensive sex ed, and strive to keep the lines of communication open with my kids.  While it's no guarantee, providing opportunities for them to get pregnant at a young age just seems like going out of your way to find trouble to me.



My life was most emphatically NOT ruined by getting pg at 17.  It was made more difficult, but not ruined.  That doesn't mean that's what I want for my dd, but I believe that presenting that consequence as the ruining of a life is part of what makes so many teen mom's "statistics."  They are told so much that they have ruined their lives that they end up believing it and believing that they can't make things better.

post #57 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

Hmm, I find it hard to believe that anyone would say having a baby at 16 or 17 was ideal. My own parents were that age when they had me. Yes, they've had a great life. They've been married almost 40 years. I'm grateful to be here. However, neither wanted that for me and it didn't stop them from giving me proper supervision throughout my childhood and adolescence. They were very careful I didn't feel personally guilty for how my coming changed their lives but I was pretty observant and I knew enough of the difficulties to not want it for myself.  Teen pregancy is hard under even the best circumstances and most pregnant teens will not have the best circumstances. My mom pretty much lost her family. My dad's family was at least financially able to help them get through high school and college though they also worked non-stop those years trying to cover the costs. It is manageable but it IS a big deal and not something most parents would want for their kids. Feeling that way doesn't make a parent a prude or unrealistic.... it just makes them, well, a parent.

 

No kid will be scarred because they didn't spend the night at the opposite sex's home as a teen.



I don't think anyone is saying it's ideal.  I think there's a whole lot of grey area between "ideal" and "ruin your life."

post #58 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post


I totally agree (well except for the part about a baby meaning a ruined life)


It wasn't one baby... she repeated her mistake and had 3 children at the age of 18 (the second pregnancy was a set of twins).



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
Quote:

Originally Posted by velochic View Post

For my niece the chances (with the parents in the next room) turned out to be 100%.  Neither she nor her "friend" had a car and were never alone, except for these "slumber parties".  It does happen.  And many kids, when they have to take the time to plan things out and maneuver to get time to fool around, have some time to THINK about what they are going to do.  It gives them a moment to fully understand that they are purposely lying or deceiving to get time to do something of which they are probably not mature enough to handle the consequences.  When it's the middle of the night and dark and spur of the moment... because the parents PROVIDED the moment... things can go too far, too fast.

 

There is a HUGE difference between giving your children the tools to think through these decisions vs. offering up on a golden platter the opportunity to let all of that teaching go down the drain in a flash of hormones.  Teaching them is one thing... providing the opportunity is another.  You don't have to keep your eye on them 24/7, but you don't have to pretend that a sleepover is absolutely always going to be "platonic".

 

I've learned some great lessons of what NOT to do from my niece, who informed me that she probably wouldn't have ruined her life if my sister and BIL would have just not allowed the "slumber" parties (at which there was never much slumbering).
 


But did they provide the tools your niece needed to make other decisions? There is a difference between a teen with complete and factual information about sex and knowledge of how to acquire or access to birth control. I know plenty of people who, as teens, were allowed sleepovers. With people they were dating even, and only one got pregnant as a teen and she doesn't think she ruined her life.

 

And I'm sorry, but someone who claims, as an adult, that her parents were responsible for what she did at 15 still has some growing up to do. As in realizing that in the end they were her choices. As is often pointed out by the abstinence crowd, teens can and do make the choice not to have sex even in the heat of the moment. It still comes down to whether or not they have the tools they need to make the choice that is right for them. On the other hand, if she was rape at one of the parties, then in the end it's the fault of boy who did it.

 

That being said, maybe she needs to stop thinking of it in the sense of a ruined life. A child at 15, 16, 17 is not a horrible thing unless you make it one. You being not just the mom in question but those closest to her as well.


She was on birth control (the pill), without her parents' knowledge for BOTH pregnancies.  Birth control fails.  And yes, even now she has some growing up to do and she's nearly 30.

 

I'm saying that as a parent, you don't have to provide the opportunity.  To think that a sleepover at 14/15 years old is going to be innocent is ridiculous.  And I doubt anyone here would condone an active sexual relationship at this age for any couple.  It's no different than letting a 2 year old who likes to put thing in their mouth play with marbles.  We're not talking about 18 year olds here... we're talking about 14 year old.  There is a HUGE difference.



In regards to your neice, I am sorry that she's been through that.  It sounds like she's got some other issues going on too. 

 

I agree completely with that last paragraph.  Right down to allowing a 2 year old to play with marbles-that is almost exactly the analogy I was going to use. 

 

I think it is a parent's JOB, as the parent of a no fully mature person, to do their best to ensure that person does not have opportunities to experience major consequences.

post #59 of 99
Quote:

I'm wondering, now. What is it that is the real danger of co-ed sleepovers? Is it fear of unplanned pregnancy? Or fear of sexual activity? Because, of course, sexual activity can take place at single sex sleepovers as well as at co-ed sleepovers.

It's both and more.  It's fear of STDs, it's fears of one party being taken advantage of and hurt emotionally, it's fear of all sorts of consequences of sex that teens may not fully realize that we as parents want to help them avoid.  I think if a parent has any reason to suspect that their child might be gay, then of course same gender sleep overs should be avoided as well.  However, since the majority of the human race is interested in the opposite sex, it makes sense to automatically be concerned about co ed sleepovers first. 

 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

I agree that if it makes you uncomfortable, then you shouldn't allow it. 

 

I also completely disagree that co-ed sleepovers will cause every teenager to engage in sexual activity. I crashed at parties as a teen and didn't sleep with my male friends. My DH and his brother did not fool around with their sister's friends when she had slumber parties. And my own kids have had co-ed sleepovers many times. All of the kids who they hang out with are also the children of my closest friends, and out of all of them (ages 15-19) only ONE is sexually active, and she's not sleeping with any of our gang. She has her own 20yo boyfriend whom she met at work.

 

'Course, all of them (save two) are/were homeschooled, so they aren't exactly worried about people spreading rumors about them. Everybody has differing ideas of what constitutes an "appropriate boundary."

 

My mother, a good friend of mine, another good friend's daughter, and my neighbor's daughter were all pregnant before they were 17. No boys ever spent the night. What they all had in common was emotional insecurity and lack of information/resources, not sleepovers.



I don't think anyone is saying that co ed sleepovers CAUSE every teen to be sexually active.  What is being said is that it doesn't make sense to provide the opportunity.  Leaving a margarita in a pitcher on the counter won't CAUSE every teen to drink, but it's pretty silly to think that if that sort of opportunity is there that there won't be any teens who pick up that pitcher and have some.   And many of those teens who take advantage of that opportunity (of either type) are teens who have been parented "the right way." and know the risks and so on, and temptation just gets the best of them. 

post #60 of 99

I agree that it really doesn't make sense to provide the opportunity and temptation. If they're going to do it, they'll find a way. I don't need to lead them to it.

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