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when your children are ready to have sex...

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

... how are you going to handle that. 

 

this is something that sometimes comes up for me as i think about it. 

 

my dd is not anywhere near there obviously but i wonder how do you support that? if you do.

 

plus what is more important to you. the age they start or what their experience is.

 

i recall earlier thinking yikes my 13 year old is NOT going to have sex. NOT at that YOUNG age.

 

and then i rethought that. for me what's important is that she enjoy the experience and it doesnt matter what the age is.

 

so i know about the emotional readiness and the precautions.

 

but what about the not talked about. what about where they do it.

 

i worry about that. how do you support that. 

 

when my dd is sexually ready what does one do to make sure they have a safe place to do. to me it seems incomplete if you do all the safety talk and yet the rest does not happen. 

 

in my defense i grew up in a very conservative society in asia. 

 

so i might be asking something that might be common sense. 

post #2 of 34
I told my kids to wait until they found someone they were crazy about and someone they trusted. It's also good to keep the gene pool in mind since no birth control is 100%. So don't flake out and screw someone we don't want in our gene pool.

My daughter 19, has not met the right person yet.

My son, 17, has been sleeping with his GF for almost a year now.

I do give reasonable privacy for teens that are making good choices and have picked a partner I find worthy of them. My dd brought home a loser one year and I just interrupted them off and on til it went nowhere. That's mean I know but the fellow had an alcoholic mom and a hoarder-y kind of home. Not good.

I would rather have them here in my own home. Door closed, radio on. Use clothes in the halls, please. And yes, they have their condoms. DD is on the pill and so is DS's GF.
post #3 of 34

I have no idea when my girls started to have sex but I like to believe that it was after they turned 18 and became adults.  But I have no intention of asking them even now when they are 35, 33, and almost 29.  But they knew to use birth control until they were ready to have and support children.  Both of my girls who have children waited until they were in the mid twenty's to have their first child.  And my son already knows now at age 15 to use condoms even if his partner says that she is using birth control.  And that he is equally responsible for that child until the age of 18.  He also know that we prefer him to wait until he is married to have children.  But he should be in a committed long term (until death us do part long term) relationship before having children.
 

post #4 of 34

My 16 year old has been with her bf since they were 14 and her and I always had a very close relationship and she knew she could come to me when she was ready to have sex.  She was already on bc and last summer a year after they started dating she came to me and told me they did it for the first time.   We had a long talk about it and I knew they were both ready to take that step in their relationship.  I was happy that they waited as long as they did and that it was a mutual decision and something they knew was an important step. 

 

In the beginning they would do it at our house when we were gone and eventually we would just allow them their privacy when he was over.  And about 6 months ago we started allowing the weekend sleepovers.  They still have a wonderful relationship and even though they do have sex regularly their relationship is based on much more than sex.  My only worry is that someday they may breakup and one of them will be hurt but that is part of growing up.  I don't have a problem with teen sex if both partners are in a loving and committed relationship, and I never wanted my kids to think that sex is bad or shameful. 

 

I think all parents handle this differently but in our case I think it has worked out great and I don't have any regrets how we deal with this. 

post #5 of 34
I don't allow "sleepovers" for kids under 18. You really don't know how the other parents are handling this unless you approach them so I think its simplest just to have that rule. I don't want my kids in a situation where their partner is lying to the other parents about their whereabouts or what they are doing.
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

I don't allow "sleepovers" for kids under 18. You really don't know how the other parents are handling this unless you approach them so I think its simplest just to have that rule. I don't want my kids in a situation where their partner is lying to the other parents about their whereabouts or what they are doing.

I agree with this about the other parents. In our case once they became sexually active we invited his parents over for coffee along with the kids and we all talked about our expectations and house rules.  We would not have given the kids even a little bit of privacy at our house if his parents weren't in agreement.  Fortunately his parents were pretty much on the same page as we were and occasionally the kids do stay together at his house.  But I agree I wouldn't want to be allowing something in our house and having one of the partners having to lie to their parents about it. 

post #7 of 34

My mom handled it very well by discussing it with me when I was 13 and brought it up again regularly for the several years it took before I was actually ready to take her up on it and get birth control.  She and I just had a really open, trusting relationship anyways though, and I felt like I could come to her with anything, but she wanted to make it a particular point to be very open about sex as not something to feel was 'taboo' and to let me know explicitly she supported me doing what felt right in that department, as long as I waited until I felt really ready and was safe about it, not to jeopardize my future with an unplanned pregnancy.

 

I plan to handle it similarly with my kids.  I would hope that they will be in committed relationships with whomever they begin their sexual exploration with, and that I would be on familiar terms with their parents, so we can all discuss ground rules together about what is to go on under my and their roofs.

post #8 of 34

My son (who is NOT ready, he's 3!) is already being prepared for that day. I believe getting a child ready for adulthood is a lifelong process and getting him ready for sexuality and such means having him learn about bodies right now. He knows the names of all his external parts (the REAL names) and he also knows that he has "private parts" that are for him alone to enjoy and masturbation (a word he knows) is for when he's in private. We also talk to him about private parts not being touched by others (and have a book about keeping secrets/molestation that helps with this in an age appropriate way).

 

He also knows about babies. He has corrected his friends- "No, the baby is not in her tummy, it's in her UTERUS!" and how they are made already. It's a natural biological function, he was curious, so we told him. No stigma, no shame, no "dumbing it down".

As he gets older, he will learn the entire depth surrounding sexuality- all the flavors and types, relationships and what makes a good one, how to know when you are ready, as well as preventing reproduction and STIs.

A GREAT program for kids/teens is the OWL program (It stands for Our Whole Lives- it starts around 5th grade and has levels for 507, 8-10, 11-12, and adult). It is administered by the UCC (United Church of Christ) and UUs (Unitarian Universalists). If there is one of these churches near you- enroll your kid. It is SOOOO worth it (and I say this as a non-Christian and non-UU). They require parental permission and consent, so you will learn about the program before your kid goes. Check it out!


Edited by Lillitu - 8/12/13 at 6:18am
post #9 of 34

We've been thinking about this a good deal lately. DD 16 is in her first relationship and we see it has the potential to become very serious. Interestingly enough, we find ourselves not too worried about whether they choose to have sex or not. It's not like we are rooting for it, of course. But really, sex with someone she loves who is a quality person we've known forever just doesn't seem like the scariest thing she could do.

 

We've talked. We've been talking since she was little. Never take your 4-year-old to the zoo in Spring if you don't want to talk about sex lol. We answered questions as they came up. A few weeks ago we had a more serious talk about birth control and emotional impact (we'd talked before but more general or about her friends situations... this was more tailored for her and her own current situation.) She actually asked about my first experience and it was a really open and honest talk. She's not ready. She doesn't believe she'll be ready for quite awhile. Her boyfriend and her have talked about sex in general and he doesn't feel ready either. It bothers him that sex takes over the teen relationships he sees and he doesn't want that. They've both seen mutual friends making poor choices and end up miserable. They are both very responsible, very future minded, very "drama-free." Both are an interesting mix of old soul and innocence. Both are introverted... this holding hands in public is a really big deal and took about 3 months to get to lol. In all honesty, at this stage, a serious conversation about eastern philosophy is the most intimate and mind-blowing experience either could ever ask for.

 

My basic advice to her was not to rush to the end game. There are so many wonderful and romantic stages to go through and if you take your time and thoroughly enjoy each stage, sex will be far more meaningful and wonderful in the end. She seemed to really embrace this. I also told her I trusted her to know what was right for her body and to be smart about it.

 

I'm open-minded but I can't say I'll be letting her have boys stay in her room overnight. There is a whole life-time to experience that. She doesn't need it now. He'll be camping with us next month in his own tent... DD shares with us. I still want the door open when they hang out in her room (which they haven't as of yet.) They can't drive together until next year due to state law. I fully expect I'd feel differently if she came home with a creep but she's been asked out by a lot of boys who'd scare a mother to death and she's cut them off at the pass. She's always been smart about the people she's let close and never afraid to cut someone out cold-turkey if they showed poor character. I guess it all comes down to the fact that we really trust DD. She's given us every reason to. I was a trustworthy teen and I was smart about my choices. DH too. Neither of us rushed into sex. We both waited until we were adults despite have a serious relationship as teens. We both grew up with a lot of freedom. I guess I don't see giving my kids less when they consistently show they are trustworthy people. 

 

I didn't talk about DS 12 because he's not there yet.... like DD, staying out of the tween "relationship" thing but we've had a lot of the same conversations with him.

post #10 of 34

Read this just this morning:  "Dear Daughter, Hope You Have Awesome Sex"

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ferrett-steinmetz/dear-daughter-i-hope-you-have-awesome-sex_b_3755185.html

 

 

I haven't read the rest of the thread, just had to post this before I forget. 

post #11 of 34

From the link I posted, this pretty much sums up what I strive for. though I don't always succeed: 

 

Quote:
...consensual sex isn't something that men take from you; it's something you give. It doesn't lessen you to give someone else pleasure. It doesn't degrade you to have some of your own.

 

 

Whatnextmom, I like most of your whole post!  I like your approach. Your daughter sounds really level-headed. 

 

I especially like this: 

 

 

Quote:
My basic advice to her was not to rush to the end game. There are so many wonderful and romantic stages to go through and if you take your time and thoroughly enjoy each stage, sex will be far more meaningful and wonderful in the end.

 

I totally wish I'd heeded this. I fumbled into sex.  Didn't even have a boyfriend, had never kissed a boy, till I was 17. For years I'd dreamed the first boyfriend would be about holding hands and talking on the phone, going to dances and going on dates, giving each other little gifts.  The first kiss. Publicly being a couple, Journeymom-and-Her-Boyfriend. But we had sex within a couple months of getting together. Sex is a whole different world from what I wanted. On the one hand I was intensely proud. Yay! Finally, I'm not such a childish nerd. On the other hand, sex, of course, changed everything and the sweet holding-hands stage evaporated forever. I was really sad about it for a long time.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

what is more important to you. the age they start or what their experience is...?

 

I think it isn't an either/or.  The age they first have intercourse affects how the experience will be.   Everyone is different, so this is based upon how I imagine I would have felt if I first had sex at age 13, instead of  age 17. Knowing me I can't imagine it would have been a good quality experience. 

post #12 of 34

I'm sorry, I hope I'm not taking this thread too far off topic. 

Quote:

but what about the not talked about. what about where they do it.

 

i worry about that. how do you support that. 

 

when my dd is sexually ready what does one do to make sure they have a safe place to do. to me it seems incomplete if you do all the safety talk and yet the rest does not happen.

 

When you say safe, what do you meant?  Safe, how? In contrast, what is unsafe?  (I hope my tone sounds sincere. I don't know how to phrase these questions so that it's entirely clear I'm not challenging you!)

 

I really don't think I need to support or worry about where my kid is having sex. It would feel weird, not very parental, to actively make it easier to have sex.  Honestly, I kinda think they should have to sneak around just like dh and I had to. lol.gif   Have sex in cars. Sneak in the parents' house when they're not there. But we were both 18 and in college by then. We breathed a huge sigh of relief when dh got an apartment.

 

Various thoughts in no particular order:

 

I have never shared with my children anything about my personal experiences. That would just be mutually uncomfortable. As well, I'd rather not know about my child's sex life. For one thing, dd is 18 y.o.; blessedly it's none of my business anymore. This is a parent/child relationship, so I don't think it's like girlfriends getting together with a bottle of wine and talking about their sex lives. 

 

However, there have been several instances where I wanted to share a personal experience with dd, to demonstrate something we were talking about. 

 

Perhaps I don't need to "worry" much about dd anymore.  Her doctor prescribed her the Pill more than a year ago to help her deal with a miserable menstrual cycle. I was there and okay'd it. Birth control- it's a big worry off my shoulders. I'm pretty sure she didn't immediately go out and have sex with her boyfriend either. However, she's been with the same boyfriend for quite a while, and I wouldn't be surprised if by now they're sexually active.  --But it's not my business anymore.--

 

Edited to add, I think I entirely succeeded in avoiding the conservative attitude I grew up with, in which my mother flipped out and was furious when she found out I'd had sex, and made me feel nothing but shame. Teenagers were not to have sex, it's a Big Fail if they do. What I want is to encourage a sex-positive attitude. Happily, I've managed that mostly.


Edited by journeymom - 8/15/13 at 11:55am
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

I have never shared with my children anything about my personal experiences. That would just be mutually uncomfortable. As well, I'd rather not know about my child's sex life. For one thing, dd is 18 y.o.; blessedly it's none of my business anymore. This is a parent/child relationship, so I don't think it's like girlfriends getting together with a bottle of wine and talking about their sex lives.

 

Haha, yes. I should say that when my DD asked about my first experience, it was in terms of how I came to the decision and if I regretted the choice. We didn't talk about the "sex." Sorry, I'm not mature enough for that discussion with my child lol.

post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

Haha, yes. I should say that when my DD asked about my first experience, it was in terms of how I came to the decision and if I regretted the choice. We didn't talk about the "sex." Sorry, I'm not mature enough for that discussion with my child lol.

 

See, this is what i meant to get around to saying, but got distracted. eyesroll.gif   Even that would be too much info for me to share. Not that I'd be embarrassed so much as I wonder if there is any...vague, nebulous unconsidered consequences of discussing that.  However, that's exactly the kind of thing I want to share with my dd, because I think it could be helpful. Obviously I'm conflicted.  lol.gif

post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

 

See, this is what i meant to get around to saying, but got distracted. eyesroll.gif   Even that would be too much info for me to share. Not that I'd be embarrassed so much as I wonder if there is any...vague, nebulous unconsidered consequences of discussing that.  However, that's exactly the kind of thing I want to share with my dd, because I think it could be helpful. Obviously I'm conflicted.  lol.gif

 

You know, I can't say I'd have planned to share that info and the response did stumble on the way out. When faced with a direct question like that though, I'm not sure there was any other way to answer but with the truth. I'm not sure, as a parent, you can say "I'm here, you can talk to me" without answering the questions a kid builds up the courage to ask (and I'll add that DD is intensely private... just the fact that she was open to talking about this at all was a big deal.) I think the consequences to our relationship would have been quite high if I'd not answered.

post #16 of 34

My kids are 18 and 21, so they can do what they want. I don't think that either of them have had sex yet, but if they do, they know to be safe, which is all I care about.

post #17 of 34
Quote:
Honestly, I kinda think they should have to sneak around just like dh and I had to. lol.gif  

Ha, I feel the same way. Don't misunderstand me, I've talked to my D15 many times about sex, and told her whenever she is ready to let me know so I can get her condoms and on BC if need be. 

 

But at the same time, I don't think I should make it easy for her to have sex either, by letting a boyfriend spend the night or anything like that.  Just the way I feel about it, though.

 

I'm glad to see so many are taking a realistic approach to their teens having sex.  I think the parents that bury their heads in the sand and don't talk to their kids about BC are the ones who become grandparents a whole lot sooner than they expected.

post #18 of 34

I think the information involved with answering that question (how did you come to the decision to have sex the first time and did you regret it) is very PG-13 and appropriate to share with a child, as a parent, without getting into the TMI zone.  At least MY answers to those questions wouldn't have any sex-gory-details in them, I'd just explain that I waited a long time (all through high school) through more than one long term relationship without taking that last step of "going all the way" and those experiences went just dandy and I could live with them without any conflicted feelings, so..... when I was nearly 18 and about to graduate and go off to college I realized that I no longer had any issues, emotionally, with that final step I let the boyfriend I was in a long term (6 months, which is long at that age) and loving relationship with know and birth control was addressed and indeed, as expected, it wasn't such a big deal when we gave up our virginities to each other.  Nice, and special, but not such a massive deal and didn't feel like it changed the dynamic of our relationship.  We still held hands and behaved sweetly to one another and my shy, sweet boyfriend didn't suddenly turn into an entitled prick trying to get laid every opportunity from that point on.  

 Maybe that's the point I'd explain to my daughter (who is currently in utero), that it's good to not just feel 1000% ready and have slowly gone through each stage without rushing before actual intercourse (and the risks that brings), but also to be able to find a sweet, loving guy who you can trust not to change the entire focus of the relationship onto sex once that step has been taken.

 

 Great article. Of course, we hope our daughters don't make huge mistakes in regards to becoming sexually active because the stakes are a bit higher than most teenage F-ups (with the exception perhaps surrounding auto-safety), but...... I liked the end about encouraging her daughter to go out and make mistakes:  I'm not the guard who locks you in the tower. Ideally, I am my daughter's safe space, a garden to return to when the world has proved a little too cruel, a place where she can recuperate and reflect upon past mistakes and know that here, there is someone who loves her wholeheartedly and will hug her until the tears dry.

That's what I want for you, sweetie. A bold life filled with big mistakes and bigger triumphs.

 

 

post #19 of 34

This is such a wonderful thread and I am so glad to find it.

 

I find myself very uncomfortable with some of the decisions that I have made regarding my kids sexuality. Uncomfortable in the sense that I hope that I have

not make a big mistake.

 

I have always been very open with my kids, age appropriate and not too much info in regards to myself and it seems that most of my kids (the ones that are

old enough) have made good decisions in this area. One has not and now I find myself unsure how to handle her lack of sexual respect.

post #20 of 34

DH and I made the decision to give them privacy here at home and then to eventually stay overnight because we did not want them thinking that sex is something they needed to sneak around to do.  The rules we have for them are the same we have for us...don't advertise it, don't make noise, and be respectful to the other kids in the house.  I knew so many kids growing up that had to sneak around to have sex and to me that was more disrespectful than being open and honest about it, and kids doing that are more apt to be careless when it comes to protection.  I think it also helped that my daughter has her bedroom and bathroom in the basement. 

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